My daughter cried when she got her period for the first time and felt very embarrassed about the whole thing. I don't remember feeling this way when I was her age. What can I do to help her?
Like many of the changes that occur during puberty, menstruation can be confusing and emotional for girls. Some girls can't wait to get their periods, and others wish they never had to begin menstruating. Many girls worry others can tell when they're menstruating or that they'll get their periods at school and not be prepared. Others feel apprehensive about what it means to grow up and not be a kid anymore.
All of these reactions are normal, and they tend to lessen over time as girls get used to the changes in their bodies. Reassure your daughter that no one else knows when she has her period. Remind her to carry pads or tampons with her in case she gets her period when she is not at home. Some girls leave an extra change of underwear and pants in a bag in their lockers in case their periods arrive at an unexpected time.
Your daughter can even start wearing a pad a few days before she is supposed to get her period so that she doesn't have any embarrassing moments at school. Just make sure she knows to change it a few times a day even though she may not be bleeding yet.
Most important, listening to your daughter can help her sort through her feelings until she is more comfortable with menstruation.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: February 2009
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