If you’re a woman, you’ll likely remember the anxiety that surrounded your first period. I bet you can also remember the moment it happened and the question that immediately followed: “What do I do now?” I sure can.
And if you’re a man, all the women you’ve ever loved—from your grandmother to your mother to your sisters to your aunts to your wife or partner—faced this question. And sadly, they were likely not only unprepared but afraid, too.
For most girls, the buildup to the first period is a time of anxiety and even shame. How is it that in 2019, there’s still a stigma around a natural biological function? I believe we can and must do better for our daughters. So, with the Penny Pack, our mission is to help girls get ready for their periods by elevating the menstruation conversation once and for all.
Question 1: What will my period be like?
It’s been a while since you were trapped in a preteen body. So, close your eyes for a moment. Think back to a time when you felt awkward and uncomfortable in your own skin—perhaps the first time you had to drag your face into homeroom with a pimple that felt bigger and redder than Rudolph’s nose. Add to that sensation the anticipation of a bodily change that was totally foreign and rife with potential for embarrassment. Talk about terror!
So, while you might feel uneasy or unsure of how to broach period education with your daughter, she needs you to do it. If you can share with her plainly what will happen to her body and why you’ll help her be as ready as possible for the moment her period begins. By demystifying menstruation, you’ll give her the confidence she needs to navigate her first period once it arrives. What a gift!
Question 2: When and where will I get my period?
There’s a good chance you won’t be around when your daughter’s first period arrives. So, think about the next best thing you can do. In addition to explaining what she can expect before it happens and what to do about it, you can give your daughter a readiness kit to carry with her so that she’s prepared.
When a girl’s period starts anywhere but home, she’s often caught off guard. A readiness kit will not only give your daughter what she needs when her period starts, but it will also provide her with something even more valuable and priceless: peace of mind.
Question 3: What will I do when I get my period?
I can still remember crying on the phone to my aunt when I got my period, asking her what I should do. I’m sure you have a similar story, but it doesn’t have to be that way for your daughters or mine. By arming girls with knowledge and a readiness kit, we can change their first-period experience for the better.
Once your daughter has the knowledge and the tools, on the day her period arrives she will know exactly what to do. She’ll be prepared for this rite of passage and will act from a place of confidence rather than fear. Not only that, she can help other girls who are less prepared.
A ready girl is a confident girl
Let’s reject that idea that periods shouldn’t be discussed in polite company. Let’s refuse to use euphemisms to imply that menstruation is a shameful condition to be feared. On the contrary, a girl’s first period is a sign of health and vitality. It’s a rite of passage that we should celebrate.
If you’re with me but still feel overwhelmed, you aren’t alone. I know it’s difficult to have this conversation with your daughters because most of us have never been coached on how to start it. That’s why I was inspired to create the Penny Pack: to help my own daughters navigate the transition from girlhood to womanhood and to help other parents do the same for their daughters.
The Penny Pack provides parents, grandparents, and caregivers with the essential tools they need to have a positive conversation with girls about their period. A ready girl is a confident girl! The pack includes all the things discussed in this post, plus a hands-on teaching tool that brings the topic to life like never before. Curious to learn more?