If you do celebrate it please don't follow it up with, 'now you are becoming a woman'. This was the phrase I heard and it horrified me. How could I be a woman at 11? I mean just because I happened to bleed and having menstrual cramps?!
I personally think the cute packs some parents put together for there daughters were sweet but not very environmentally friendly. But if you don't mind you could do that as a activity with her. Like go to the store, explain the differences between pads and tampons and the different absorbency's. Buy a cute pack to keep them in, a calendar and some stickers, buy a heat pack etc or the more environmentally friendly way could be to make your own pads, tampons or use a menstrual cup.
Really depends on what your DD was like but I didn't like the way my parents treated it. My dad was like woohoo your a woman! and my mum was like eh. great.
Neither of my DDs felt it was something to celebrate or make a fuss over.
I put together a box for each of them with a variety of products so they could try things out and a mirror. (which I found very helpful when first figuring out tampons). I bought bright pretty boxes from Micheals -- the size to store photos. I brought really nice stickers that represented things my DDs liked and let them decorate the outside of the boxes.
These boxes became very private to my DDs and they stores them out of sight. One ended up using it to store supplies in for a long time.
My DDs both love spending time with me, but neither wanted to "celebrate" getting their periods.
You are responding to me. My intent was not to be "cute" but to let my DDs figure out what sort of products they liked and what worked for them. I find the idea of looking as boxes of feminine hygiene supplies as a way to figure out what actually works for you to be a bit -- unrealistic. They are sealed boxes. These are very personal items. No one can tell from looking at boxes what the product is like or how it works for them. Or even knows right off the bat how heavy they will flow, or how often, or..... anything.
Second, neither of my DD wanted to spend ANY time on "The Aisle," much less having a public conversation about absorbances or tampons with applicators vs. tampons without them. (BTW, both my DDs were swimming competitively when they got their first periods, so how to continue going to swim practice was big issue).
Putting it all in cute box was just trying to take the sting out of something that neither of my DDs was the least bit happy about. They liked having little girl bodies -- they think women's bodies are a bit ...... high maintenance with tremendous potential for being embarrassing.
I've talked to both my DDs about cloth pads, sea sponges, and cups, and neither are interested in those options at this time. I feel this is a DEEPLY personal decision and feel that real damage could be done to a young woman's feelings towards her body and her relationship with her mother by forcing an option that was not what the daughter wanted.
For me, this was all about Control -- giving my DD's all of it that I could. Their biggest concerns were how to go about there lives as though nothing had changed, how to handle changing and disposing of things when away from home, how to never have a leak, and how to keep this information as private as possible.
A few products did get wasted - but not many. Partly because I'm not picky about what I use!
Also, I think there is a big difference between a desire for privacy and being ashamed. I think that sometimes this issue get stated that if a young woman doesn't want to chat about her new periods with all her mom's friends, then she's ashamed. I don't agree with that -- I think that a desire to keep some information private is very reasonable and can be quite healthy.
Well I wasn't directly responding I just went on a tangent of my own.
I never thought about it being embarrassing to go down the aisle because me and my mom argued in there about what we were buying this month all the time and it wasn't really something that was very private in our house either. I think going to an all girls school helped with this too (everyone loved to complain that they couldn't do sport because they had there period) so its a little bit tricky for me to get how you would want to be private about it but each to there own.
I introduced my sister to them because she came home one day and said her friend had got her period but no one had any sanitary items to give her so they had to wait in the bathroom until a senior walked in with some. So I asked if she would like to make a cute little pack that she could keep in her school bag in case she got it there. So I took her to the shop and explained which ones I thought were good and why and we bought a couple of different ones to try. Some obviously woudn't be appropiate because she was petite like me and I knew they wouldn't fit. (pads that is) At the time they had a youth range.
Its only now that I'm more environmentally aware and think that those are viable options to introduce too. I didn't mean to imply they should be the only choices. Its just I didn't know at the time and now I'm more aware I would introduce them too and maybe push them a bit more because although at first they are more annoying to get used to if you get used to them when you are young you would save a lot of money and landfill. Even if you used them part of the time like at home.
I think celebrating a period is overkill but maintaining a weird air of secrecy like some of my friends. I question whether they are really comfortable with it. In the end each to there own. (not responding just summarising my opinion to the question.)