NOT to talk with 10yo about menstruation, breast feeding... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you have a 10yo DD, would you find it inappropriate to discuss these topics? I have a DS and DD and I am VERY OPEN about whatever they ask. However, they are only 3 and 5yo, so maybe I am talking out of my arse?

I was visiting a dear friend, and she said she found breast feeding so hard and did not get proper support at LLL meetings. She then asked me if I found it hard to breast feed. I said later on it was great, but described how difficult it was in the beginning - latch, pain, clogged breasts.... I was talking normally but she kept whispering, because her 10yo DD was with us. At one point, my friend said "you can tell your children what you want, but my DD does not need to hear this." So I whispered. I was in her home, her guest, so I respected that. But in my mind I was thinking, this is all basic stuff, not dirty hush-hush stuff, and maybe just what her DD should be listening to!

Fast forward a week later, and my friend quietly told me about being in a horrid mood from her period. Again her daughter was in the room with us. I told my friend how I was bleeding really really heavy the last two years, and now I was concerned it might mean I had a problem with my iron levels. She cut me off and said "we can talk about this quietly, or we can't talk about it at all."

In both instances, my friend brought up the topics. In both instances I respected her wishes to not discuss it around her daughter. But I felt really weird about that, as if I was promoting breast feeding and menstration to be hush-hushh, dirty tpics, instead of normal, natural processes. I couldn't figure out why my friend didn't want her daughter to hear these things, and she didn't tell me why not. If you won't talk about these things with a 10 yo, can you tell me why not?
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#2 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 07:48 AM
 
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Wow. I am surprised that this girl's mother is so against discussion of normal bodily functions. Especially because at 10 she may already be developing breast buds, and will most likely get her first period within the next two years! It sounds like the mom is kind of hung up on anything she perceives as sexual, even though breastfeeding and menstruation are not (in my mind) sexual topics. I can't help but feel sorry for the girl and I hope her mom adopts a more open mindset before discussing these things with her daughter (as she will very shortly have to do!)
Starting my own period (at 11) was tough enough just dealing with the strange sensations, painful cramps, worrying about staining my clothes or bleeding through in public, etc. -- thankfully I could at least talk about it openly with my mom and knew enough ahead of time to understand what was happening to me!

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#3 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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I talk about both with my 3 year old. I think she has issues and is passing them on to her DD who will no doubt grow up feeling ashamed of her period and doubting her ability to ever BF.
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#4 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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*optimistic face*

Is it possible that because you and she were discussing PROBLEMS that you were having with periods/breastfeeding, that she didn't want to scare her daughter? 10 years old is of the age where she's probably thinking about/worried about/immiently dealing with those things.
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#5 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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That would be sad if I was the daughter, as I started my menses at the ripe old age of 9!
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#6 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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I have an almost 10 yr old DS and he knows about BFing and a little about Periods. He asks a lot of questions and I tell him the truth.
Why would she bring up such conversations in front of her DD, to tell you not to talk about it? Kinda odd. If you are with her again and she brings it up, I'd tell her that you do not want to discuss it with her since she takes such issue with her daughter being there.

On a side note, I would say something to her on the phone or when you are together alone. I'd ask her when she might want to talk to her daughter about Periods since she is 10 and most girls get their 1st Period btw 11-14.

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#7 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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Luckily my mom talked to me about both because I started to develop breasts when I was 9 and got my period when I was 11. It was hard for me to deal with because I was immature, but at least I knew what was going on with my body. My mom (I was the fourth girl in the family ) was very casual and matter of fact.

My seven year old son is an only child, but he has an idea of what periods and BF are, more about BF.
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#8 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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As I am finding, there is truly a wide range in terms of what parents talk about with their children. Too bad-it seems like there was some missed opportunity for conversation there.
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#9 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I agree with Caudex -- maybe she was uncomfortable with the idea that you were talking about issues and problems and she didn't want her daughter to worry. I know I have talked about periods to my 7 YO DD but I probably wouldn't want to talk about "heavy bleeding" with her now because it might scare her and give her an exagerated picture of what to expect. And I don't want her to be scared of starting her period. Same with breastfeeding -- I have certainly talked about it and explained how it works, but I didn't (and probably won't until she is ready to be a mommy herself) talk about how hard it was to start, how I cried for the first week and how my nipples bled... Precisely because I want her to think of these things as normal, natural, "no big deal" things a not stress over all of the potential problems that could happen.

