How do you celebrate your daughter getting her first period?

This thought has been on my mind lately as I have 2 daughters reaching menstruation age…and I really feel the introduction is really important. Not knowing what to do exactly as I was basically shown the tampon and pads box under the sink by my sister (my mother didn’t even chat with me about it at all) and that was it! I’d really like to create an experience for my daughter that will shine a positive light on this definitive part of being a women, and in doing so I can maybe help her embrace her feminine side instead of seeing it as society often labels it…an annoyance (the curse! :O)

First things first, menarche (pronounced men-are-kee, although some people say men-ark) is the name given to the very first period a girl gets. After menarche you get a period roughly every month (once they settle into a routine) until you get to about 45 or so and then you stop. That’s a pretty long time, right? If you’re going to get something every month isn’t it worth making it special?

Studies have shown that girls who feel good about their periods, and puberty, have a much better time growing up.  They also do better at school and go on to lead fabulous lives.

Girls who can talk to their parents about periods etc. and who celebrate things as a family are likely to be happier and are more likely to achieve their goals in life.

I started by looking at what other countries around the globe do…

Different countries and cultures have different ways of celebrating menarche, here are some of them:

Africa

If you were born into the Asante community you would get a big party for menarche and be showered with gifts. There would be lots of singing and dancing and you would be made to feel very special.

In the Mossi community the Mossi women take time off during menstruation and pursue their own creative projects or visit friends.

Japan

Traditionally in Japan when a girl gets her first period the family celebrate by eating red rice and beans.

Australia

In Australia the Aboriginal girls are traditionally washed and have intricate and beautiful body art applied. The women also take time to explain to the girls about feminine power and the changes they will go through.

Sri Lanka

If you were born in Sri Lanka then the exact time and date of your first period would be recorded so that an astrologer could chart your future. You would then be washed, dressed in white and given gifts to celebrate this special time.

As you can see lots of cultures celebrate menarche and there’s various companies and groups popping up in the western world as well, as mothers seek to help their daughters embrace their femininity in a positive light.

I found some ideas for menarche celebrations…

~ throw a fabulous party with hers & your best girlfriends
~ have a super sparkly sleepover with pink lemonade and cupcakes
~ go out to a really nice restaurant
~ get her ears pierced
~ have a grown-up dinner party for your BFF’s
~ go shopping and buy a truly fabulous new outfit
~ go to the theatre and watch a great musical like Legally Blonde or Mama Mia!
~ have a girls only evening with mum, aunts, grandma and girlfriends to celebrate how amazing being a girl is.

Wiki also gave some good steps:

1.  Offer to tell her all about your own experience; don’t be offended if she doesn’t want to know. It’s very personal and may embarrass her.

2.  Plan her favourite meal at home or take her out for a meal in an expensive restaurant.

3.  Mark the date down in your planner and mark it on her calendar, so she’ll know when to expect her next period. Periods may be irregular, especially at first, so remind her of that, too, and don’t panic if the next one doesn’t arrive right on schedule.  OR…help her download a period tracking app like iPeriod (or similar).

4.  Give her a book about dealing with periods and puberty and let her read it by herself, if she chooses. Answer any questions she may have. Don’t forget to talk about related hygiene, and health matters, including dealing with cramps and periods in general. One popular book is “The Care and Keeping of You” from the American Girl library. You can get it at Barnes and Noble or Border’s. It is how to care for your body as a girl and a great section about tampons and pads etc. Also, “The Period Book” is a simple yet very informative book with a little more than the basics for everything relating to pre-and post-first period. You may want to give this to her before her first period, so she knows what to expect. Another favorite is Dear Abby’s booklet, “What Every Teen Should Know.”  – Side note…who here learned everything they needed to know from Judy Blume’s book “Are you there God – it’s me Margaret?” – I did!!

5.  In a pretty little box or basket, collect a selection the different types of pads she might want to use. Label the ones for nighttime, heavy, or light or medium. Present it to her privately; don’t announce it to the world.

6.  Don’t forget period panties that are leak-proof and breathable. It will ensure her a stain-free period and protect her clothes and sheets from staining.

