If your daughter or child is about to go through puberty and you’re trying to prepare for their first period, there’s a pretty good chance you’re feeling emotional. This is a natural reaction. In fact, studies show that parents are often unprepared for their daughter's first period. You might feel like you have no idea what to do or say when your daughter or child gets her first period. You’re excited, but may also be feeling a bit anxious about it all. There’s a good chance they’re feeling the same way. If you want to be there for them but don’t know where to start, one way to let her know what you're thinking is by writing your daughter or child a first period letter.
What is a First Period Letter?
A first period letter is an emotional note you write to your daughter or AFAB child when she gets her first period to let her know how much you love her and how proud you are. It’s the perfect opportunity to tell your daughter or child what makes them so special, and is a way to connect, offer guidance and let them know that this moment is something they should be proud of. In Western culture, we often associate menstruation with shame or embarrassment. It’s important to counteract this by normalizing periods and talking openly about them. Writing a letter is both a great way to share your feelings and connect with your child while counteracting that stigma. It’s a way for you to reassure them that the feelings of vulnerability they may be experiencing for the first time are normal. It should also be a reminder that they are loved during a time when they may feel anxious or embarrassed. The letter should be something they can turn to for comfort each time they get their menstrual cycle, during what may be an awkward and stressful time in their life.
How to Write a First Period Letter
“To my daughter on her first period…”
Use this sentence for inspiration and see where your thoughts flow from there. For example, “I’m so proud of you. You’re growing up into a brilliant young woman and becoming more independent every day. Now that you’ve started your period, it’s important that you know how to manage this new responsibility. I know it must feel like a big deal to finally get your period, and that can be scary…”
After letting them know how proud you are that they have reached this pivotal time in their life, try to provide some general life guidance going forward. Personalize it by sharing your own experiences with womanhood or your menstrual cycle. Include practical advice such as how to insert a tampon or where to buy reusable pads. Let them know that you will be there for them throughout this experience and any other future challenges that life may present. Everyone’s path is full of surprises but as long as they have a solid launch pad, you will go on to see them fly. It’s best to keep the advice directional rather than specific, so they don’t feel like you’re telling them what to do. Ultimately, you want to teach them how to forge their own path rather than following directly in someone else’s footsteps.
Example of a First Period Letter
“Dear (Insert Name Here),
I love you so much and I’m so proud of you. I remember my first period like it was yesterday. It was a little scary and confusing, but also exciting, like I had reached the precipice of a giant cliff and I wasn’t sure what came next. You might be feeling a little confused right now, and I want you to know that there is no right or wrong way to feel. It’s not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, but rather something that all girls go through at some point in their lives.
When I was growing up I remember being embarrassed about talking about periods with my mom—it just felt awkward for some reason! But now that I’m older, I realize how important it is for us to talk about these things so that we can understand each other better. You are an amazing young person and I am so proud of you for being brave enough to talk about this with me. You are the most special part of my life, and I am honored to be your mother. I hope that by talking about this together, you will feel less nervous and anxious about getting your first period. I want you to know that I am always here for you, no matter what. You can come to me with anything and I will listen without judgment or criticism.”