Talking to your teenager about periods


Every girl will get periods and it’s a natural monthly process. Still having a discussion with a girl can be difficult for both the parents and the girl. When your girl is expected to reach puberty take the topic in leisure time and have discussion in simple language. Answer your kid’s queries with patience about puberty, menstruation, body changes, sanitary pads, tampons and or child birth. Provide basic information about menstruation, how and why it happens. Tell her about the uterus and uterine wall which starts bleeding every month, unless you have a baby in it. The bleed will come out from vagina; hence in order to soak the released blood we use sanitary pads or tampons to avoid wetting and coloring of clothes. This uterus lining needs one month to build-up and if no fertilization has taken place then typically bleeding should start in a month’s period.

A girl will typically start bleeding anytime between 10 and 15 years of age and an average monthly cycle will be 28 days. It can vary between 21 to 35 days depending upon the body and hormonal changes. Also discuss with your girl about breast tenderness, cramps, bloating and mood swings which happens during menstruation. The hormonal fluctuations show their worst side during menstruation. The periods can be light or heavy, very painful to no-pain, lasts for many or few days. In the first years of menstruation the bleeding will be little more as it is common. If you have any concerns consult the gynecologist. The girl should be given indications about the start of puberty period

  • Breasts will slowly start to develop
  • There will be white mucus discharge from the vagina, etc.

Teach your daughter how to use the pads, when to change it and how to maintain hygiene. Your girl might not be comfortable talking about periods; you should give the girl enough space and privacy. Maybe you can keep the entire required in washroom and ask her to check the necessities and come for any doubts or issues. Tampons might be scary as it is to be inserted in the vagina, so maybe you start with a sanitary pad and once the girl is comfortable, she can consider using tampons.

Prepare your child for the monthly cycle. The kit should contain a panty, sanitary pad, shorts or leggings. The girls should be prepared to deal with the leakage accidents with confidence and tricks to overcome the situation. Be supportive to fellow girls in case of leaks ad guide her to washroom, give her your sweat shirt, share your sanitary kit, etc.

Periods are nothing to be embarrassed-off and all women will experience it!


Written by Renu Goyal

A Child Psychologist, founder of KIDicious – Learning Differently, a child psychological therapy clinic based in Delhi. Have written various articles relating to Child Psychology in magazines like Meri Saheli, Responsible parenting, Psyinsight etc. Presented many papers in national and international conferences.

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