7.  If your daughter is shy and really doesn’t want to talk about it, just give her a book or write a note. Don’t hug her in public for no reason, don’t exclaim that she’s ‘growing up’, nothing like that! If you feel it necessary, get her some flowers. Lavender is supposed to help ease mood-swings… but she doesn’t need to know that.

8.  If she is nervous show her that nothing changed so much, her life will be the same and she still will be able to do things she like, ex. going to the beach, playing sports.

And some tips of advice…because every situation, relationship and experience is different:

~She may get embarrassed, so do not be offended.

~She may not want it to be celebrated, so support her by giving her the space or alone time she may need.

~Make sure she understands what it’s all about, and understands how to handle it and handle it hygiene-wise too.

~Give her chocolate and bananas, which help calm cramps.

~If she seems perfectly calm, she probably is – leave her be but mention you’re always there if she wants advice.

~She might be moody. It’s her period, after all.

~It’s best to remain neutral, but it really depends on her reaction.

~Try not to share your negative experiences too vividly, or she might take them on as her own story. Allow her to create her own experience – and starting with a positive outlook is a huge benefit.

~Just be yourself around others but near her make sure she knows she can tell you or ask you anything.

My daughter is a little shy so I asked her recently how she would like to celebrate getting her period when it comes…she shrugged her shoulders “Why?” – whew!! Think I have some more momma-daughter chat work to do 😉  Time to turn this into a positive,  momentous occasion and I feel lucky that I still have a chance to do that!

If you have any ideas, rituals or thoughts, I’d love to hear from  you.  Post a quick comment and share your thoughts.

It's a momma's job to share the joys of being a woman. Love these two so much!

It’s a momma’s job to share the joys of being a woman. Love these two so much!

 

 

 

Here’s a couple more ideas from Amazon, if you’re interested.

This little kit is a great gift to have on hand.

  • The Dot Girl First Period Answer Book – answers questions such as ‘When will I get my first period?’
  • My Period Diary – included in the Period Answer Book allows girls to track their period over the first year
  • Five feminine hygiene pads so she is ready on the first day along with five disposal bags to learn proper disposal of used pads
  • A reusable Dot Girl gel heating pad for soothing cramps
  • Two hand wipes in case she is caught away from a bathroom

The Dot Girl First Period Kit

 

 

 

With this book comes a detachable Parent’s Guide will lead them through the learning process for themselves and their daughters—and even their sons.

The Parent’s Guide can also be found in its entirety on the Book Peddlers website at www.bookpeddlers.com. In it you will find:

• Talking About Menstruation • What’s The Right Age To Share Information? • Who Begins?
• What About The Boys? • Creating Your Own Right-of-Passage.

Period.: A Girl’s Guide

 

 

 

Have your teen prepared!

  • This one of a kind kit includes some of todays best period products: U by Kotex Regular Pads, U by Kotex MultiPack Click Regular/Super Tampons and U by Kotex Liners. SW Basics Lip Balm, Plus a Baggu Zip Pouch to organize supplies
  • No longer will you have to dig in your purse to find what you need. It’s all in one place!
  • Surprise Gifts and Goodies! Everyone Loves getting Wonderful Surprises!
  • Every Girl Should Have One. Treat your period right.

Signature Period Kit – Trust HelloFlo to care for all your needs with this menstrual care package. 

 

 

  7 comments for “How do you celebrate your daughter getting her first period?

  1. momma bear
    February 18, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    I’ve talked with my daughter about celebrating her first period since we first started having those discussions and presented it in a positive, celebratory event. I’ve called it Moontime and never been secretive about my period. We’ve been involved in earth-based celebrations and the like, so it’s not been “weird” to her. As she got closer to age, she began initiating conversations about what we would do, who we would invite, etc. Now that she is having signs of it on the horizon, she is almost weekly asking if I’ve made the invitations, etc. She is a little apprehensive that I may get a uterus pinata like the ad on you tube…lol. We’ve decided she wants to have a celebration with the women who had a great influence on her during her childhood and have it an “honoring” and “rite of passage” sort of affair, and I’m throwing in a friends party that doesn’t focus on menses but she will know what it’s celebrating. 🙂

