This content is sponsored by Procter & Gamble. All opinions are authentic and my own.
As my girl grows older, I am constantly struck by how hard these years can be. As a now 40-something mom I apparently blissfully blocked most of the drama of being a young girl out of my psyche. So I feel like I’m learning it all over again, through the eyes (and the tears) of my sweet little girl.
Aside from the mood swings, frenemy drama, and increasingly hard schoolwork, the ‘tweens’ are when many girls start noticing changes in their bodies and get their first period.
Average Age For A Girl’s First Period Is 12
The average age for a girl in the U.S. to get her first period is 12 years old. 12. And that’s just the average. So it could very likely start a few years before that. Cue the stunning math… that’s 10 years old!
So you’re just going about your business trying to raise a smart, kind young girl, hoping she’ll like pink and sparkles and unicorns all her life and then, bam!… all of the sudden she’s having giant mood swings and crying for no reason and hiding in her bedroom alone when she would normally be cuddling with you on the couch binging cupcake wars.
And according to doctors, these are all precursors to what our moms in the 80’s and 90’s used to call (in hushed tones) “the change.”
Signs That Girls Are Approaching Puberty And Their First Period
So if you are like me and have been or are about to be way-laid by these changes, here are signs that your little girl is approaching puberty and her first period:
- Growth spurt and breast budding – an average of 2 years before first period
- Pubic hair – an average of 1.5 years before first period
- Peak growth spurt and first training bra – an average of 6 months to 1 year before first period
- Graduate to a ‘real’ bra with cup sizes and armpit hair – an average of 4 months before or after first period
Advice For Talking To Your Daughters
If this all sounds terrifying to you. Yep, it does to lots of moms. But as with most circumstances in parenting, we have to put our own stuff aside and help them through it. Here is some advice from experts and doctors:
- Talk openly about the changes they’re noticing
- Use open-ended questions to get them talking
- Talk while driving in the car so they don’t have to be face-to-face with you
- Share your own experiences
- Have a plan in case they start their period at school: Have a pad in their backpack or identify dispensers in the bathrooms. Talk about what to do if it gets on their clothes, keep a jacket in their backpack that they can tie around their waist. Have a cell phone to call home or rehearse how to talk to the school nurse or secretary about calling home.
Impact On Self Esteem
For a lot of young girls, puberty and first periods coincide with drastic drops in their self esteem. They’re starting to look different and feel different, and they likely don’t understand the roller coaster emotions they’re experiencing. There’s a different girl looking back at them in the mirror… physically and emotionally.
“If you watch young adolescent girls, their shoulders all slump for one reason: to hide their breast development. It is a hugely embarrassing thing,” says [Bridgett Blackburn, a parent educator] who notes that most female physical changes are outwardly visible and girls often receive comments from peers regarding their bodies.
And for many young girls, added on top of all of this emotional and physical upheaval is a lack of access to period products. It’s called period poverty.
In a recent Always Confidence & Puberty Survey it was revealed that nearly one in five girls in the US have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to period products.
That means many girls are missing out on school, clubs, and extra-curricular activities that help boost self-confidence… at the time when they need that boost the most.
How You Can Help End Period Poverty
That’s why Always is working to make sure every girl has the period protection they need. They’ve partnered with the Feeding America network to donate 32 Million period products. And they are continuing to do that with your help.
Throughout the month of March, for every pack of Always pads or Tampax Tampons that you buy, they will donate one period product to help end period poverty.
Savings Options While Helping To End Period Poverty
And Publix and P&G are helping the cause by offering big discounts and rebates on these products. Here are two ways you can take advantage of their promotions while helping to end period poverty:
- Look for a coupon in the latest Publix flyer for big savings on Always and Tampax products.
- Click here for a $15 rebate when you buy $50 in Always and other P&G products. (Valid Feb 2-May 31, 2020)
The following resources include Amazon affiliate links, which allow me to receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase.
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