In my middle school years, I learned about the menstrual cycle the same way I think most of my girlfriends did — through biology class, Judy Blume books and gossip. My mom told me zilch. My older sister prepared me for nada. Of course, parents these days, a generation later, are much more proactive in talking to their kids about sexuality, and at an early age, well before puberty hits — which I’m pretty sure is a good thing. On Psychology Today’s “Owning Pink” blog this week, Dr. Lissa Rankin has 12 tips for how to prepare a daughter for maturing, including “Take her on a tour of her body” and “Give her permission to tell you anything.” Wow, if I had gotten one such tip from my mom in the mid ’80s, I probably would have felt less shy about my changing body.
That said, I was lucky in that I was a late bloomer and by the time I got my period as a high school freshman, at age 14, all of my friends had been through it already and talked about it enough that I knew exactly what to expect. Though, the fact that I “became a woman” while sleeping on pristine white sheets during a visit with my dad in North Carolina — 600 miles away from my female confidantes at home (in Vermont)– was unfortunate, but certainly less tragic than getting blindsided while wearing khaki pants in the school cafeteria.
I’m curious about you, Frisky ladies. Did your parents prepare you for puberty? Did your mom give you the lowdown on Aunt Flow well before she arrived, did you learn about getting your period through school and friends, or was it a surprise all-around? [Psychology Today]