Do you celebrate your daughter's first menstruation? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 88 Old 03-09-2013, 08:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

The things I listed were not I want for my daughters, but what they want for themselves. Really, really, really big difference.  Huge difference. That you don't get that there is a difference is part of why your posts annoy me.

 

None of this is about me. At our house, we are past the "what mommy wants for your life" stage. 

 

You've decided your truth and what you think your DD's truth *should* be. But that isn't how it works. Adolescents get to decide their own truth, and giving them space to do that is part of raising strong young women is about.

 

An attitude of "hey, I figured all this out before you your born and this is the deal" won't work when you have an actual teenager, not if you want to have any sort of decent relationship with her, and not if you want her to find her own strength.

 

An attitude of "none of this is a big deal because I used cloth while sleeping in huts" will not be helpful to your DD at that stage of her life when this is A VERY BIG DEAL. Its as absurd as a mother reassuring her child on the first day of kindergarten that its nothing to get worked up over since mom once went off to college. When our children are experiencing things for the first time, its a big deal for them. And it really is about them, not us and what we've done in our lives.

 

This is a huge transition, and you only know what it is like to be on the other side of that transition. The parenting side is about how to get our DDs through the transition as well as possible, which does not include preaching about how they *should* feel about the whole thing.

 

The "this is all so great because some day you can reproduce the world" will not get you very far with your DD when she is 12 if you have raised her to have sense of herself. Its a crap thing to tell a child who just wants to have their own life.

 

My DD knew what periods were when they were toddlers. They've known how babies are made since you were off backpacking. You really don't have a monopoly on having an open relationship with your DD. That really doesn't make this a breeze. It would be nice if it did, but it doesn't.

 

I'm suspect responding to you is a waste of my time since you believe you already know all the answers. I hope you do a better job listening to your daughter than you do to listening to more experienced moms.


Great post!

As I posted in this thread before my dd did not react at all how I thought she would despite having an open and close relationship with no shame over periods and no mainstream upbringing.

I totally agree that from the parenting side you have to do what is right for your dd at the time and not what you think it should be or tell them how to feel about it.

My dd is not experiencing and responding to her period just like I did, so it doesn't matter that I have had a period for 26 years or how I feel about my period right now. She is her own person. If she comes to feel this body function is empowering for her that is nice, but if she views it as something that just happens then that is fine too. If she thinks it is annoying and hates it every month then that is her experience and I don't think I have a right to try to convince her that she is wrong to feel that way.

I think empowering our young women is respecting their experience is their own and allowing them to honestly feel how they feel.


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#32 of 88 Old 03-09-2013, 09:37 AM
 
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Ok Ladies,

 

If you reread my original post there is not one "should" in there. I also begin the most controversial phrase with "I wonder if," not "this is how it is." Please, a little patience and diplomacy will go much further here. I feel like one or two points get extracted from context, while other points get ignored, and the former become tar-and-feathering moments.

 

As far as having a monopoly on an open relationship with our daughters, it sounds like the "experienced moms" are claiming this. Yet I think even a woman without any children of her own can still have amazing insights that are useful to us all.

 

Is it possible to challenge each other in a more discussion-oriented way? I feel like the mothering.community is a place to "come and have your ass handed to you." I wish it were a little gentler.

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#33 of 88 Old 03-09-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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I too find it sad that so many people on this board don't celebrate such a big milestone and that there is such a big backlash against a poster who is trying to portray a positive image of menstruating to her child.  That is probably because I have a mother who portrayed menstruation as positive, despite it being an excruciating experience for her due to endometriosis and migraines, and who was able to balance passing on her values while also listening to mine and encouraging me to discover who I was.  There are many things I wish my mother had done differently but helping me embrace my body and my own belief system is something she excelled at because she didn't get mired down in dwelling on the bad side of bodies or the drawbacks of having a teenager discovering who they are by rejecting parental beliefs. 

 

If a celebration isn't what your child wants then of course you shouldn't do it, but many of the posts seem to be saying there is nothing to celebrate because periods suck and it seems that the girls in question aren't being asked what their viewpoint is.  How is this any worse than a new mom passing on her values to her child in the hopes that she will view menstruation and her body as a positive thing someday?  I doubt that she is naive enough to believe her child will blindly accept all her beliefs any more than those of you who teach your child about religion, organic living, or nonviolence are naive enough to believe your child will always embrace your beliefs.  She is simply providing another viewpoint.  I think her points are valid and obviously hit a nerve with many since there is such a strong backlash against them.

