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When to talk to your daughter about AF??

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
My daughter is 8 and I want to talk to her about AF so that if it should happen soon she knows about it and is not worried something is wrong. I am really torn on how I should do it or even bring it up? Any tips or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 30
You could get a book to read with her. I've seen this one recommended, although I haven't read it personally (I have read "It's so amazing!" about sexuality with my dd, by the same authors).

My dd has known about menstruation since preschool age, because she never let me use the bathroom alone, lol. But I always liked using the "nest" analogy--every month, a woman's body builds a nest for an egg that could be fertilized and grow into a baby. And every month that a baby doesn't grow (most months), the "nest" flows out...and the cycle begins again
post #3 of 30
most definitely talk to her before it happens, lol! My mom didn't, I started at school in the 5th grade, and though something was seriously wrong with me! And of course, sex-ed came up the week after I started my period!
post #4 of 30
I'm kind of surprised she doesn't already know about menstruation - we've been talking about it in our house since our girls were babies. They see me practicing Traditional Menstrual Care and they know all about my time of the month. I think it's important for daughters to see their mothers embracing their Moon Time in a positive and respectful way, so that, like anything else we'd want to model, they learn to appreciate their womanhood and take it on with appreciation of their fertility.

There is SO much negativity surrounding Moon Times in mainstream media -(and now BIG PHARMA is even marketing a medication to eliminate it!) I think it's really important that mothers portray it lovingly and positively and as the gift of life that it is.
post #5 of 30
I very strongly feel that both boys and girls should be told about their bodies and reproduction at a very young age. I talk about it with my 2yoDD every time I go to the bathroom while on my period and my 7yoDS knows more about menstruation than some grown women.
Unless your DD is very sheltered I'd doubt that she is ignorant of it. She's probably heard about it from friends and/or media and may have misconceptions or feel that it's something shameful since you don't share it with her. I'd approach it carefully but casually in case she's embarrassed by it, feel her out first and see what she knows. At 8yo she can handle all the details and IMO deserves to know exactly what it is and how/why it works.
post #6 of 30
if your dd doesn't already know about it, 8 is a good time to introduce it - together with the whole idea of puberty. 8 is a good time to talk about this kind of stuff because it's close enough to be interesting, but distant enough that they're not too worried today.

I would definitely start with some reading. We've got "It's not the Stork" and I like it. I think it's aimed at K-grade 3 - so your 8 year old is at the top of the range for this. There are some other books out there specifically for girls (a version of Our Bodies, Our Selves, for example) that might be good to get. I don't remember if it talks about menstruation or not.

Introduce her to whatever 'feminine hygiene' products you use. Explain to her how they work, and what her options are. I too like the 'nest analogy'.

The biggest thing, I think, is to view this as an on-going conversation, rather than a one time thing. Like a pp, my kids never let me go to the bathroom alone, so once AF returned, they saw it all. Ds (8) has asked less than dd (5), but both know that when I'm bleeding, it means that I'm not having a baby. Usually I get a question from her about every other month. This month's question was "How do you know when you're pregnant?"

Since your dd is older, it's going to be a bit more difficult to get the spontaneous questions. So, I think you might need to set up some reading together periodically, so that the questions she has can percolate a bit.
post #7 of 30
My DS is 7 and he already knows all about it.

We're not shy around here and that kind of thing comes up in conversation all the time.

Anyway, I'd start talking to her about it soon. I have no good suggestions on how to bring it up if it's a completely new topic for you two, but I'm sure you'll get great ideas from the wise women here
post #8 of 30
All of my children learn about it at about age 2. We discuss it as a very natural thing and that God is cleaning out the baby's house. (usually a baby has been born and that is why it comes up )
post #9 of 30
maybe talk to her about next time you are having af? idk, mama! i think it depends on your relationship with your dd how you would broach the subject.

the way my mom did it GROSSED me out completely and i had issues for years. unfortunately, i blocked it out and can't quite remember how she did it. i think it started along the lines of " you might start to have 'feeeeeelings' soon" *shudder*. and she always used the words "discharge", smegma and vagina. YUCK.

my dd is 3 and she knows all about yonis, uteruses, fallopian tubes, ovaries, wombs, placentas, uterus-blood etc etc.

we talk about growing up, getting big breasts (nay-nays), growing armpit and yoni hair and getting uterus blood.

it just kind of comes up naturally, i guess.

i honestly wouldn't know how to talk to her about it at the age of 8 if i never had before.

i might plan a special girls day and talk about getting her moon and that we are going to get a special box and supplies for moon-time. i would let her pick out some cool cloth pads in patterns/colors she liked. some special skivvies to wear during moon-time. a journal to write in (talk to her about pms and stress), toni weshclers book for girls, maybe a candle or some yummy soap.

that's what i would do!

