Surviving Your Daughter’s First Period: A Dad’s Point of View
As a dad with a daughter, you may feel a bit anxious as she nears puberty. It can be especially difficult for dads who have no personal experience with things like menstruation. From a dad’s point of view, periods and the hormonal changes that women experience during puberty can be downright mystifying. Naturally, talking about these things may be something that you are not looking forward to.
You probably don’t even want to think about your little girl growing up, but it’s happening. And her first period will happen, too. This event is challenging for both dads and daughters, but it is one that you will both survive. Periods can be awkward, painful, and even frightening. Your daughter’s first period also signals the beginning of a very important time in her life, and while the topic may be uncomfortable, periods aren’t inherently a bad thing.
If you have a daughter who is between the ages of 9 and 15 or so, the big day could come at any time. Take some time to prepare yourself so that you’ll know exactly what to do the first time Aunt Flo stops by for a visit. Keep reading for some helpful advice regarding your daughter’s first period from a dad’s point of view.
Your daughter getting her period for the first time can be scary. It signifies the beginning of a new stage in a young woman’s life, and it’s when a lot of important changes begin taking place. All of this often seems frightening to dads, but it really is a beautiful event in a young woman’s life.
There’s no denying the fact that your daughter is growing up and eventually (probably sooner than you’d like), her body is going to start going through major changes. She’s going to get her period whether you like it or not. By planning, you can minimize the stress and ensure that she will have what she needs when that day arrives.
By the time your daughter is around eight years old, you need to have “The Talk” with her. Do your best to explain the changes that will be happening in her body, and answer any questions she may have. There are plenty of resources that will help you study up on the basics. There are also books that are geared toward preteens that do a great job of explaining things. If you choose to give your daughter one of these books, though, take the time to read through it with her. It’s important to let her know that you are there for her and want to help her understand. Don’t just hand her a book and expect her to figure it out on her own.
It’s also smart to keep some pads and tampons on hand. If the thought of venturing down “that” aisle at the grocery store scares you, you aren’t alone. Many men don’t feel particularly comfortable shopping in the feminine hygiene aisle, but it’s something that you might have to do. Talk to your daughter about these products, and ask her what she would like to try when the time comes.
For many young girls, pads are more comfortable and less frightening than tampons. While they come in several different varieties, most women prefer thin pads with wings. Before your daughter gets her first period, consider purchasing a multipack with different absorbencies. This will make it easier for her to figure out exactly what she needs. If you’d rather avoid shopping for feminine hygiene products, you could even order a NannoPad Multipack (which includes pantyliners, regular, and super absorbency pads) online.
If your daughter says that she would prefer tampons, allow her to make that choice. Just make sure that she knows how to use them safely. There are plenty of products out there that are designed to be comfortable for tweens and young teenagers. Some dads aren’t comfortable with the idea of their young daughter using tampons, but it’s definitely not a big deal. Many women also choose to use pantyliners in conjunction with their tampons for extra protection.
Don’t Panic When Aunt Flo Arrives
While the beginning of this stage of your daughter’s life may be a bit overwhelming, there is no need to panic when she gets her period for the first time. In fact, the more calm, cool, and collected you remain when she breaks the big news, the much easier it will be for her to deal with it. Keeping your cool when she shares this type of news with you will also make it easier for her to open up to you about things in the future.
While your daughter’s first period is a momentous event and a wonderful thing, most young girls don’t really want anyone to make a big deal of it. If you think that having a party to celebrate your daughter’s first period seems awkward and embarrassing, your daughter probably does, too. Keep things simple. Let her know that you are proud of her and the woman that she is becoming, and treat her to something small like a high-quality chocolate bar or a new pair of comfy jammies.
Schedule an Appointment with a Gynecologist
Once your daughter starts her period, it’s smart to set her up with a gynecologist. Even if you are doing absolutely everything right, it’s important to ensure that her health is closely monitored. Scheduling an appointment with a gynecologist provides an opportunity for a medical professional to ensure that her periods aren’t too light or too heavy and to check for any other potential problems. It’s also a great way to ensure that she has someone to talk to if she has any questions or concerns that she is too embarrassed to discuss with you.
The Bottom Line
When your daughter gets her first period, you both will likely feel a bit overwhelmed. It’s a huge milestone in her life, and one that should be celebrated rather than feared. With a little bit of preparation and understanding, you both will get through her first cycle without any problems. Take the time to learn about the female reproductive system and the menstrual cycle, and let your daughter know that you are always there to talk and answer any questions that she may have. Keeping the lines of communication open is extremely important.
Letting your daughter know that you are there for her rather than shutting down because talking about her period is uncomfortable is a much healthier and more beneficial approach. Being prepared ensures that, when the big day arrives, you’ll be able to respond with excitement rather than anxiousness.
Check NannoPad for a healthier menstrual solution, developed to minimize discomfort, maximize life. Here in Nannocare, we're more than happy to help you with any questions you may have!