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#34 of 88 Old 03-09-2013, 07:41 PM
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Planning on it. :-)  DD just turned 13 and AF hasn't come yet.  I started at 12.  DD's best friend started earlier this year.  We made her up a "red bag" and her friend really liked it.  DD was so excited about the idea and so I know that we will do something.  She started thinking of lots of ideas after creating the red bag for her friend.

 

Amy

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#35 of 88 Old 03-09-2013, 11:38 PM
 
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Hi Redheather,

 

Menstruating for the first time was/is a big deal for you, but NOT for me, and not for my daughter.

 

I am not ashamed or disgusted by menstruation; I see it as a normal physiological process. In addition to menstruating, I also sweat, urinate, defecate and (in the past) lactated.  My eyes exude tears and and my ears, ear wax. I clear phlegm from from my throat and regularly blow snot from my nose. I am not ashamed of any of it (although in the interests of hygiene and privacy, I deal with most of those fluids and solids out of the public view) .

 

At times, I am awed by the miracle that all these things work and keep me healthy. When I first menstruated, I was interested and tested both the fluid and my own body's reaction to menstruation, but truly, I did not (and do not) feel it is a bigger deal for me than the fact that I pee regularly. That is my experience and my truth. Just as I respect that it IS a big deal to you, please respect my and my daughter's experience of thinking it is/was no big deal.

 

 

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Originally Posted by redheather View Post

I must say I am saddened by an overall downer note in many of these posts. It IS a "big deal" to begin menstruating. For one thing you can never go back. But more than that it is a time of power and potential coming into a girl's body. Our daughters do need us to celebrate them, but of course in a way that honors them and is not all about us.

 

I wonder if girls, and their moms, are speaking from a place of long-standing cultural shame and embarrassment about women's bodies.

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#36 of 88 Old 03-09-2013, 11:56 PM
 
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As far as having a monopoly on an open relationship with our daughters, it sounds like the "experienced moms" are claiming this. Yet I think even a woman without any children of her own can still have amazing insights that are useful to us all.

It's not that the experienced moms are the only ones who can claim connection to their daughter, but they've been through this particular issue and we haven't, so telling them their way of handing it is sad can come across as pretty disrespectful or dismissive (even after explaining it further.) I agree that any woman can have amazing insights, but I also hear where Linda and others are coming from. I'm a pretty earthy-birthy lady and my young kids already know about menstruation and normal birth... that doesn't mean they will feel the same way I do.  It took me years and lots of life experience to feel how I do about menstruation.  I was never ashamed but I was not happy about it either.  


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#37 of 88 Old 03-10-2013, 12:46 AM
 
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I am interested in this conversation, as I imagine my child to be being born soon ,&ALL that is to come. I also have had a struggle with endometriosis, & tried very hard for so long to become pregnant, though it was glass shattering pain. It is so personal. I still have to wonder about my relationship with bleeding so much....anyway jot sure how much i have to share tonight. I am already worrying my daughter could have endo also, it makes me feel a little guilty, as I sometimes feel angry that I had to inherit it also...It influences my view on the subject so much.
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#38 of 88 Old 03-10-2013, 10:01 PM
 
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I wasn't nuts about the way my mom handled menarche or how she helped me choose/use menstrual products--she was so low-key as to basically not be involved at all. I didn't want a huge, big fuss, but I would have liked a little more acknowledgment than I got. My daughter is still a toddler, so I'm taking notes for the future here. I do want to follow her cues on the matter when she gets older. I really like the idea of a box of different products. I also think that the freedom to choose reusables or disposables shouldn't be taken lightly. I knew a mom who was homeschooling her 8 yo and she was adamant that the little girl would use a menstrual cup once she started her period. I mean, the homeschooling part does remove the "trying to change a menstrual cup in a high school bathroom" aspect, but seriously, the idea of strongly pushing/forcing that choice on her daughter is pretty disturbing to me. 

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#39 of 88 Old 03-11-2013, 04:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate both sides of this conversation, including the input from moms whose kids are younger yet. We've all been through it on the other side, anyway.

 

I know I didn't want any acknowledgement at all, and would have rather just disappeared and had it all go away, but I know my daughter is very intersted in the changes she's going through and I think would like some kind of acknowledgement, though I'm sure nothing at all public - just something between us. I will make sure to continue reading her signals though as it gets closer.


