Skip Nav
7 Things Your Kids Will Remember About You When They're Grown Up
16 Reasons Being Pregnant Now Is So Much Better Than in the 1980s
Game of Thrones
If You're a True Fan, You'll Put Your Baby in 1 of These 15 Game of Thrones Onesies

When Should You Talk to Your Daughter about Menstruation?

In a recent episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians older sisters Kourtney and Khloe talked to their younger sisters Kendall, 12, and Kylie, 10, about menstruation. Giggle was struck by how awkward the conversation was, but I was more concerned that the sisters are preteens and had presumably never had the "talk" with their sisters or mother before. In the US the average age of a girl's menses, or first period, is 12. When do you think you should have the "talk" with your daughter?

Join The Conversation
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
A heads-up with those who have girls soon to be in high school or even middle school. At the clinic I get at least 2 new girls each week ages 11-15 that are pregnant, and at least 5 who have a STD. The week before my daughter started high school she and I watched "American Pie...unedited version" because even though it is meant to be a comedy, it revealed what is on the minds of real teen boys, how they talk about girls, and vice versa. It is a glimpse into reality. They really have one goal and will do almost anything to accomplish it.l There really are parties that parents are completely unaware of. Boys really are that ridiculous. It really is that easy to end up with a make-out session on U-Tube. Having watched it together we had some interesting conversations about how friends and boys can be manipulative. We made a pact that if she ever found herself in a situation which seemed dicey...or just not what she thought it would be (parties and etc) that I am just one phone call away. I'd rather pick her up than go get her in jail...or worse. Knowing she does not have to lie to me--I did get a phone call and I immediately went to get her. She had been told it was a religious get-together with youth in a church.... but it became a keg party. I took four girls home who were grateful they didn't have to explain the situation to their parents. They knew they were in a scary place and wanted out. I was glad to be there to get them home. I am sure their parents would have done the same...or I'd hope they would. That night was a lesson for them all. One girl that insisted on staying, became drunk and then pregnant...and may never know which boy is the father of her child. Yeah...even those nice boys from church cannot be trusted. I know not all boys are like that but hormones are powerful.
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
With my kids, as soon as they started questions I answered the question and then went one step further. If another question came up I handled that. These conversations went on until the "eww" factor came in. I used that as a clue to go no further until they asked another question. Often when opportunities arose, I'd use them to dispense information (again stopping at ewww) My daughter's friends all knew I'd answer any question truthfully. I bought my daughter the "American Girl's book on bodies" I may have the title wrong. She was into "American Girl Dolls" and they had a book for girls which covered pretty much everything aside from actually going into detail about sex. That book became well worn as it was passed from one friend of my daughter's to another. I was committed to preventing the horror I went thru in rural Texas were they showed only a tiny movie about menistration but no mentioning of BLOOD. I had one pair of snow white ditto jeans that I had to throw away...a surprise which happened at school. I almost didn't forgive my mother for not giving me the information I needed. When the school nurse told me to call someone to come get me I called my piano teacher. I imagine my Mom was hurt by that but it demonstrated WHO I thought would give me some honest information. I volunteer at a free clinic once a week. The question I get most often from young girls is how to use a tampon and will it ruin their virginity. I used pads the first month I had a period and tampons ever since. My daughter did as well. I think many moms believe using a tampon is the next step toward sex...which is wrong. On some level I think if I had been forced to use pads until I became sexually active I would have been so grossed out that I wouldn't have been so active in sports.
