Okay, Dad. You've Got This.
Take a breath and read on.
You knew this day was coming. From that moment you let go of the back of that bicycle seat and watched her pedal down the sidewalk with no training wheels attached, you knew she was making her own way in this world. And from then on it was going to be your job to keep up with her.
The first step in any good plan: chill.
The cooler you are about all of this, the more comfortable your daughter is going to feel. Besides, you have no reason not to be completely confident. Just the fact that you are on this site reading this guide says that you are an amazing father and you are going to be just fine.
Read what she is reading.
Not like, you know, right in front of her, but do read our guide for First Timers and learn everything she is learning about her first period. This will help you understand the changes she is going through and the questions she may have.
Bring it up.
If your daughter doesn’t initiate the conversation, consider doing so yourself. This will let her know you are open to talking about it. That it’s not weird. That it’s all okay. Tell her you love her and are always there to talk about anything. If you are a single father, you should also assure her that you have no problem buying her anything she needs for her periods.
The right time to start talking to your daughter about her first period is before she gets it. Girls normally get their first period any time between ages 8 and 15, so it can be hard to pinpoint the right time to bring it up on your own. Starting at 7 or 8 ask your daughter’s pediatrician how close your daughter is to getting her period or if she is showing signs of puberty. At any rate, by the time she is 12 her friends will start getting their periods so that’s a totally safe time to bring it up.
Be open to talking. Be more open to listening.
The first period talk is the beginning of a whole lot of conversations you could be having with your daughter over the next few years. The better you listen, the more she will be open to telling you. Sometimes the car is a great place to talk. Maybe it’s because everyone is looking ahead at the road, or we are a captive audience. Maybe it’s because she finds anything more tolerable than your music. Whatever it is, the car seems to be a great time to talk. And listen.
Remember these four words.
“How can I help?” You will be amazed how reassuring these words are to a teenager. Even if she never wants your help, the fact that you asked her—that you trusted her to know what she needed, and showed that you are there for her—will do wonders for her self-confidence and your relationship.
This is not only a really good idea, but it’s also a great way to begin conversations. Start by getting your daughter The First Period Kit now – before she starts her period. The First Period Kit is a pretty little bag filled with all the things she will need when she starts menstruating. It also includes a wonderful book filled with information about periods and other girl stuff. She can tuck this kit in her purse, her gym bag or her backpack so she’s prepared no matter when it comes. We design our products to be gorgeous accessories that girls love as much as their favorite purse, shoes or lip gloss.
You should also stock the bathroom cabinet with enough supplies to get her through her first period or two. We recommend The Beautiful Month Kit. You can also sign on for our subscription service, which will deliver her supplies every month. Like The First Period Kit, all of our products are designed to be fashion-forward and pretty. Accessories girls will love.
Life is messy and so is growing up. There are the easy kinds of accidents when a little (or maybe more than a little) blood ends up on sheets, pjs and underwear. The best way to get blood out of these things is quickly and with soapy cold water or a little hydrogen peroxide (test a hidden area of the fabric first). Always get blood out before you dry any fabric.
Then there are the other kinds of accidents. Maybe her period surprised her in a public situation and she had an embarrassing situation. Maybe you said the wrong thing at the wrong time about something she wasn’t ready to talk about yet. There are a lot of things that can, and will, go wrong during this time. What do you do about it? Mostly listen. (Notice a theme here.) Also, reassure your daughter that every girl has gone through what she is going through. That, while you are not perfect, you are always here for her and you’re doing your best to understand everything she is going through.
Don’t underestimate your importance.
Just because you’re a man, doesn’t mean you don’t understand or that you won’t be good at this. You might be the best person to talk to your daughter about this. You have no preconceived notions about periods being painful or awful. You are showing that you are open and willing to learn about periods right along with her.