Thanks, everyone!

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#40 of 88 Old 03-11-2013, 05:13 AM
 
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I relate to posts by red heather & one_girl.
My mom didn't talk to me about these things at all. I have five children of my own ranging in age from 26 to 7 years old. I grew up around women & girls who mostly whined & complained about their periods. No one in my environment voiced anything positive whatsoever about this feminine experience. I was excited to have my first period when I was twelve years old. I would have enjoyed celebrating with others in some way. I felt grateful that my body was doing what a healthy woman's body does. I felt a connection to other women, the rhythms of nature & the wonderful possibilities of motherhood in my future. I experienced the various discomforts & inconveniences associated with menstruation, but overall I felt happy to experience it, so I embraced it. I am grateful to have daughters to share it with. My oldest daughter introduced me to the menstral cup. We have laughed together about our cycles syncing up. My youngest daughter looks forward to having her first period & celebrating it in some way. I am 48 years old now, and realize that menopause is not far away. It will be a bittersweet change for me. For now I am happy to have a monthly reminder that I am fertile & a part of natures rhythms.
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#41 of 88 Old 03-11-2013, 06:43 AM
 
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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.

 

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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

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.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

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.redface.gif

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.)

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#42 of 88 Old 03-11-2013, 07:26 AM
 
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I also explained to her that now she was menstruating, that this meant she could get pregnant if she had sex.

We had already had the sex talk before, but I wanted to remind her again.

Not that it matters for your family anymore, but I think it's important for girls to know that they can get pregnant before they have their first period. (The first time she ovulates will precede the first time she menstruates.)


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#43 of 88 Old 03-11-2013, 12:13 PM
 
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I didnt do anything special with my daughter it was just another day.


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#44 of 88 Old 03-11-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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it seems that the girls in question aren't being asked what their viewpoint is.  How is this any worse than a new mom passing on her values to her child in the hopes that she will view menstruation and her body as a positive thing someday?  I doubt that she is naive enough to believe her child will blindly accept all her beliefs any more than those of you who teach your child about religion, organic living, or nonviolence are naive enough to believe your child will always embrace your beliefs.  She is simply providing another viewpoint.  I think her points are valid and obviously hit a nerve with many since there is such a strong backlash against them.

 

no, you've got it wrong. Very very wrong. After more than a decade of attachment parenting and gentle discipline, we long time mothering.com moms did not suddenly stop paying attention to what our children needed and suddenly decide to make it about us. Instead, we approached our daughters' menstruation the way we approached everything else in parenting, by paying attention to our sweet children and listening to them and providing what they seemed to need at the time. We practiced APing in this new phase.

 

The divide on this thread is mostly between moms who have been through this with their daughters, and women who have not played the role of mother in this transition.

 

The OPer didn't ask what our views were on menstruation or if we prefer reusable products to disposable. It wasn't a poll about whether menstruation is positive, negative, or neutral. It was a parenting question. And those of us who've talked about it as a parenting question have been told that our posts are "sad" by people who have never been through this parenting stage.

 

Yet so many posters have reported that the didn't even tell their own moms when they got their first periods. Those of us who have daughters who vented their unhappiness with this change or wanted the changed to not be marked are the moms who had created relationships where adolescent girls knew they could be f*cking honest.

 

If that honesty makes you sad, then it is your own DDs who will eventual pay the price. Stay on your high road and tell your DD how she should fell about everything, and then you can end up as one of the moms who doesn't know what is going on with your daughter.

 

It is no small thing to create a relationship with an adolescent girl where she can be honest. And there's nothing sad about it.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#45 of 88 Old 03-11-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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I followed my daughter's lead.  She was not ashamed or embarrassed, but she was certainly not inclined to celebrate.  I had made sure she had pads of her choice well before menarche.


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#46 of 88 Old 03-11-2013, 08:44 PM
 
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no, you've got it wrong. Very very wrong. After more than a decade of attachment parenting and gentle discipline, we long time mothering.com moms did not suddenly stop paying attention to what our children needed and suddenly decide to make it about us. Instead, we approached our daughters' menstruation the way we approached everything else in parenting, by paying attention to our sweet children and listening to them and providing what they seemed to need at the time. We practiced APing in this new phase.

 

The divide on this thread is mostly between moms who have been through this with their daughters, and women who have not played the role of mother in this transition.

