how to answer my 3 y.o. dd's questions about menstruation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter will be 4 in two months, and I stay home with her and 14 m.o. ds. Naturally, I have no privacy in the bathroom, and face questions about pads and tampons every month. I've been evasive so far, just because I don't know what to say that won't a) worry her (as she might worry about an injury) and b) won't be embarrassing to hear repeated to everyone we know. She is a very chatty kid :)

 

While my mom is great, she passed on some really terrible messages about menstruation, body image, and sex. I'd like to do better by my kids, especially my girl!

 

What do you tell your children when they see your bloody pads, tampons, and underpants? I'm not really the only one who never gets to use the bathroom alone, am I?

 

 

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#2 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 07:58 PM
 
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Things I have said to my daughter who is very close in age - I'm not hurt, I wear this pad it is like a bandaid for my bottom. The blood means there is not a baby in my body right now. Anything beyond that I follow her lead. I do answer specific questions but they don't come up much. I think it is a great time to bring up privacy and correct names of body parts too.

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#3 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 08:14 PM
 
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I told my daughter that it was menstrual blood, that comes every month, and that most women have it, and that she will too one day. She now asks me if she sees me changing my diva cup "You got you menstrual blood in you diva cup?" But she also has tried to stick a few things in her own body because she saw me put my diva cup in, and I don't even know how to address that.


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#4 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 08:17 PM
 
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I said something like: Every month, a woman's body gets ready to receive an egg that will grow a new baby. One of the things that it does is get the womb ready with new tissue needed for a baby. Most months, there isn't a new baby that's going to grow there. When there's no new baby, the tissue in the womb isn't needed, and comes out as blood.

 

I know other people have described it something like the uterus preparing a new "nest" for a baby, and when there is no baby, the nest isn't needed and it's shed by the womb.

 

Yeah, this will lead into the whole life cycle talk, but 3-5 year olds are very curious about reproduction, and now's the time to give the facts as they come up so you don't have to have the "big talk" at 9.

 

 


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#5 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 09:01 PM
 
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What questions is she asking? You might be able to dodge the reproductive relevance if you wanted to.

 

"Most grown-up women bleed a couple days every month. Don't worry, it doesn't mean that I'm hurt."

 

 

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#6 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 10:09 PM
 
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I can't remember what I said to my DS's exactly. Something similar to the above posters. I think I just answered their questions as it came up eg:

 

Q: What's that?

A: A tampon

 

Q: What's it for?

A: For when I have my period

 

etc, etc, etc. I think I said that it was OK to ask me questions, but that it was private and something we talked about when we were at home. I'm pretty sure DS1 asked if it hurt and I said no, that it was just my body getting rid of the 'nest' because there wasn't a baby in my tummy.

 

Every so often he'll bust in on me in the bathroom and ask a couple of questions, but that's about it. Just give the facts in an age appropriate way and only answer the question asked.


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#7 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 10:11 PM
 
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Both my son and daughter knew about periods at that age. I think making sure they know that it's normal and that you're not hurt is the main thing. My ds used to call my cloth pads "vulva mittens".


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#8 of 12 Old 02-21-2012, 04:29 AM
 
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We had a difficult beginning because when DD was 3 we had a miscarriage when she and i were alone together so it was a very traumatic introduction to the world of vaginal bleeding!

 

She asked a lot of questions, and i answered them.  I tried to keep it simple and answer what she ACTUALLY asked, not over-talking the whole theme.

 

What's that?

My period.

 

What's a period?

When you bleed because you're healthy and can grow a baby but there's no baby growing just now.

 

Will it stop?

Yes it stops in a few days, it comes back in a month.

 

And so on.  We did have to talk for several months about the miscarriage.  It was very unfortunate that what happened happened (i went to the loo and began to flood and had to have DD fetch my phone so i could call for help.  It was a bloodbath but i needed help so we did what we had to).  She does sometimes mention menstruation or even loss in front of other people "why did sho-sho (her name for the baby) die Mama?" being the most common one.  To which i always respond "sometimes they can't grow honey, sho sho couldn't grow so he died" then i remind her "pop pop didn't die, pop pop got born and is our DD2!" with a smile.  Most of the time i'm not embarrassed because hey, i have 2 kids, so you could have GUESSED that i menstruate :D

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#9 of 12 Old 02-21-2012, 06:15 AM
 
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Lol @ vulva mittens!!!

 

When my kids were that young I simply said that every month women have blood that comes out of their vagina for a few days.  It means that they are old enough to have a baby, but there is no baby in their body right now.  I said that it wasn't a "boo boo".  I explained that I put a pad in my undies to catch the blood.

 

That's still pretty much as much as ds (4yo) understands.  Over the years I've added more explanation for dd (now 7yo), including talking about eggs, uterus (what it is, what it's for, how a lining builds up and sheds, etc.), and "how babies are made".  I've also talked about what age she might expect to get her first period, and when she gets a little older we could buy some pads for her to have ready for the first time.  We've discussed what happens if you get your first period at school, etc, etc.  (Basically hashed out all the concerns she's come to me with).


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#10 of 12 Old 02-22-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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i would tell her whatever you feel comfortable telling.

 

i was comfortable making it a science lesson. dd actually never asked because she has always seen me bleeding.

 

by 4 1/2 she knew everything when she asked but how EXACTLY...

 

so its not that bad they know young if they want to.

 

dd is a chatty child too. but she never once said anything. however whenever anyone now says anything aweful on the playground, dd corrects them.

 

one thing that happened with her knowing was she was not so curious about it as other kids around her were. she was v. blase about it.


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#11 of 12 Old 02-23-2012, 11:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grivas View Post

) and b) won't be embarrassing to hear repeated to everyone we know. She is a very chatty kid :)

 

 

 

 


Am in the same boat. A v. chatty kid and is with grandparents at least one day every week. I just wonder if she will go tell her grandfather every 'gory' detail. So far, I have hidden it from her. Her dad has taught her that bathroom time is private time and she shudn't just walk in.


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#12 of 12 Old 02-28-2012, 12:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

I said something like: Every month, a woman's body gets ready to receive an egg that will grow a new baby. One of the things that it does is get the womb ready with new tissue needed for a baby. Most months, there isn't a new baby that's going to grow there. When there's no new baby, the tissue in the womb isn't needed, and comes out as blood.

 

I know other people have described it something like the uterus preparing a new "nest" for a baby, and when there is no baby, the nest isn't needed and it's shed by the womb.

 

Yeah, this will lead into the whole life cycle talk, but 3-5 year olds are very curious about reproduction, and now's the time to give the facts as they come up so you don't have to have the "big talk" at 9.

 

 

This is how I've handled it too.  But while my dd seems to think that since we're both girls she can come into the bathroom any time I'm in there, I don't hesitate to tell her I need privacy when I feel like being alone to change a tampon, for instance.  I don't think anyone needs to watch me do that.  So she's never seen blood.  But she has asked all the questions.  I'm pretty casual about it and hope that she doesn't feel uncomfortable about it as she gets older.   My boys are 9 and they've known about it all since they were about 6.  Again, we want to answer all their questions factually so that they can just assume it's no big deal. 

 

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