Even if we’ve given our girls the best preparation for when their period comes, the transition to having periods is a big one, especially for those a bit younger or neurodiverse. There can still be anxiety, doubt, embarrassment, even humiliation. Providing ongoing support at this time will not only help your daughter learn more about her own body, it will also give her an empowered view on what it is to be a woman in our society.
The way we are with our girls for their first period and the time around that, sets the scene for how she values herself as a woman. Keeping the support going will help her love, trust and understand her body. We used to retreat into a red tent or moon lodge each time we bled, and there was much to look forward to as we shared stories, rested and honoured one another. We can bring elements of that back in modern ways by approaching our periods a little differently than we have in more recent times. Here are 9 things we can do when your daughter hates her period.
1. GIVE HER SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Who doesn’t love being treated every so often, and what better time to teach your daughter how to love and honour her body than when she is bleeding. A constant reminder that she comes from love and beauty and her body is a form of love and beauty.
Look into what her love language is and each time she gets her period, remind her of her beauty with something that she loves.
– Quality Time – Carve out some time where you share some stories or watch a show together
– Physical Touch – Offer her back tickle, foot massage, or look into a beautiful Arvigo massage
– Words of Affirmation – Write a beautiful note
– Acts of Service – Help her do her chores for her for a day or two
– Receiving Gifts – You can never go past flowers or chocolate
Speaking of receiving gifts and never going past flowers or chocolate, there really is something in a simple red rose when we bleed. Not only will receiving the gift make her feel good, each time she sees it she will be reminded of why she was given it, and relate the beauty of the rose to her own body.
Teen moods may not always appreciate in the moment, but subliminally they will come to learn that their menstrual cycle and their bleed can be honoured.
3. HAVE EVERYTHING ACCESSIBLE
Ensure she always has her period products at the ready. Be that at home or in her bag for school or sleepovers. Keep an eye on her products for when they run out, and have a system in place where she feels comfortable letting you know if she is running low.
Don’t always assume she will tell you. She may be navigating her own embarrassment or doubt, and wondering whether she has been using too much or too little.
Also let her know that leaks happen and are okay. Show her what to do with anything she has leaked on. Again, you might want to set up a system for her to let you know in a way that works for you both.
4. NOURISH HER BODY
Offer her things that support her body. This could be in the way of food, movement or other things. Ask her what she feels her body needs, so she can be familiar to listening to her bodies needs.
Some examples are:
– Warm teas and soups
– Hot chocolate or cacao
– Dark chocolate
– Omega 3’s like avocado or oily fish
– Warm compresses on the womb for cramps
– Restful yoga poses like child’s pose or legs up the wall
– Extra rest. Start teaching her she does not have to push through
5. TRACK WITH HER
Tracking her cycle is important for a number of reasons. Tracking can:
– Highlight if there are any irregularities and things that need to be looked into
– Help determine when their next period will come, by tracking her cervical fluid
– Empower her to know her own body
Teach her how to track using an app or a journal, but also keep a note of things yourself, so you can help with her awareness.
Tracking involves noting the following:
– Period days
– Cervical Fluid days
– Physical changes like pimples, cramps, spotting
– Emotional changes like social, tired, irritable, excited
– Mental changes like anxiety or low mood
– Other things, like vivid dreams
6. LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Whether you still have your period or not, honour your body they way you want your daughter to honour hers. This may not come naturally when we’ve been living in a society that still has so much taboo around periods and we’ve been made to feel like we have to push through, bear pain and just get on with it.
Start to honour your own body by taking rest, asking for more help during times when you feel overwhelmed or tired, listening to your body and giving it what it needs, tracking your own cycle and understanding your own body.
Even if we are not bleeding anymore, we are still cyclical. You can use the moon to help guide your rythyms. Plus, as a bonus, the more you do now to honour and work with your cycles, the easier you will move through peri-menopause.
7. MIND YOUR LANGUAGE
Among others, your daughter will pick up from you how periods are perceived within society. Even if you are not speaking directly to her, she will notice any positive or negative speak. So many of use have experienced unpleasant or painful periods, shame or a very embarrassing start to your menstrual cycle. We know we want a different story for our daughters, and we all hope there is no suffering.
Be aware of where you might be running autopilot language about periods, as they can be very easily influenced.
8. MANAGE IRREGULARITIES
Don’t dismiss pain or heavy periods as normal, these are signs something is not right and we shouldn’t be suffering through our cycles. Painful and heavy periods and long or short cycles are common but they are not normal.
Ensure that your daughter knows what is and isn’t normal for her, so you can both get any support you need for her when she needs it. This is where tracking is important, including keeping a note of her nutritional intake.
Keep in mind a normal cycle when they first start their period and for the first few years is anywhere from 21-45 days.
9. KEEP TALKING AND LEARNING
Our menstrual cycle is not a set and forget. It really is a monthly report card of our health, which, when we practice learning, we become empowered about our own body. Each period shows us how our health has been the month before, from a nutritional, physical and mental viewpoint.
The way we are with our girls for their first period and the time around that, sets the scene for how she values herself as a woman. Keeping the support going will help her love, trust and understand her body.
For more support, take a look at my Teens Period Masterclass. This masterclass will take you through the following:
- An overview of the hormones and their purpose in the menstrual cycle
- Simple strategies for common teen period issues, such as painful and heavy periods
- What a normal period can look like in the first few years, and when to be concerned
- The 4 different phases of the cycle and best supporting her through each of those phases
- The most sustainable, eco and body friendly menstrual products
- How to cycle track to gain more self awareness