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
I'd answer any questions as they came up and explain more when the changes started.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
My daughter turned 8 in January. I thought it was getting to be time for a talk, but I think it's hard for both of us. SO I went out and I bought a book for her. It is for girls her age. It's the best thing I've ever given her. She has been reading it constantly and is very proud of it. I THINK the name of it is All About Me, or something like that anyway. It covers everything from what to expect regarding blemishes and body changes/growth/grooming to how to insert a tampon. It gives examples of things that go on at school, like teasing because of puberty and how to deal with the siutations. It's a wonderful book.
backfat backfat 9 years
My daughter is 7 next month. I plan on discussing it with her very soon. Given that some people start much earlier than others I think it's foolhardy to think starting to have these sort of talks after the age of ten is appropriate. I was given a book by my parents when I was about 10 that explained reproduction, feminine components included. I think I would have been very startled and upset if they had waited much longer to give it to me given that I started when I was twelve. I've had friends with daughters who started at 8 and had friends who didn't start till they were 18. I think the earlier the better is the best way to go.
paine paine 9 years
I also don't have any kids but, I hope to have kids someday. Those conversations are always hard to have.. but theres alawys of way of putting them at easy, and talk about it. Conversation especially with girls who are very fragile, sensitive. A person, usually its the mom, must have those conversations (menstruation to the girl, sex to the boy and girl), although theres no ideal time to start discussing it.. But definitely before the age of 10 imo, also in a way that they understand all the facts, but also to not try to hide anything cause thats even worse. They´ll just find through the internet and its not always safe, or through colleagues at school, who lets face it... think they know, but don´t know, and we know how some kids can be influential. Probably some/alot people will disagree with me, I´m not in favor of "birds&bees" conversation, just tell them as it is, but of course theres ways and ways of discussing it.. If this are not discussed, especially the sex part, although it happens in a great minority, who knows what they might be doing at 12 or 13 YIKES!!!! especially girls at that age if don´t have the conversation (multiple ones), might be manipulated/ forced into sex, by boys who usually have those feelings early on. Believe it or not,I´ve heard about this type of things its awful. Again, all sorts of conversation (not just sex and menstruation) puberty etc... shouldn´t be just one conversation, but several as years are going by and of course as their getting older their understating it better. This is my opinion anyway.
Kazagirl Kazagirl 9 years
I don't have any kids but when I do I would hope to begin talking to my daughter about it at a young age. I think that it would be better to begin talking about it when she is younger because it would feel less awkward when she gets to the age where her body is have all the changes.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
I'm not a mom however I would start talking to her about body changing however in way she would grasp at 6yrs old and then when I notice her starting to go through the change around 9yrs then I would sit her down and let her fully know what is going on & what to expect. My mom did that with me and it helped me get a better understanding of what was going on with my body. When I was little my mom would tell me (w/o scaring me) what a period was and why; then when I turned 9yrs old she gave me the details and also gave me a book on puberty if I wanted to read info on my own.
LA-Mommy712 LA-Mommy712 9 years
In general, I think the right time for a parent to talk to her daughter about menstruation is when the daughter starts to develop and she's ready for the talk. But, these days, I feel like girls hit puberty more quickly, and plus they're likely to hear about their peers talk about it at school. I don't have a daughter (maybe one day!), but I know I'd rather my daughter hear about menstruation for the first time from me rather than from her friends on the playground and be misinformed or scared. My mom didn't talk about it with me until after the sex ed video in fifth grade, but I heard about it LONG before then. I had a friend in fourth grade who hit puberty early, and she pulled a bunch of us into the girls bathroom one day and showed us her pubes and her pad (yes, I know, gross, but she did have a captive audience!). My nanny has a 9-year-old daughter, and the other day, she overheard her daughter's friend ask her if she wanted to see her newly sprung pubic hair. Haha. Anyway, I'd just personally rather that my daughter hear about puberty from me first!
lolalu lolalu 9 years
maybeimnot- haha same thing happened to me! I was in school one day and had a breakdown, I thought I was a goner for sure lol. My parents told me what sex was when I was little, but by the time i was a teenager my mom passed away and my dad never spoke to me about any of that stuff. All he said was " don't do it, wait till your married" blah blah blah. In hindsight, probably wasn't the best advice dad. Maybe i wouldn't have been so uhhh 'wild' in college if he wasn't so strict lol.
