"Mum When Does A Big Girl Become A Lady?" - One Mum's Successful Conversation About Periods With Her 6yo
Here is a story of a friend of mine who recently embraced a teachable moment that came to her out of the blue (as they do). She was very pleased and relieved with the outcome.
This Mum had been plucking up the courage and looking for an opportunity to talk to her 6yo daughter about periods. It was important for her to be the first person to mention periods to her daughter in order to prevent what had happened to her when she was a 5yo. She had learnt in the school yard, in a negative way, that women bleed and she remembers clearly being very scared about it for many years.
Notice how she bought her self some time to think about her answer, by immediately asking her daughter a question along the lines of 'Great question tell me what you know about that?' or ' Where did you hear about that?'
I love the ending - kids will tell you when they have heard enough :) there will be plenty more opportunities to mention it again and again and again... :)
A Teachable Moment...
I think I accidentally had the talk about periods with my daughter the other day. With all your advice it was really easy and I am so glad I was the one to open this conversation with her.
When I was in Prep I heard horror stories about periods in the school yard. I still remember how scared I was.
It went like this as ( in summary) we were walking to catch the train.
Daughter: 'Mum when does a big girl become a lady?'
Mum: 'When do you think?'
Daughter: 'When she is about 30'
Mum: 'Some people would say a girl becomes a lady when her eggs are ready to have a baby.'
Daughter: 'How old is that?'
Mum: 'Around 12 years old'
(I took the chance to explain here)
Mum: 'Girls are born with millions of eggs in their bodies but when they become a lady it's a really exciting time as their eggs are ready to meet the seed to make a baby. But most ladies don't have babies until they are much older.'
Daughter:'Yeah and are married'
Mum: 'So when a girls eggs are ready she will have a egg ready every month until she is very old. If the egg doesn't meet the seed during the month the egg makes its way out of the body until a new one is ready in the next month.'
Mum: 'Through the vagina. A little bit of fluid comes out. It's all normal and doesn't hurt. Some people call it periods.'
Daughter: ' How many more minutes till the train comes mum?'
So that was it. Wasn't perfect but I am so glad I have introduced the topic in the right way. And I think it was appropriate information.
I just want to ensure I have the conversation with her rather than her hearing lies at school...Your the best! Thanks for the advice on how to go about this...
If you would like the same tips my friend received come along to one of my sessions.
With 23 years experience as a Sexual Health Nurse & 15 years as an Educator, I'm delivering information & support to Parents, Teachers, Health Professionals and Young People with the aim of encouraging essential conversations about all aspects of Human Sexuality. Hope you find it useful to your situation. Good luck with your conversations, Vanessa x