Talking to your mom or dad about your period doesn’t have to be painful. It can be a little awkward at first – lots of girls tell me that they don’t know how to bring it up, or worry about how their parent will respond. I often tell them that mom or dad might be just as nervous about the “period talk” as they are! Maybe you’ve grown up with a parent who has talked openly about sexuality and development, or maybe these topics have been “off limits.” Either way, it can be very helpful to share your feelings with your parent, get some support and advice, and maybe even learn a thing or two along the way. Although most girls feel most comfortable having these conversations with their moms, others are being raised by their dads or just feel close enough to want to include him.
Your mom or dad may bring up this topic when you begin to enter puberty, and your body begins to change. If not, you may want to approach them instead. I recommend finding a time when you can sit down with your parent to talk -- for some people, this happens most naturally when you are driving in the car together, shopping at the mall, or cooking dinner. Explain that you know that lots will be changing with your body over the next several years, and that you want to be able to talk to your parent(s) along the way. If you haven’t had a period yet, you might want to ask if you can buy some pads or other supplies so you’ll be prepared for your first period. If you’ve already begun menstruating, there are a number of other topics that you might want to discuss.
It can be very helpful to ask your mom about the symptoms she has had, and how she has dealt with them. Daughters often experience similar issues as their moms -- for instance, if your mom struggled with bad cramps, heavy bleeding, or moodiness, it is possible that you will deal with the same sorts of problems. Your mom may have some good advice about how she coped and what worked for her.
Many girls struggle with how to ask their mom if they can try tampons for the first time. You and your mom may both wonder if using a tampon will impact your virginity (it won’t), whether it will be uncomfortable (it shouldn’t be), and whether there are health risks (there are, but they are easily avoided). You and your mom might want to get the scoop on tampon use online – for instance, you can click here check out a great video on using a tampon.. Most girls and their moms find that once they have all the information about tampon use, they feel pretty comfortable with the daughter giving them a try when she feels ready. It’s a personal decision, but it can be helpful to have your mom on board.
It may feel a little strange at first to talk with your mom or dad about something this personal. If you choose to talk to your mom, try to remember that she was in your shoes once, and may wish that she had been able to have these kinds of conversations with her own mother! If you’re a girl who lives with her dad, he obviously won’t have as much personal experience, but chances are he knows that you are experiencing all kinds of physical changes and development and will want to support you as best he can. You don’t have to wait for your parent to bring up these topics -- you can be the one to initiate the conversation if they don’t. Chances are you and your parents will feel much better when you know that you have an open line of communication when it comes to your health and development.
@Autumn I second what Sandy said! You can also look for tampons that come in different sizes! Some are custom-made for teens/tweens' bodies and they can be good ones to start with." - Rachel (U by K Peer)
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