Your teen or tween's first period
Navigating your teen/tween’s first period doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience.
With the right tools, it can be a positive experience for both of you!
You’re not alone if you feel like navigating this major milestone with your teen/tween can be nerve-racking, awkward, or like you don’t know where to begin.
BUT… the resources, tips and information on this page are here to help you… and make it a positive experience for you and your child!
1. Start the Conversation Early
It’s helpful to start a positive conversation about menstruation early, ideally before your tween/teen experiences their first period.
This way they will know what to expect, and feel more prepared when the time comes.
The average age for a first period is between 9-16 years old.
However, periods can begin from ages 8, and sometimes even earlier. If your tween/teen is around eight or nine years old, it’s an appropriate time to start discussing menstruation. However, every child is different, so you should use your discretion.
2. Download our free conversation starters
We have a free parent resource eBooklet with conversation starters and activities to do with your tween/teen.
3. Keep it accurate and lighthearted
How should you talk to your teen or tween about periods?
– Keep it lighthearted & positive
– Keep it anatomically accurate and truthful (If you need to brush up on your biology, try ‘The Bright Girl Guide’)
– Read through our parent resource together
– Share something personal first to help them feel comfortable to open up
– Use the conversation starters above to get the ball rolling
Your child deserves to understand how their body works, so it’s important to give them accurate information about their biology. This doesn’t mean it needs to be boring or overwhelming! Our Parent-Teen ‘Period Ready Kit’ will break down the facts very simply for you and your teen.
4. Prepare a Period Kit
Everyone loves a gift! Make this experience positive and memorable by giving your tween/teen a period kit as a gift.
This period kit can include items they’ll need to manage their period like:
5. Make a plan to tackle pain!
It’s expected to have some level of discomfort with a period as the uterus contracts to expel blood.
Periods can be more painful as a teenager as the body learns to regulate reproductive hormones.
Self-management strategies can be used to minimise discomfort.
Period pain self-management techniquies:
- Use a heat pack
- Make recipes from our free ‘Recipes for Period Symptoms’ ebook
- Deep breathing exercises
- Regular exercise cycle-round, with light movement during your period
- Stretching or yoga
- Getting 7-10 hours of sleep
- Taking magnesium for muscle cramps (abdominal, lower back, upper legs) under guidance of a practitioner
- Limit inflammatory foods like sugar and foods that you might react to
- Do something that makes you happy, reduces stress and takes your mind off the discomfort
Ideally, we want irregular or symptomatic teenage periods improve with time.
Help can be sought for symptoms that impact a teen’s ability to carry on with everyday life. Extreme symptoms in teenage years (fainting, vomiting, extreme pain, etc.) are not normal. You can find a menstrual health specialist to help you on our Practitioner Directory.
Period Pain Assessment Online Screening Tool (PIPPA)
These 5 questions will let you know if you should see a practitioner about your period pain
6. Don't let it be off-limits
Stigma around menstruation can make teens feel shameful about their period.
Many teens don’t ask their questions for fear of being judged.
Let your child know that you’re willing to try and answer their questions, and that if you don’t know the answer, you can research it together.
Utilise our parent resources
We have so many free parent resources on our ‘Parent Resource’ page.
Don’t forget to check them out!
Navigating your child’s first period can be challenging, but it’s a vital part of their growth and development. By starting the conversation early, providing accurate information, preparing a period kit, encouraging open communication, and being supportive, you can help your tween/teen navigate this significant time in their life with confidence and ease.