That said, if you are close friends, I would try to have a phone conversation about why she is so "hush hush" about this and if she doesn't want her daughter to hear things why she keeps bringing them up. Maybge you two should schedule a mom's night out with a couple of drinks and no kids around?
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#10 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
That would be sad if I was the daughter, as I started my menses at the ripe old age of 9!
I started when I was 10!

Heavy bleeding and pain run in my family and my mother wanted me to be aware of that so I could be prepared...she never kept it from me. Personally, I would want my daughter to know so that she isn't taken by surprise.

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#11 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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I have a 21 yo dd and also an 11 yo dd. With both I was/am very open about bodily functions. They both have seen a sibling born. They both have seen me breastfeed (all of that applies to my son too, btw), and they both knew about menstruation well before they start(ed)-my 11 yo has yet to start. I would not necessarily have wanted them to know of all the problems that I've had or that can occur because I wouldn't want to scare them. We are realistic, but at the appropriate time. Right before my 11 yo starts to menstruate isn't the time I'd want to be discussing the negatives of it all. I want her to celebrate, not worry.

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#12 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I too am hoping that she just didn't want to her DD to be privy to conversations about problems with those two things.

That being said, we have never had a problem with talking about menstruation or breastfeeding with DD even when she was younger. And if my mom or baby mama happened to be there when the topic came up, all the better, two women DD respects who were just as willing to talk about them too.

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#13 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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I would find that strange. 10 year olds SHOULD know about that stuff! At least menstruation. I started my period when I was 11 and even though I knew pretty much what the deal was it still completely freaked me out because no one ever talked to me about it. I had one of those sex-ed pamphlets from school that explained to me how to use a pad and stuff. That was it. It was years before I felt comfortable talking to my mom about my period, even if it was just to ask her to buy more pads.

I would even say that 10 is a good age to discuss sex, though maybe not graphically. I wouldn't tell my friends the dirty details about last night's romp with a kid in the room, ya know? But basic, frank discussions about sexual issues, I wouldn't think would be a problem.

And breastfeeding isn't even sexual, but whatever.

I'd probably just not talk about it at all since your friend seems to have issues with those things. I'd feel weird whispering.
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#14 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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Your friend starts the topic and then gets mad at you for talking about it in front of her dd? Does she have an excuse for being horrible or is she just a bad person?

Anyway, if this is just one small aberration in an otherwise good relationship, I'd call her out on this and suggest she email you about the topics in the future. And that she can probably find a good book to save her dd from not learning about menstruation until it's happening and terrifying. (Breastfeeding, you can talk to her dd when her dd is pregnant and tell her to get more help than just her mom.)
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#15 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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What

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#16 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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That's just weird.
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#17 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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I think you should slip a book or two to your friend's poor child!

I like these! http://www.americangirlpublishing.co...pingOfYou.aspx

http://www.amazon.com/Deal-Whole-App...ref=pd_sim_b_5

Okay, I am half kidding because your friend would probably be furious with you, but the kid is gonna learn from somewhere...it is probably alot better to have accurate books than to hear it from classmates! Can you ask your friend why she feels like she needs to shelter her 10 year old from these subjects? I think it is weird. I have a ten yr. old who I am very open with about all subjects regarding the body, it's changes, sex, etc.

Mama to A born 8/7/99
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#18 of 45 Old 02-23-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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Since my dd started menstruating at 10, I was pleased that she knew what it was. Can you imagine how frightening that would be for a little girl if she had no idea what it was? I see no problem with either that or bf discussion - young ladies need to know & understand how their bodies work. And I want her to feel comfortable coming to me when & if she experiences challenges of her own.
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#19 of 45 Old 02-24-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Your friend starts the topic and then gets mad at you for talking about it in front of her dd? Does she have an excuse for being horrible or is she just a bad person?