maybeimnot maybeimnot 9 years
I was not told about it, and I threw a FIT that one first morning - crying and all sorts of screaming because I thought I was dying or something. And even now that I'm out of college, my parents have never mentioned anything sexual whatsoever to me. Personally- I think that's a bad choice. If I knew what was up, then I would have not been so scared that morning, and.. well, communication is a good thing.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
lickety split, I really hate it if this sounds rude or too prying. And if you don't want to answer the question feel free to tell me. But I was wondering how did your autistic daughter take the onset of puberty? How do you explain it to her? I don't really know a whole lot about autism and how growing up works with having autism. Again if I have over-stepped please tell me!
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I think when she begins to ask questions is the best time. Or possibly just say something off handedly at about 5-6 to see if she is curious. I do think it is a long process not just a one time sit down talk. You have to judge what they can handle at their age/maturity level. I started when I was 13 (i think) but my best friend had already started (and i was a little jealous lol!) and my mom had already talked to me about it. So I wasn't really freaked out. I still remember the day. My brother was home w/ his g/f and they were going somewhere and I asked if I could go too. He said no and I was upset... later on after they left I went to the bathroom and I had started. I was so happy he hadn't let me go b/c that would have been an awkward conversation. "Um bubba, I need a pad/tampon ... I just started for the first time" lol He was 23 at the time so I am sure he wouldn't want to hear about his lil sis starting :ROTFL:
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
anniekim, I remember that book!! I actually asked for it when I was about 8. I had no idea what it was about, but it was a good read and my mom was always open with me. Except I didn't expect my first one to be so heavy and so painful. I was actually scared for the first 2 days that something was wrong with me!! I mean, I totally knew what it was but thought maybe that much bleeding and that much pain were abnormal.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
My mom bought me a copy of "Are You There God It's me Margaret?" and sat down for questions after I read it. I'm hoping for a more organic intro for my girls, but we'll see. The book did a pretty good job.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i actually lucked out on this one. my oldest daughter has severe autism and started her period a few months ago at 9 1/2. i wasn't surprised because she had been wearing a bra for well over a year. anyway i got in the car and said to my husband that jenna had started her period and my younger 2 asked what that was. so i told them. my then 8 year old was interested, my then 6 year old was only half paying attention and said "what!?" at the very end. so i repeated the whole thing. we were in the car for about 20 minutes and they got to ask questions and now they have a basic understanding of it. when we got out of the car it was time for lunch and the conversation had a natural end. periods have come up a couple of times and i remind them or they will say "oh that's like when your body can have a baby" , something like that. easy. we haven't gotten to how the egg and sprem meet. that's the last leg of our journey, lol.
JAG JAG 9 years
My sister started at 9! I was older and I didn't start until I was 15 so it was awkward for sure that she started before I did, but oh well. We all knew what was coming because we had a very open house hold and never held anything back if we wanted to know anything about the facts of life. Growing up on a farm helped things too.
rgrl rgrl 9 years
Most girls don't get their period before 10, so I chose after 10. Maybe at that point it would also be less abstract for them to understand.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
We got the "period talk" in fourth grade, when I was 9 or 10. I think thats about the appropriate time. I didn't get my period until I was 13 1/2 years old.
stephley stephley 9 years
I agree with Faery - I started chatting with her about our bodies at about 5, and just tried to gauge how much she could handle and what she wanted to know. She's not shy at all about talking to me now about her period, she's 12, but she doesn't like too much detail about boys and sex. Fortunately though, when she sees a mention of something she doesn't understand she'll still come and ask me. The other night, it was bondage from a passing reference on an anime site!
What's It Like to Use a Menstrual Cup?
Kim Kardashian Bonding With Her Kids After Her Robbery
How Late Can a Period Be Before I Should Worry?
Janelle Monae Is Shutting Down Period Shaming (Video)
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds