My 9 year old daughter has recently started spotting. It's only enough to need a panty liner which is good because panty liners are the only thing small enough to fit in her undies.
I am pretty sure it's not the result of anything else such as sexual activity. We have a very open dialogue and I know she would tell me if something was going on.
She is very much still a child so I'm pretty worried about this. She did start developing about 6 months ago but as far as I know hasn't started growing any public hair.
I haven't done a major body examination or asked to see the blood. I respect her body privacy and don't feel it's neccessary. I am just wondering if anyone else knows if this is normal or not. I've been thinking of bringing her to the doctor but I don't want to overreact and make it more akward for her than starting a period already is for a girl.
Any input is appreciated.
Quite normal. I know a woman who began her periods at 8 (back a generation ago when most girls were starting at 11 or 12), and girls nowadays are starting sooner than they did then. Buy a selection of tampons with cardboard applicators in a selection of sizes (the Junior ones are very helpful), and also pads in various thicknesses with "wings," and lay them all out, and explain what they're for and how they're used. She might or might not have luck with tampons, but if she does, they will help ease any self-consciousness at school that she might have about having a period. (If you can also get a tube of KY Jelly, she can use a dab of it to lubricate the tampon end lightly on the first few tries.) Tell her that if she tries a tampon, to start with the smallest ones first, and to read the instructions in the tampon box, and also that if she can feel the tampon when it is in, it needs to be pushed in a bit farther. Have the supplies just be there, casually, in the linen closet or the bathroom, and check them every now and then and buy more of the ones that are getting used, without any further comment. That should be enough to help her, without making her feel like her period is too much on Mom's wavelength.
ps -- it's also time for her vitamins to contain iron.
I will do that. I think I was more freaked out about all of this than she was but I played it cool and told her it was all normal. I put some panty liners in her bathroom and am going today to get more "supplies". I wasn't sure about tampons. I didn't use them until I was older but it did make me really self-concious. Of course, my mom made the whole thing a big circus and I was mortified, too.
I was thinking of finding one of these girly websites that explains these things to show her she's not the only one who's started, etc.
Thanks for your help! It's not really something I want to ask my own mother about as it took me almost ten years to get over the embarrassment over my period after she "helped" me with it all.
And thanks for the reminder about the vitamins, I totally wouldn't have thought of that.
My mom was equally useful. She couldn't get over her own squeamishness about topics of this type (her own mother being very ineffectual and Victorian in her attitudes to boot), so my mother would always go into this really self-conscious tremulo about such topics and make pronouncementos like "Annie, now you are a woman" (imagine this said with a voice pregnant with emotion, plus quavery) to the point where I would want to go hide under a bridge for about a year to get her reaction out of my head.
Basically, the more casual you are, like you're explaining the use of a socket wrench or how to drive a car, the better. Kids need information and appreciate it if it's plainspoken, they just hate their mother having a conniption. (For example, if she asks you why the different kind of vitamins, just say in a bored tone, "because of your period," not "because you are a woman now," as did dear old mom.) You might also tell her that with a tamp, it's not easy to know when it's full, so she might wear a smaller pad along with it and be sure to check every few hours especially on the first days. Every female's most embarrassing memory in their life seems to center around an overflowed tampon and white shorts or pants.
I'm SURE there are good websites out there as well.
I know exactly what you mean! My mother would vascilate between the over-dramatic "You're growing up now" and the almost baby talk about it. "You'll need to use a pad in your little undies", or the like. I can't really recall those conversations as I tried to block them out. I was an only child, though, and I know she tried. My poor cousin had her mom annouce it at dinner with her father and brother.
Anyway, point being I want to avoid making her feel like it's too big a deal or that it doesn't matter. Just one piece of the whole parenting puzzle I suppose.
So the period stopped yesterday. It was really just very light spotting of brownish blood. I was a little worried because when I first started it was normal, but then I spotted for weeks and weeks. I don't remember how many but several. My mother wasn't the type to bring me to the doctor for things like that. So I was very relieved that it stopped. It lasted about 4-5 days, although there was some spotting last weekend just once when she wiped.
We talked about tampons and I found a great animated video on the web that explained it better than I could. I just pointed out things it didn't and explained a few things. She doesn't want to try them yet and I figured that since it's so light it probably wouldn't be a good idea anyway but I told her that we would get her her very own tampons when she wants to try them. For now she says the panty liners are working out well. We found some that are like small pads with wings and they're the perfect size.
I've still made a point not to tell my mother about my daughter starting yet as she thinks it's okay to talk to my kids about anything.. including talking to my 13 year old son about oral sex and masturbation. Which is something for another forum, I suppose!
I do appreciate your input and advice on this, though, as I don't have any close friends with kids and talking to my mother is out of the question. It helps a lot to have someone to talk to openly about things like this! Thank you!
Your welcome. The issues of pre-teens are the most fun for me on the forum, because I remember those days oh-so-well. I think kids would talk to their mothers about pretty much anything if the mothers could handle it matter-of-factly and almost like they are a little bored but everything the child is saying is totally normal.
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