Welcome to Parent Hub

Girls and periods: How to support your daughter through a difficult time

Posted on 14 October 2015

Girls usually start puberty between 8 and 13 years old and they go through a lot of hormonal changes in this time. Speaking to your daughter about these changes can be difficult and embarrassing for both of you, especially for dads! But it’s important that she knows what the changes mean, how to take care of herself during a period and to make sure that any concerns she has are shared with you.

How can you help?

Promote a sense of control by teaching her how to protect her health. Point out that her body is developing in some pretty great ways. Note that everyone goes through puberty. And let her know what to expect before her body starts changing.

Buying books or referring her to helpful websites or helplines will allow her to understand the menstrual process in detail without you having to explain the ins and outs yourself.

You will probably notice changes in your daughter through this time. She may develop:

  • A short temper
  • Mood swings
  • Body shape changes
  • Acne
  • Increased emotions

She may also start asking questions or the total opposite, becoming hard to talk to. If possible, it’s best to provide your daughter with sanitary items in advance, so she can put them in her school bag or overnight bag for sleepovers, so she’s prepared when her period starts. If it has already started, her school will have what she needs and you can provide the rest later. If your daughter is beyond school age, which can occasionally happen, she will be able to take care of herself.

Although you can rely partly on your daughter’s school to provide sex education and explain how periods work, teenagers often find this funny and very embarrassing, as to be expected! It’s best if you can start this process off and keep communication open between you.

During this time, you’ll have to deal with tears, tantrums and lots of questions. It’s a good idea to make sure your daughter keeps track of her periods so she can be prepared each month. You should assist her as best you can to choose the right products for her body and explain how to use them.

 If she has problems with pain or other symptoms, it’s important she sees a doctor and takes the correct medication for her age. For example, some girls are prescribed the contraceptive pill to regulate periods and reduce pain, but young girls of course won’t be suitable, so they should rely on paracetamol or whatever the doctor advises.

Some helpful websites to use for more information on the subject are here and here.