 

The OPer didn't ask what our views were on menstruation or if we prefer reusable products to disposable. It wasn't a poll about whether menstruation is positive, negative, or neutral. It was a parenting question. And those of us who've talked about it as a parenting question have been told that our posts are "sad" by people who have never been through this parenting stage.

 

Yet so many posters have reported that the didn't even tell their own moms when they got their first periods. Those of us who have daughters who vented their unhappiness with this change or wanted the changed to not be marked are the moms who had created relationships where adolescent girls knew they could be f*cking honest.

 

If that honesty makes you sad, then it is your own DDs who will eventual pay the price. Stay on your high road and tell your DD how she should fell about everything, and then you can end up as one of the moms who doesn't know what is going on with your daughter.

 

It is no small thing to create a relationship with an adolescent girl where she can be honest. And there's nothing sad about it.

I actually have been through my dd planning her celebration for her period (which she did a year before starting it when I told her about my first period, being scared, and my mom taking us all out to tcby), starting her period, the mix of emotions, following her desire to have a more low key celebration, going over different product features, the conversations about tampons (which she is choosing not to use yet so she just misses swim team when her period comes), etc...  She is so far a very happy person who decides things for herself.  I also think that some of what redheather said is important to consider when choosing as a parent whether to initiate a conversation about whether your child would like to celebrate their first period in some way.  I think that our society as a whole treats periods in a very sad way because it is such an embarrassing thing for girls even when they are raised in a family that embraces MDC values and womanhood and having conversations on the topic of society and menstruation has been very helpful for my dd who has heard some demeaning things from a few mothers about her menstruating.  Being able to understand the societal context and knowing that her doctor and family think that society is wrong seems to have helped her.  And while some of the posts on this thread do speak about following a child's cues there are also some that speak to not doing that.  I still believe that it is wrong not to take your child's opinion into account and I have to wonder why you find that so offensive if you are actually all that happy with how things worked out with your kids since it sounds like you did take their opinions into account. 

 

I really don't understand the idea that passing on an opinion about something being a positive thing at a young age (be it menstruation, not hurting people, doing well in school, whatever) to a child means that you are forcing ideas on them.  I guess you older mothering.com mamas must never tell your child anything that isn't neutral.  I have no idea how to never voice an opinion on any subject in front of my child, it isn't in my nature, but kudos to you for figuring that one out!  I am going to stick with occasionally telling my dd my opinion and making sure I listen to hers and encourage her to be her own person and see how that works.  So far its what works for us and seems to excite my dd since she also likes having an opinion and loves a good debate. 

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#47 of 88 Old 03-12-2013, 04:21 AM
 
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I actually have been through my dd planning her celebration for her period (which she did a year before starting it when I told her about my first period, being scared, and my mom taking us all out to tcby), starting her period, the mix of emotions, following her desire to have a more low key celebration, going over different product features, the conversations about tampons (which she is choosing not to use yet so she just misses swim team when her period comes), etc...  She is so far a very happy person who decides things for herself.  I also think that some of what redheather said is important to consider when choosing as a parent whether to initiate a conversation about whether your child would like to celebrate their first period in some way.  I think that our society as a whole treats periods in a very sad way because it is such an embarrassing thing for girls even when they are raised in a family that embraces MDC values and womanhood and having conversations on the topic of society and menstruation has been very helpful for my dd who of heard some demeaning things from a few mothers about her menstruating.  Being able to understand the societal context and knowing that her doctor and family think that society is wrong seems to have helped her.  And while some of the posts on this thread do speak about following a child's cues there are also some that speak to not doing that.  I still believe that it is wrong not to take your child's opinion into account and I have to wonder why you find that so offensive if you are actually all that happy with how things worked out with your kids since it sounds like you did take their opinions into account. 

I really don't understand the idea that passing on an opinion about something being a positive thing at a young age (be it menstruation, not hurting people, doing well in school, whatever) to a child means that you are forcing ideas on them.  I guess you older mothering.com mamas must never tell your child anything that isn't neutral.  I have no idea how to never voice an opinion on any subject in front of my child, it isn't in my nature, but kudos to you for figuring that one out!  I am going to stick with occasionally telling my dd my opinion and making sure I listen to hers and encourage her to be her own person and see how that works.  So far its what works for us and seems to excite my dd since she also likes having an opinion and loves a good debate. 
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Well said one_girl! I have gone through this transition with my oldest daughter (21yrs), & also have a younger daughter (7yrs). I do not think experience= leverage to invalidate the feelings & opinions of others who have not experienced it. Kudos to those who have remained graceful in their responses on this topic!
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#49 of 88 Old 03-12-2013, 05:11 AM
 
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If the OP's daughter wants to celebrate getting her first period, that's fine.  To me, it's no big deal.  It's kinda like graduation celebrations for kindergarten or sports were everyone gets a trophy.   

