Told 10 yr old DD about period & she's upset at ME
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 9:02 am
I VC read the book with my daughters somewhere between 10 and 11. It was at least over a year till they got their first periods. But the regular white discharge comes earlier as well as body changes.
I read the first half of the book to her and told her to ask me to clarify anything.
So the initial information was coming from the book, not me.

BTW, you did nothing wrong. Wait a few months or so before bringing it up again. Get professional help for her if she continues with such strong reactions.
You sound like a great mom.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 9:42 am
I agree, you did nothing wrong. We can never know for sure how kids reactions will be also.

I told my 10.5 year old a few weeks ago too. She's big for her age and my other daughter got her period at 11.5, so I didn't think it was too early.

She took it very hard too- but she was crying and scared. I couldn't figure out why. She's generally not anxious BH. Then she asked me a couple of questions that I figured out that she thought a. It hurts when she bleeds (even though I said explicitly it doesn't, age must've missed that) and b. It would come pouring out of her and everyone would see.

I re-explained and BH she was calmer. She did approach me a couple weeks later with more questions and concerns. I hope I calmed her again. At this point she's mostly afraid she'll get it in school and not know what to do or how. Or girls will know...

But, tbh with her she sometimes needs some help with understanding things and maybe I didn't present it as well as I should have. She's very different than my older daughter... Everyone is so so different!
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 9:57 am
I wouldn't discuss periods until there are some puberty signs. My 11 year old started developing about a year ago. I got a book about puberty and we read it together on a day when she was home without siblings. At a certain point she got overwhelmed but it was toward the end of the conversation. And it helps that her classmates talk about it too. As well as her teachers. Discussing it years before anything starts can backfire because it's strange to her. When she hears outsiders discussing it, it won't be taboo. But as others mentioned, has she been raised that private discussions are taboo in general? I talk to my children about many things. Like where babies come from, starting around 9.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 10:20 am
giftedmom wrote:
A. That may just be her reaction and shock to the news. She’ll be okay. You’re just a safe person to dump on.


I wasn’t comfortable talking to my parents this way… ever. They never held space for my feelings.

You’re doin great, mama.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 10:43 am
Don't worry too much. Let it drop and bring it up again in a few months. I had a similar reaction when my mother spoke to me and I wasn't a sheltered kid. It just felt so weird and uncomfortable and I couldn't handle it so I didn't. But eventually I came around and we talked about it again and I grew more comfortable having uncomfortable conversations with her. Don't take it to heart, you did great.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 10:53 am
Thanks everyone, for your comments. They have all helped me and gave food for thought.
I left her a note telling her how sorry I was that this was so upsetting. We don't have to continue the conversation but one day we would since she only got part of the details and that's much worse than knowing nothing. She wrote back telling me when she feels ready, we will continue the conversation in writing. (she loves writing in general).
So...headway I guess. We'll take a break and then I will get her a book.

If I could turn back time, I would not have brought it up at all. She is physically tiny (looks to be around 7), and I got mine at 14. I think she would have been less horrified and knee-jerk reacting at 11 or 12. Alas..
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 12:55 pm
amother Hyacinth wrote:
Oy. That's hard.
My dd just turned ten and is very small.for.her age and not developing yet. I got my period at 15. ( My mother got it at 16) I wonder how long she has. I was going to wait another year at least ...

My 10 year old dd also has a lot of time, as she has not started developing at all yet, and pediatrician gave me some guidelines.

But the school has a nurse come speak to the girls about it in 5th grade, so I will have to tell her now. Wish I could wait another year.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 2:23 pm
amother OP wrote:
Your post makes me realize she is pretty sensory. Like will only use certain towels after a shower (the "wrong" ones make "me feel like I'm getting a carpet burn.") Ditto with certain PJs etc.
Ok..I feel like it's all coming together. Thank you everyone. Love you all. Smile

Wondering if she's neurodivergent? I am and also have sensory issues. ND people can also have more intense reactions to things.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 3:13 pm
Op please talk to your dd. Tell her that taking about how your body develops is an appropriate topic!
There are things you talk about at the Shabbes table. Other topics you don't discuss at the Shabbes table, but at a different setting.
Once this message got through to her, you can get into details.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 7:20 pm
She may not be ready to hear about her period but she needs to understand that it is not an inappropriate discussion to have with her mother. Nothing is inappropriate or off limits with her mother. Please make sure she knows that and that she can come to you when she is ready to talk.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 7:46 pm
OP, you sound like a wonderful mom. I don't think you could or should have done anything differently.