hth mama and let us know how it goes!:

eta: sometimes she calls it yoni blood, she sometimes says "when i grow up and get yoni blood, then i can be a mama and have babies!" it's a happy thing for her, when she talks about it she's totally stoked.
post #10 of 30
what does she already know?

what has she asked you?

introduce the topic and then let her lead the questions.

my dd grew up knowing about AF right from the beginning. seh was curious right from the beginning so she knew a lot. by 4 seh knew all the basic info. and about the birds and bees.

i also agree let it be a on going conversation and not a one time thing.

i think as a woman your dd would like to hear from you - the experience of it, rather than from a book. however if you feel uncomfortable then read the book together.

we just used a medical dictionary mainly for the pictures.
post #11 of 30
OT a bit, but this conversation reminded me of how my (then) 2 year old little sister used to dig the paper backing from the pads out of the garbage can and wear them in her underpants. It always made me laugh and kind of freaked my mom out a bit.
post #12 of 30
This came up way back in the "where babies come from" talk. As in "a woman's body prepares for pregnancy every month . . ." or something along those lines. That might be a good way to introduce the topic.
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for all the great ideas, I will be stopping and getting a book for her this weekend, and perhaps one for my son about his body too, he is 6. It not that we have avoided the conversation, I have only had AF 5 times in the last 9 years myself so its not like she would notice anything. We have talked about where babies come from to an extent but she has never asked exactly how they get in there. She is the oldest of four so she has experience with mommy being pregnant, Idk it just never really came up and now im like crap she is 8 we need to talk about this, and I really agree it has to be an ongoing thing, we have a very open relationship she knows she can ask anything and I want to keep it that way. I didnt have the with my own mother.

Thanks again ladies great advice.

Lindsay
post #14 of 30
I believe in talking to kids early on about reproduction and body functions. My daughter has known about menstruation since she was old enough to notice what was going on. She's know all about sex and reproduction and eggs and sperm since she was about 5 years old. I think we started talking and reading about it when she was late-three or early-four. She just turned six last month.

This has the advantage of it being completely normal and "non gross" for her." As a disadvantage... Well, we were in a restaurant last week, and she was talking to a woman with a new baby and said, "Did you know that it is the SPERM that gets to decide if a baby is a boy or a girl? It is not the egg's job." The woman practically inhaled her pad thai.
post #15 of 30
DD learned about menstruation when she asked about where babies come from. We explained to her that at a certain age a girls body starts producing eggs every month and when it meets up with sperm it becomes an egg, if not then it leaves the body a couple of weeks later. That was somewhere around age 4. We added to it since then and she knows probably more about mentruation then most of her peers and probably a good number of adults too.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
DD learned about menstruation when she asked about where babies come from. We explained to her that at a certain age a girls body starts producing eggs every month and when it meets up with sperm it becomes an egg, if not then it leaves the body a couple of weeks later. That was somewhere around age 4. We added to it since then and she knows probably more about mentruation then most of her peers and probably a good number of adults too.
Since I am an adult with two grown children and have no idea what AF is I would have to agree with that.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommaof 4 View Post
My daughter is 8 and I want to talk to her about AF so that if it should happen soon she knows about it and is not worried something is wrong. I am really torn on how I should do it or even bring it up? Any tips or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
When I google AF I get Abercrombie and Fitch. WAIT A MINUTE == now I'm getting hits that indicate that AF is a euphemism for Aunt Flo - which means menstruation. So WHY are people who have made such a big deal in previous posts about how open and liberal their families are about things like pubic hair making such a deal about saying the word MENSTRUATION?
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanElizabeth View Post
When I google AF I get Abercrombie and Fitch. WAIT A MINUTE == now I'm getting hits that indicate that AF is a euphemism for Aunt Flo - which means menstruation. So WHY are people who have made such a big deal in previous posts about how open and liberal their families are about things like pubic hair making such a deal about saying the word MENSTRUATION?
AF is easier to type then menstruation.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanElizabeth View Post
When I google AF I get Abercrombie and Fitch. WAIT A MINUTE == now I'm getting hits that indicate that AF is a euphemism for Aunt Flo - which means menstruation. So WHY are people who have made such a big deal in previous posts about how open and liberal their families are about things like pubic hair making such a deal about saying the word MENSTRUATION?
THANK YOU! I had NO IDEA what AF meant, either!
post #20 of 30
When my DSDs were younger, the book "Growing Up, It's a Girl Thing" by Mavis Jukes was very helpful: http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Up-Its...2338356&sr=8-1
On our copy, it says specifically "Perfect for Girls 8 and Up". When I noticed underarm hair on DSD 10, I got "The Period Book" : http://www.amazon.com/Period-Book-Up...ref=pd_sim_b_3 and that was very helpful for her age at that point.
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