How to talk to your daughter about periods when she doesn't want to talk to you
Puberty is a very confusing time is a young girl's life. Her body is changing, her thoughts are changing and it's likely she's beginning to get self-conscious about all these things. It's not uncommon for girls to not want to talk to their parents about personal things when they hit puberty, but they are some ways you can reach out to your daughter.
Becoming more private
When kids get to about 8 or 9 years old they begin to get more self-conscious and private. They may not want to get dressed in front you or go to the toilet with the door open anymore. They may also feel embarrassed talking about certain subjects like sex and menstruation. This is quite normal. Your daughter may also feel reluctant to talk about these matters if it's something you haven't freely discussed before. Although, some girls go from talking openly about everything to clamming up.
How to talk to your daughter
It's really important that your daughter knows about menstruation before her period starts. The best way to approach it is in a quiet moment, when you have time to talk privately and openly together. Here some tips:
- When you're at the shops or at a family dinner is not the best time to start this discussion, your daughter will more than likely feel awkward and will not want to talk.
- Let your daughter know that this is a private conversation and you won't be repeating it to anyone else. This may free up her inhibitions and make her more comfortable to ask questions.
- Don't make it a serious lecture. Be lighthearted and let her ask any 'curly' questions she may have. You may not have an answer then and there but you can get back to her.
- If you're feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable, be honest and tell your daughter. She will appreciate the honesty.
My daughter refuses to talk
If your daughter refuses to talk or to listen, don't force the issue. Wait until another time and try again.
If you're still having trouble, buy an age-appropriate book and sit down and read it with her. There are plenty available, such as:
- Girl Stuff by Kaz Cooke
- PubertyGirl by Shushann Movsessian
- Secret Girls' Business by Fay Angelo
Books can provide all the information as well as being a good starting point for a conversation. Alternatively, there are brochures and pamphlets you can get from your doctor or family planning clinic. If you still find your daughter is uncomfortable, perhaps suggest to her another trusted adult she can talk to. An aunt, an older sister or cousin or even a GP. Sometimes, for whatever reason, girls just don't want to talk to their mums.