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How To Have The Period Talk With Your Daughter

Figure out how to talk to your child about their period, from the ideal age for the period talk to the best products for teens.

One of the most important life stages in a child’s development is puberty, and for around half of teens and pre-teens entering puberty involves getting ready for their first period!  Your daughter’s first period is a big moment in her life, but it can also be a little confusing too.

Figuring out what to say, and when to initiate this chat can be challenging for many parents and guardians, and we appreciate you may need a little help.  Our guide will not only provide you with the support and information you need when discussing periods, it will also give you tips on the best products available to help manage a first period.

When to have the period talk with your daughter

There’s no right answer for when to talk about periods and puberty with your daughter. Contrary to what you might think, the period talk isn’t necessarily a one-off discussion, but rather an ongoing conversation that should start early and build on your child’s understanding as they grow.

But at what age do you have the first period talk? It’s true that period talks are appropriate for any age if your child is asking questions, and chances are they have learned the basics of puberty and periods in school from the ages of 7 upwards. The average age for a first period is 12-13, but anything from the age of 8 is considered normal, so if you have started to notice some of the tell-tale signs of puberty and signs your daughter is about to start her first period now is a good time to start discussing periods in a little more detail and before their first period arrives.

Look out for natural times to talk about it, such as when they ask questions about:

  • Puberty or changes happening to their body
  • Where babies come from
  • What period products are when out shopping

It’s important that your child feels comfortable talking about periods and puberty. Bringing up the topic in a natural, easy-going way teaches your daughter that periods are a normal part of life, so try to keep it casual.

Children are never too young to learn how their bodies work, so don’t fixate on what age for period talks is best, and rather empower them with knowledge early on.

How to talk to your teen and pre-teen about her period

When the time comes, you may find yourself asking how to talk to your daughter about her period for the first time. It might feel like an overwhelming task because women’s health can be such a vast topic and you don’t want to leave out any important details, so we’ve broken down talking about periods with your daughter into the basics, period biology, and practical preparation.

Discuss the science of the menstrual cycle

It’s worth talking through the basics of why we have periods, how the menstrual cycle works and what they can expect before and during their periods. This may be covered by a period talk in school, but it’s still helpful to know and understand what’s going on in their body at any age. When chatting about biology be sure to use the correct language so they can start to incorporate these new words into their vocabulary.

The menstrual cycle is a complicated process with various hormones and multiple phases at play, but don’t let that put you off talking about periods with your daughter. Discussing the science of the menstrual cycle can be as simple as explaining that a period is when the lining of the uterus is shed if a baby isn’t conceived, or as complicated as covering the fluctuating oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels.

We've got all the information you need to help explain these things on the Lil-Lets Hub, as well as a handy period talk video.


Start with the menstruation basics

When it comes to talking about periods with your daughter, start with what she knows. First, ask if she knows about periods and what she thinks periods are. Then, share the basics. A good first period talk with your daughter should cover all these points:

  • When girls grow and enter puberty, they start to experience changes to their body.
  • These changes are in preparation for the time in their life when they may want to have a baby.
  • Because of this, every month, a part of body, called the uterus starts to line itself with blood in readiness for a baby to grow.
  • If there is no baby, this lining is no longer needed, and blood is released via the vagina, this release of blood is called a period or menstruation.
  • Once a period has ended, the cycle starts over, and the uterus once again lines with blood.
  • A period will most likely occur every month.
  • To help collect period blood so it doesn’t go onto underwear, clothes or bed linen, you can use period products like pads and tampons.

Prepare her practically

Ultimately when your daughter starts her period, she needs to be equipped with the knowledge to deal with it on her own. That’s why we recommend showing your daughter period products before her first period, and sometimes leaving a pack of pads or a period starter kit in her room, is a great way to start the period chat off. It's easy to forget that she probably hasn’t seen what a pad looks like, so it’s a good ideal to open a pad and explain what they do and how to position it and dispose of it afterwards. This should give her the confidence to do it herself next time. The same applies to tampons, as they too can be a little confusing. We recommend explaining all types of period products from period pads and tampons to menstrual cups and period underwear.

