When to talk to your daughter about AF?? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-02-2009, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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Old 09-02-2009, 08:52 PM
 
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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
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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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!

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Old 09-02-2009, 10:44 PM
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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.
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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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.

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Old 09-03-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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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.

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Old 09-03-2009, 02:01 AM
 
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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

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Old 09-03-2009, 02:35 AM
 
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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 )

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Old 09-03-2009, 02:54 AM
 
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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.
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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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.

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Old 09-03-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

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Old 09-03-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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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.

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Old 09-07-2009, 12:02 AM
 
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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.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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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?
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Old 09-07-2009, 04:01 AM
 
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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.

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Old 09-07-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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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!

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Old 09-07-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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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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Old 09-09-2009, 05:26 AM
 
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Here's another book my dd really likes:

http://www.amazon.com/Care-Keeping-Y.../dp/1562476661

It addresses all sorts of things, like hair growth, pimples, hygiene, etc., in a light way. We're very open with my dds and they are already well-informed, but this book has my older dd asking me questions she hadn't thought of before, so it's helping her feel prepared and in control.

We've also played around with pads, looked at how absorbant they are, talked about my diva cup, etc. Both of my girls have had times when they would put a Kleenex or something in their underwear to "be like Mommy," which I figure was a good thing for them to do in order to get used to the whole idea.

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Old 09-13-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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I talked w/my dd early on, so I think she "sort of" got what I was talking about. But an eye opener here--I really needed to go over all of it again recently. I had assumed too much, and, now that dd is experiencing the changes in her body/mood forst hand, the conversation is meaningful in a more concrete way. Best advice-keep talking about everything, often. And, ask what they're hearing from their friends. I was a little surprised.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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I explained it to DD when she found the tampons and pads in the bathroom cupboard and insisted on knowing what they were. I think she was around 4-5.

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Old 09-17-2009, 12:50 AM
 
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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

I'm in the same position, my dd just turned 9 though and we've never had "the talk". I figured she would start asking questions when I got prego with the 3 yr old but nope. She's starting to develop so I know we need to have the talk soon, I am not looking forward to it for a variety of reasons.

Seriously?
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:54 AM
 
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I'm in the same position, my dd just turned 9 though and we've never had "the talk". I figured she would start asking questions when I got prego with the 3 yr old but nope. She's starting to develop so I know we need to have the talk soon, I am not looking forward to it for a variety of reasons.
It really gets a lot easier once the ice is broken. Using one of the books mentioned in this thread will probably help you with your own sense of shyness. Just think of how you would feel if she started her period before hearing from you about it, if you need a bit of encouragement to actually take the plunge.

She's definitely old enough -- some of her friends will start soon if they haven't already. I expect my DD1 (who turns 10 next month) to start sometime this year, based on her physical development. I wish it weren't so early, but there's not much I can do about that.

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Old 09-17-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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It really gets a lot easier once the ice is broken. Using one of the books mentioned in this thread will probably help you with your own sense of shyness. Just think of how you would feel if she started her period before hearing from you about it, if you need a bit of encouragement to actually take the plunge.

She's definitely old enough -- some of her friends will start soon if they haven't already. I expect my DD1 (who turns 10 next month) to start sometime this year, based on her physical development. I wish it weren't so early, but there's not much I can do about that.

Its not the physical stuff, well it is but the bigger factor is its going to lead to questions such as "who is my father?" and "why can't I meet him?" once she learns it takes 2 to make a baby. She has never asked about her father, ever. Seriously, she hasn't and every councilor I've ever talked to has told me to wait until she brings it up and I have waited. From the time she was born I have told her our family has 3 people, a mama, a baby and a grandma (we lived with my mom until she was 3) and when asked about her dad she just replied "I don't have one" with no sadness or anything, just matter of fact. I haven't wanted to approach it really because I worry she will be really hurt. Its one thing if he were dead but I mean how do you spin "he wanted nothing to do with you and agreed to terminate his parental rights to get rid of you as fast as possible" more then "he couldn't be a part of your life"? Either way she's going to be hurt when she finds out she does have one and no she can't meet him nor will I help her find him until she is an adult and emotionally capable of meeting him.

Seriously?
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:46 PM
 
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I'm in the same position, my dd just turned 9 though and we've never had "the talk". I figured she would start asking questions when I got prego with the 3 yr old but nope. She's starting to develop so I know we need to have the talk soon, I am not looking forward to it for a variety of reasons.
I can see how it would be difficult from reading your next post, but my mom was nine when she started. I would hate for your daughter to start and be terrified because there's blood coming out and she doesn't know why.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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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.
yeah, as a mother of 3 girls, we have always been open about our bodies and menstruation. as a result they seem to be very confident and while they may not look forward to getting their periods, they certainly arent scared or nervous about it.

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Old 10-05-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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I've been thinking about this as well...I remember being terrified and not believing such a thing could happen when I heard it from my friends
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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My daughter is only 5 but I have been thinking about this too as of late. I worry about telling her too soon but then I fear being to late. I knew AF existed but really knew nothing about it until 5th grade. Luckily I did not start until I was in 6th grade.
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