  2. May 8, 2015 at 2:30 am

    My daughter is 11 and just started today. She called me from the afterschool program, “Mom! Guess what!? I started my period!” She told me she wasn’t sure why, but she was very excited about it. She and I had the talk a couple of years ago to prepare her (since I started at a young age, and thought I was dying when I started because I didn’t know what was happening, I didn’t want her to not know what was happening when she started). Her teacher called to let me know too, that she had done very well handling the situation today and was not scared or nervous, but that she seemed very excited. The teacher stated that she was surprised at how well my daughter handled it. When I picked my daughter up, she was very excited and wanted to call her grandmother and her father to tell them the news and I let her. I mentioned that we would should celebrate this event, but that it was up to her if she wanted to do that, and she wanted to go out for dinner tonight and also asked if she could celebrate on Mother’s Day with me this coming Sunday, since I had explained to her that this was her body’s way of preparing her for becoming a mother in the future. So we are going to go to a beautiful flower garden on Sunday in celebration of Womanhood. I’m definitely not ready for this but I’m glad that I was able to make this event as stress-free and beautiful as it could be. She has openly talked with me about it several times tonight, asking questions, and we’ve talked, laughed, joked, cried. She also craved chocolate, so we went to the grocery store and bought a lot of chocolate items in celebration. Probably not the best idea in the world, but chocolate is a girl’s best friend during this time of the month. lol All-in-all, this, her first day, will be a memorable day for both she and I and hopefully, will be remembered fondly.

  3. Gill
    July 17, 2015 at 9:22 am

    My daughter goes to a Steiner school. We are having a Menarche weekend, this weekend. My daughter is excited. The mums go along on the Saturday afternoon and then the girls on Sunday morning. The mums then join their daughters for lunch. It will be interesting. I too am looking forward to it as I didn’t have anything of the sort. I read an article today that some of a 13 year old refugee girl getting her period in a refugee camp managed by the Australian Government. She couldn’t stop crying. She was in a tent with men, without sanitary requirements and had to wash her pants and hang them in front of everyone. I will teach my daughters to support organisations like ONE GIRL who give to women who don’t have access to what we take for granted. I make sure I donate to refugee groups here in Australia and donate towards the ONE GIRL movement for girls in Sierra Leone.

  4. Liz
    November 24, 2015 at 5:20 am

    Thank you I was glad to have read this. My daughters big day was today and I was at work but had prepared her for the day. Tomorrow I am going to spend some mother/daughter time so again thank you for the great ideas!!!!

  5. Leanne Strong
    January 10, 2016 at 1:36 am

    I got my period when I was 10 and 3 months. I knew exactly what to do, because my mom and I had read a book about getting your period (and I read the book a little myself, too). I was SO excited to get it!

    I have Asperger Syndrome, which makes it harder for me to understand ‘grey’ areas. My thinking is very black and white. Either it’s always this or it’s always that. There’s no middle ground. When I first got my period, I thought it was poop (the stain was brown), and that I didn’t need a pad or tampon. Later, my mom came into my room and saw my clothes laying on the floor. She then told me that it was blood, and that I got my period. I was SO excited, but at the same time I was thinking like, “what? That doesn’t look like blood! Blood is red!”

    To celebrate, my mom got me a flower, a book, and a card. Even now, my mom says she was really proud of how I handled my first period. I handled it like a very mature woman, not like a little girl just starting out.

  6. Kerrie
    July 18, 2016 at 7:26 am

    A friend of mines mum bought her a charm bracelet with one charm for her first period, and then every month for the first year she got a new charm to add to the bracelet! I thought this was beautiful and want to do the same for my daughters. Thanks for all the other ideas.

    • Mia
      July 19, 2016 at 4:46 am

      Awesome! I love that suggestion. It’s such a tender and amazing time to celebrate and give special attention and a gift like that would really bring a life-long memory AND such positive energy to her menstrual cycle. The ripple effect is so fantastic when you create a foundation of trusting and celebrating your healthy body. <3

What are your thoughts on this, dear?