It’s a good idea to give your daughter some period pads or other period products, such as liners to keep in her school bag just in case. Our Teens Starter Pack is a comprehensive period kit, with a helpful booklet explaining being a teen as well as all the period products she’ll need to manage her period.

Explaining PMS to your child

For many girls even before their first period arrives, their body will be preparing for menstruation. This can be quite an emotional rollercoaster for your daughter and helping her navigate her emotions and any physical symptoms can remove any anxiety she may be feeling. Explain that for some people, a week or two before a period, they may not feel quite like themselves and that this is called PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) Reassure your daughter that it’s perfectly normal and generally goes away a few days after a period arrives. By discussing PMS and how to manage it naturally you can ensure she is prepared and understands why it’s happening. Here are some of the signs you may want to discuss.

  • Uncomfortable tummy cramps or lower back pain.
  • Breaking out in spots.
  • Feeling sad, weepy, irritable or angry for no reason.
  • Bloating around the tummy area.
  • Muscle and joint aches.

You should also offer practical tips on how to feel better during this time and if PMS is being experienced. Keeping active is great for period cramps and helps to naturally lift any low moods, even if this is the last thing your teen wants to do. If at home suggest a warm bath or shower, or hot water bottle to help ease tummy or back pain.

Many teens experience constipation which can often make period pain worse, offering extra portions of fruit or vegetables, as well as increasing water consumption can help with this.

Prepare for your child’s period talk in school settings

Almost all schools will cover the topic of puberty and periods, but it can come a little too late for early developers, so covering the topic of periods and signs of puberty at home before puberty starts is key to preparing your daughter for this time in her life, and will ensure she isn’t shocked and confused if she gets hers before the school chat. It also means if your daughter comes home with questions after the school ‘period talk’ you will have already built a good base for an open and honest conversation, and she will feel comfortable asking you questions.

Our final tips for the first period talk with your daughter

The first period talk with your daughter should open the door for more period talks later on in life. Whether you start talking about periods with your daughter at a young age or only introduce it when she’s a 9 year-old, starting with the basics and approaching the subject as a casual conversation is key to ensuring that she knows what periods are, what to expect when she starts hers, and how to deal with it when the time comes.

When it comes to period supplies, the Lil-Lets Teens Range has all of your bases covered, with pantyliners and pads, all designed with a narrower fit to better suit a teen’s changing body. And when she’s ready there is a great choice of tampons and menstrual cups too!

With so many period products available it can be quite confusing for you and your daughter as to what products will help her manage her period going forward. Often adult pads are too large and uncomfortable for girls and something smaller is required. Lil-Lets teen products are specially designed for teens and pre-teens, narrower and shorter in length, they are ideal for smaller bodies.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a period talk?

A period talk is a discussion parents or guardians have with their child about what to expect when they start puberty and have their first period. Having a period talk with your daughter before puberty helps her to understand that periods are a normal part of her developing body.

Why is it important to have a period talk?

Discussing puberty and periods before your daughter’s first period is the best way to ensure she isn’t caught off guard, ashamed, or anxious. In the era of social media, period talks are important to help make sure girls understand the facts about menstruation, why they have periods and how they can manage them when they arrive.

When is the right time for a period talk?

There is no right or wrong time for a period chat, if your child is asking questions about puberty or periods at any age, then it’s always good to answer them with the appropriate level of information suitable for their age. As they get older you can then increase the amount of knowledge you offer, delving deeper into their biology and what to expect when a first period arrives.

How do I start a period chat?

Getting into the habit of having short chats about puberty and periods is a great way of making your daughter feel comfortable and confident when discussing all things relating to this special time in her life. You can start by sharing your first period experiences, to make her feel at ease and open-up the conversation about how she feels and what she already knows.

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