As parents, we are on the ground floor in building our children’s self-worth, self-esteem, and mirror of themselves. When girls start to transition into puberty, they are at their most vulnerable change yet. Hormones shifting, bodies developing, hair growing, and emotions flowing. There could not be a more important time for us to show up. But how? Society tells us our period is a burden, it’s annoying, our feelings are too much during that time, we eat more, and if we can come with a warning label at that time it would help everyone around us. This is also where our own unresolved body issues get highlighted. It’s when we reflect on what happened to us and our bodies when we started to mature. We remember the emotions, what was said, how it made us feel, and how we deal with ourselves now.
I have put together 5 points to help you navigate through this cycle (pun intended)
1. Focus on how your body feels rather than how it looks. The body will change and will start to look a little different. Our strength comes, however, from honoring our bodies on the inside. Help your daughter listen to her intuition, listen to her hunger cues, and fullness cues. You may get hungrier around this transition. It’s OK! Honor it with choices that feel good.
2. Keep track of emotional and physical shifts. Often time girls start their cycle months before they actually bleed. When we are in tune with our daughters we can help them explore and normalize what is happening. Change is scary, but when we have love, support, and acknowledgment it becomes empowering to walk through it.
3. Teach self-care. I don’t mean this in just the obvious way of how to use a tampon, or a pad. I mean teach them how to tend to themselves during this time. For me self-care is extra rest, quiet time alone, listening to good music, journaling, a bath, hugs, reading, doodling, etc. This looks different for everyone so it is a great time to help your daughter connect to what feels good as her own ‘time-out”. This will help set a soulful foundation for her future in dealing with stress, transitions, or anything else life can throw at her.
4. Create space for open conversation. So important! This can be as awkward and uncomfortable for mothers, as it is for the daughter, but it’s time to get through that so you can set a good foundation for future conversations. This is just the beginning.
5. Celebrate Celebrate Celebrate!!!! Your baby girl is maturing. She is connecting to the universe, to the moon cycles, her whole being is going through a shift. Honor it, appreciate it, celebrate it in your own special way with her. So many cultures in the world create rituals around this sacred time. Allow her to feel special and empowered through this transition.
Father’s don’t think you are in the clear just because it is a ‘girly thing’. This is the time that you may want to pull away because it’s weird to see your daughter changing, or you aren’t sure how to navigate through this yourself. Keep showing up for her. She actually wants you around too. Spend time together just the two of you. Remind her she is loved and beautiful all the time. Even with this weird body stuff happening.
We are building an empowered connection, one daughter at a time to take a step towards body love, body acceptance, and the overall strength as females.
Something to reflect on: How was my first experience with getting my period or noticing my body changing?
What did I feel?
What did I wish I understood better?