Anyway, if this is just one small aberration in an otherwise good relationship, I'd call her out on this and suggest she email you about the topics in the future. And that she can probably find a good book to save her dd from not learning about menstruation until it's happening and terrifying. (Breastfeeding, you can talk to her dd when her dd is pregnant and tell her to get more help than just her mom.)
I'd probably act along those lines. In your place I'd feel seriously annoyed, too - why bring it up at all if others present (in this case the child) aren't supposed to hear it? I don't think I'd be willing to talk about breastfeeding and menstruation as if they were something dirty.
As for not wanting to expose a 10y old to possible complications with BF or menstruation: again, then don't start such a conversation in her presence.

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#20 of 45 Old 02-24-2010, 06:05 AM
 
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I just wanted to say, just because she didnt want to have those conversations in front of her DD does not necessarily mean her DD has had no education in those matters. When I was 9 I knew what menstruation and breastfeeding were. I even knew that sometimes women can have problems like cramps etc. However, my mother has NEVER discussed her menstruation or breastfeeding in front of me. I didn't even find out she had a hysterectomy a few years ago until after the fact. I think some women simply think that that sort of information about their bodies and personal experiences is private. I mean, you can tell your kids about sex, but many people would not give their children details about their sex life. Giving them information about the process is different from giving details about personal experience. I'm not saying I agree- there is certainly information that would have been helpful to hear from my mother- I didn't menstruate until I was almost 15 for instance, I have NO idea when she started, but if she started late too, it would have been comforting to know. However, I did know all the general information by that age.
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#21 of 45 Old 02-24-2010, 07:14 AM
 
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Many girls start having sex at 10 and even may get their period. I personally feel it would not be wise to hide such things from a girl who is on the verge of developing into a young lady. Without an education she isn't going to know when to say no to a boy or what to do when her period starts. My mother never talked to me about periods which led me to hide it when it happened (by burning the things i got from sex ed in my bedroom and i think even catching the bed on fire once. Hey, I was 12. Give me a break. A short chat from MOM not a teacher would have done a world of wonder). Hiding scientific things about a woman's body may hinder her is all I am saying. But it IS her child so you can't say much. Maybe you could throw out the statistics of how many 10 year olds are already sexually active, of which I don't know. I just know many girls who told me their stories of their youth back in the 80's when they were young so lord knows the 10's.
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#22 of 45 Old 02-24-2010, 07:22 AM
 
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Very very few 10 year olds are sexually active and those who are are being raped. At 10 they are not legally capable of consent. That's a way bigger issue than whether or not you know about periods.
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#23 of 45 Old 02-24-2010, 08:19 AM
 
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My mom was kind of like that with me. I don't think she could have verbalized it like that, but she did not talk about stuff like that with me. When she did later on when I was an adult, she still sort of whispers about it. It's weird.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#24 of 45 Old 02-24-2010, 08:32 AM
 
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Of course I'd want to talk to a ten year old about these things! It gives her information she needs, but more importantly it lets her know I am willing to talk. I'm afraid your friend's daughter won't have anyone to ask questions of when she gets into her teens and bigger issues than periods and breastfeeding arise.

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#25 of 45 Old 02-24-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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I just wanted to say, just because she didnt want to have those conversations in front of her DD does not necessarily mean her DD has had no education in those matters. When I was 9 I knew what menstruation and breastfeeding were. I even knew that sometimes women can have problems like cramps etc. However, my mother has NEVER discussed her menstruation or breastfeeding in front of me. I didn't even find out she had a hysterectomy a few years ago until after the fact. I think some women simply think that that sort of information about their bodies and personal experiences is private. I mean, you can tell your kids about sex, but many people would not give their children details about their sex life. Giving them information about the process is different from giving details about personal experience. I'm not saying I agree- there is certainly information that would have been helpful to hear from my mother- I didn't menstruate until I was almost 15 for instance, I have NO idea when she started, but if she started late too, it would have been comforting to know. However, I did know all the general information by that age.
I suppose that's possible. . .but then what the mom did was like starting a conversation about her sex life in front of her daughter, and then getting mad at the OP for participating in it. It's just weird.

