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First Menstruation

When I had my first period, I was eleven and all alone. My mother was seriously ill and nobody prepared me for menstruation. There were no sanitary towels, so I had to work out on my own how I could best manage my bloodied underpants. Many girls of my generation had nightmarish experiences. The women of my generation made sure they didn’t repeat that behavior. When their daughters were quite young, they showed them that they bled once a month and told them that this belongs to being a woman.

It is important that girls know that menstruation is connected to the ability to bear children. Once they appreciate this, girls can be proud when they have their first period, and make no secret of it. For them, it is the reason to celebrate.

I suggest that you talk with your daughter before she is likely to have her first period, about what she would like to do when it happens. Would she like to celebrate it in some way? This way, your daughter will at least know that you are glad she’s becoming a woman. She may have her own ideas. Perhaps she would like to just go out somewhere nice to eat. Perhaps she wants to buy a symbolic gift – a ring or a chain with a special pendant, say, to signal her transition to womanhood and full feminity.

Book: Raising Girls

Author: Gisela Preuschoff 

Foreword by Steve Biddulph

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