 

I just don't understand the concept of celebrating getting a period.  Like I said before, I don't see what there is to celebrate.  Yeah, period DO suck, BIG time.  Tell me one good thing about a period, and spare me the whole "becoming a woman" crap.  They are nothing but a huge inconvience and a PITA, and that's not "society" telling me how to think, that's how I feel.  

 

To me, it's far more important to teach my daughter what the periods mean, how she can get pregnant and the importance of safe sex.

But that's not to say my way is right and the way others handle this is wrong.  It's a free country and anyone can celebrate anything they want to.  I was just offering my two cents.

 

However, I do have to agree with Redheather, that at times posting on this forum can be like entering the lion's den.  Maybe we should agree to disagree a little more.


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#50 of 88 Old 03-12-2013, 06:19 AM
 
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I really don't understand the idea that passing on an opinion about something being a positive thing at a young age (be it menstruation, not hurting people, doing well in school, whatever) to a child means that you are forcing ideas on them.  

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with passing on an opinion about something being positive. However, at the point when it is no longer about us and our opinions, but about what our daughters have decided for themselves based on their own life experiences, it's really a mute point. 

 

There really is a difference is talking about what one thinks and what one plans VS talking about how one's child experienced something. A lot of young women can easily come to the conclusion that menstruation is a PITA, not because of society or shame or anything of that, just because of the pragmatics. And their moms telling them how wonderful it is to be a woman really doesn't figure in.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#51 of 88 Old 03-12-2013, 08:27 PM
 
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i started at 10. i have dd prepared.

 

i also have a plan. a plan which i figure dd would like. i have a party planned for her. she loves rituals and close meaningful parties. 

 

i kinda have planned a red tent thing. getting a few of my close friends together to welcome dd into her new journey. not to really celebrate her periods. but actually to let her know these are the women i trust and these are the adults i'd like her to go ask questions about stuff she cant ask me - boyfriend issues, sex. i hope she will talk to me. she does. but just to be safe i'd like her to know whom she can go to.

 

however ONLY if she wants it. if she is anything like me it might take her a couple fo months to get used to her bleeding. i got a lot of cramps. so depending on how she feels we might just celebrate with her favourite dinner. of course that is if she starts at my home and not at her dad's. 

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#52 of 88 Old 03-13-2013, 08:54 AM
 
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Please remember to give each other the benefit of the doubt.  If you need clarification, ask for it.  Don't assume to understand someone elses motivations, and above all else, please keep the discussion respectful.  Thank you!

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#53 of 88 Old 03-18-2013, 12:08 PM
 
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I must say I am saddened by an overall downer note in many of these posts. It IS a "big deal" to begin menstruating. For one thing you can never go back. But more than that it is a time of power and potential coming into a girl's body. Our daughters do need us to celebrate them, but of course in a way that honors them and is not all about us.

I wonder if girls, and their moms, are speaking from a place of long-standing cultural shame and embarrassment about women's bodies. After all, this culture seeks to sanitize and erase all trace of menstruation, down to miniature insertable pads that can be discreetly flushed away (which are admittedly good for swimming). But periods are not just a time of suffering and inconvenience, they are the evidence of a woman's ability to create the human race. Wow. And yes, they get in the way too, but so do other bodily functions that we seem to take in stride. When they are a source of suffering, something needs attention: more Magnesium? Abdominal massage? Serious hormonal balancing? It doesn't have to be a time of hidden suffering.

My personal experience with menarche is when I got my period I was at school and it was just my secret for one day, and I felt as if I had truly stepped through a portal, a personal rite of passage. That feeling has been more important to me than anything that followed.
When I did tell my mother she said, "Your body is like mine. We both started at the same age." I loved that. It was a bond between us. Very simple, but important.

I agree that it is a very personal matter for each girl, but we need to keep checking in with our daughters. Ask them how we can support them. Something celebratory is totally appropriate, if we can balance it with the discretion our individual daughters need. A friend of mine's father brought home steaks that night. Her brothers never knew why, which is what she wanted, but she still felt seen and honored.