You know, if it were JUST the period talk, I might think that maybe her daughter was having a lot of anxiety about starting her period and her mother didn't want to either make her uncomfortable about talking about it at all or more anxious by bringing up what could go wrong. But the breastfeeding thing really baffles me. I don't think I could let that lie without addressing it with my friend when her dd isn't around - maybe through an email. I wouldn't come off accusatory and angry about it, just try to find out what her line of thought was. And then I'd probably offer my opinion and then ask her not to bring up topics in front of her daughter that she doesn't want to discuss in front of her daughter and let her know that it's beyond MY comfort level to talk about certain topics as though there is shame attached.
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#26 of 45 Old 02-25-2010, 02:51 AM
 
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I talk openly about these things with my 10 year old, even though I'm quite confident HE won't be menstruating or breastfeeding any time soon.
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#27 of 45 Old 02-25-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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I can see wanting to talk about things with your adult friends that you wouldn't discuss in the same detail with your ten year old.
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#28 of 45 Old 02-26-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I started when I was 10!

Heavy bleeding and pain run in my family and my mother wanted me to be aware of that so I could be prepared...she never kept it from me. Personally, I would want my daughter to know so that she isn't taken by surprise.
Me too. I have told my dd we have a history of difficulty, but that now I have learned a lot about things we could have done to help, so we will be able to do things to help. I have a special charting journal waiting for her for her red party, so that she can keep track and feel empowered.

I would gently approach your friend and see if you can help her get a dialog going between you two, maybe it would help her speak more freely with her dd.

(sorry if this is off, I didn't get to read the whole thread)

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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#29 of 45 Old 02-26-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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My mother was super conservative and didn't like to discuss anything sexual, and menstrating was either in that category or it was just too super personal that it made her extremely uncomfortable to discuss it openly. She left it to the school system to teach me (in christian school at the time) about my "womanly functions". It wasn't until I was getting debilitating cramps that she was understanding and helpful.

I too was really squimish about talking about such things until after I got married and my husbands family had no problems talking about anything. Buying supplies at the grocery store was always difficult and embarassing for me. It wasn't until my dh offered to go to the store for me a couple times (and did) when I wasn't feeling well that I started asking myself, "If he can buy these for me what do I have to be embarassed about?" It took me a while, but I had to make a consious decission to change my thinking about my views on menstration. This is a normal bodily function that NO woman should ever be embarassed about.

Take this friend out for coffee, just you and her, leave the kiddos at home and have just have a conversation with her. Ask her why she feels it necessary to hide such subjects from her daughter, who is already old enough to have started her period. Why is she embarassed by these subjects? If you can talk openly to her about these subjects (even in whispers) she will gradually become more comfortable discussing them on a whole.

Do reminder her that if she is too embarassed to talk opening to her dd about these subjects, her dd will eventually find other sources to gain her information (correct or incorrect) that bypasses mom, mainly friends her own age. I know from experience that daughters will not go to mom with questions if we know it will make them obviously uncomfortable. If discussing our period is difficult, then sex topics are complete out of the question.
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#30 of 45 Old 02-26-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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I would have a really hard time not telling her that she was being ridiculous.

I really don't get why she brings it up in front of her daughter, then tells you to be quiet around her daughter like you're the one who made it dirty. I mean, I was always brought up that it was rude to whisper in front of other people, ten year olds included.

I wonder if her daughter is one of those kids that listens extra closely to adults whispering, and its like reverse psychology?

except she forgot to tell you? not likely, eh?

That's just silly. Both acts are normal and healthy bodily functions...let me guess, she calls her vagina/vulva area her "down there".

Next time she pulls that, I would tell her to stop being absurd, and clue her in to the fact that in this area of life what her daughter doesn't know will most certainly hurt her!

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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