The first flow- What you should tell your teenage daughter

  • By Suman Singh

Your daughter is an individual and she needs the same amount of respect like any other individual. Also, give her some credit for being able to understand things you explain to her. Don’t be nervous, as that will convey to her that periods are something to be afraid of.

Girls as young as 10 years old are having the onset of their periods, so prepare them for it.

Prepare for this talk before you actually have it and when you do speak do so in a relaxed atmosphere like when you are walking in the park or sitting out in the garden or terrace or even when travelling back in the car after shopping. You can begin by saying "I can see my little girl is growing up! Now that you are almost grown up, I have something to tell you. You know when girls grow up they begin to have their monthly periods. I also have them." Your girl probably has some idea about what you are saying from her school friends, but it is important you tell her that monthly periods means that her body is getting ready to be an adult body like yours. Explain to her that once she has grown up and married, she will be able to have babies like you had.

Sometimes girls see the sanitary napkins in your cupboard and they are curious about it and want to know what it is used for. That’s the best time to tell them by saying this is something that:

"Mummy requires because there is some bleeding every month.

Why should there be any bleeding will be the next question.

Women have bleeding when the egg that they are carrying inside their body does not become a baby.

Will I also have bleeding? Yes, you will too when you are around 13 years old, because that is when I had my first flow too."

You could then explain to her about the other changes she will notice in her body like hair in the pubic area and development of breasts and also some kind of vaginal discharge before she actually has her periods. It is important to let her know that this is something normal and that it is not painful and nothing to be ashamed of. You can say that boys begin to grow up when they start getting hair on their face and girls when they have their periods.

Let them know it’s a normal body process and not an unusual phenomenon.

You must also explain to your daughter how she is to use the sanitary napkin so in case she begins bleeding at school she knows how to use them. When she is 12 years old, ask her to tell her lady teacher immediately about it so the teacher can organize a sanitary napkin for her if it happens in school. If you don’t prepare your daughters for the first flow, they are likely to get embarrassed and may blame you for not telling them about it. Let her also know that sometimes she could have a little pain in the stomach or her periods might not come every month in the beginning. Prepare yourself and your little darling to welcome her to the onset of womanhood.