No I don't think this is it. As I said in my earlier post, for me I was grieving for my childhood - not ashamed at what my body was doing. My mom did a great job installing a sense of pride in being a woman and loving my body. But for me, menarche did not feel joyous. I noticed one woman's post above where her 11 year old was exited about and they went out for hot chocolate. I think that's lovely that some girls, like her and you, experience it in a positive light. But I would caution you to let your DD take the lead. Ask her how she feels about It first. She may not want to celebrate if she experiences it as a loss, not a gain.
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#54 of 88 Old 03-18-2013, 12:47 PM
 
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My daughter is still too young to really entertain this thought, but my mom tried making a big deal out of it, and it just embarrassed me more than anything.. I guess if your daughter would be embarrassed by attention focused on her period than I wouldn't do more than make sure the cabinet is stocked of feminine hygiene products and let her know she can ask you anything. If you think she'd be ok having a special day because she's gotten her period now, I think a girls day could be lovely :)


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#55 of 88 Old 04-18-2013, 12:50 PM
 
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I LOVE your (redheather) tone and agree with your point of view.  My DD is surfing through the beginnings of puberty right now.  It feels as sacred as my labor with her.  I love it and I love her and I love being a woman.
 

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#56 of 88 Old 04-20-2013, 03:29 PM
 
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I would like to start making my daughter a special gift box/basket to have ready when that day comes.  Hopefully she and I can do something special together of her choice as well, but if we happen to be in a hectic week or whatnot I want to have a memorable and useful gift all prepared so they day doens't go unmarked,either to present her with with a big hug if she seems jubilant or to leave on her bed for her is she seems like she wants privacy.  Here's my ideas--pretty please help brainstorm with me..?

 

~ piece of jewelry--I've head of people using red related jewlery like ruby earrings or some such but I am going to try to find her something with a moonstone.  Not only are they lovely and inexpensive, my daughter loves the thought of the connection of our bodies to the moon's cycles...

~~a moon calender--you know the poster that shows all the moon cycles?

~assortment of supplies, cloth and eco-brand disposiable

~some herbal teas and tinctures for common pms symptoms and women's health (suggestion...?)

~a good book--some great read on a related theme, I was thinking about something like The Red Tent but it's been years since I read that, probably too mature?  Does anyone have suggestions for good alternative type novels with coming of age/getting your period theme? If I can't think of the perfect one I'll do a blank journal instead, or maybe a copy of something like Christine Northrup's Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom...?

~~decadent chocolates

~~maybe something nice to wear in a dark color for those days, like a few dark colored long flowy skirts

--what else......?

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#57 of 88 Old 05-07-2013, 11:48 AM
 
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My oldest daughter is only 10 so we are not there yet, but I've been saying she can't pierce her ears until she has her period. She is a slob who doesn't really care to shower, brush teeth, etc. I figure if she can handle keeping herself clean with her period she can handle the necessary cleanliness involved with keeping ears cleaned until they heal up.

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#58 of 88 Old 05-07-2013, 10:01 PM
 
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My oldest daughter is only 10 so we are not there yet, but I've been saying she can't pierce her ears until she has her period. She is a slob who doesn't really care to shower, brush teeth, etc. I figure if she can handle keeping herself clean with her period she can handle the necessary cleanliness involved with keeping ears cleaned until they heal up.

 

Getting her period will not magically grant her cleanliness, it will just take her current problem to a whole new level.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#59 of 88 Old 05-07-2013, 10:20 PM
 
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so i had an interesting experience yesterday. 

 

which took away all the romantic notions of starting periods.

 

dd thought she started yesterday and she kinda freaked out. this is a child who has known about it since she was 2. 

 

so i am putting the mementoes idea on the backburner for the moment, and instead am concentrating on logistics, knowledge, practicalities. 

 

i realise that while dd knows the plumbing details she is not aware of exactly what to do at the moment it happens and what that will emotionally mean to her. 

 

i am not sure if first menstruation is going to be a celebration in our house. that will come later. and if dd also inherits the pain that my mom and i went through, it might end up never being a celebration. 


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#60 of 88 Old 05-08-2013, 12:29 PM
 
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Getting her period will not magically grant her cleanliness, it will just take her current problem to a whole new level.

You are right. But the passing of years will.

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