If she likes writing, why don't you get her a special notebook - maybe something pretty and feminine, or somehow more special than a regular school notebook - and write to her back and forth. It's something she can go back to and she can leave you questions and you can write answers for her. You'll basically be creating your own book together.

Just an idea.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 9:21 pm
amother OP wrote:
Don't know how this derailed so badly. Sad Sad

I gave her a small, basic picture (when you get older, every month, a small amount of blood will come out etc). and she burst into tears and said I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT INAPPROPRIATE THINGS WITH YOU. Asked me to leave the room and never talk about it again. I didn't get more than a few sentences out before she erupted and there's still a lot more that she needs to know (eventually). She is 10 1/2.

She is otherwise a happy, well-adjusted child.

Feeling devastated - not for me, but for her. Help.

I remember when I was 12 my mom took me out to eat and slowly brought up the convo in a very chilled way.
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Post Mon, Jan 23 2023, 10:01 pm
Maybe dd is just embarrassed to discuss with you. I never discussed anything like this with my mom. I read the booklet we got in school and when I was older, went to the library to read books about more advanced stuff. I would never, ever, ever have wanted to discuss this with my mom and I would have been sulky and annoyed if she had brought it up, too.
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Post Thu, Jan 26 2023, 6:27 pm
I might be thinking very differently to most, but I wouldn’t just drop the subject for months.
Knowing just a little bit and ruminating over that without all the info can make anxiety worse.

I think you did great with the letter!
I would give it a few weeks and then start having very small conversations.
Puberty isn’t just about periods, so many changes happen in the body over time. It’s good to know about them and to know they’re normal.
The book - the care and keeping of you - is also a great resource. I like how it matter of factly talks about washing your face, hair, needing deodorant, shaving etc

Even if she won’t necessarily develop straight away, lots of her friends will start to and I doubt she would want to be the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on. And sometimes having longer to assimilate all the info, can make it easier to accept when the changes actually happen.

Im assuming talking about things like bras is also uncomfortable for her. Buying her cute crop tops/ training bras with matching underwear - just for fun, can help ease things in.
My daughters liked it at around age 8, I think my oldest even asked for it - she wanted to feel grown up. And it definitely made buying bras when they needed it a whole lot easier. (Definitely way less awkward and uncomfortable than what I went through with my mom😳)
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Post Thu, Jan 26 2023, 6:35 pm
As a teacher I do think it’s important to discuss well before a kid develops once kids their age start developing, otherwise they will find out from a friend and it can be much more traumatic.
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Post Sun, Jan 29 2023, 9:13 pm
My daughter got her period at 10 so I was so thankful I had told her everything at age 8. My daughter IS neurodivergent but actually accepted the talk pretty well and has been comfy asking me questions through the years. Had my daughter reacted like that at age 10, I would have written her a letter telling all but letting her know I'm sorry she felt anxious when I tried to TALK about it and left it with a book in her room and then let HER make the next move with questions.

Anyway, 10 is a pretty advanced age not to have had the "what the heck are these" questions about your pads and tampons (heck, even from my SON.) My kids look in every medicine cabinet and every shelf--- there's no hiding stuff around here. Smile
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Post Mon, Jan 30 2023, 9:06 am
I had the same reaction as your daughter when I was younger. I never had any inappropriate touch or bad friends or anything. I was a normal kid and turned out fine Smile.
My mom gave me some space and didn’t bring the topic up again for a little while, and I really appreciated it at the time. It helped the info sink in before discussing again.
I was expecting a similar reaction from my daughter, especially given that she has anxiety in general, but she took it in stride. I think it’s just individual differences in personality, and all are within the range of normal.
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Post Mon, Jan 30 2023, 9:19 am
OP I didn't read the entire thread so I apologize for being repetitious if this was already mentioned.

First of all her reaction isn't out of line for a sensitive child. It's ok.

I understand why you're beating yourself up because you know, we mothers have high expectations of ourselves.

But realistically, how can you be expected to be a prophet and know how to break things to a child the first time?
I'm sure you did it in the best way possible.

From now on you already know that she can potentially be very reactive to sensitive stuff so you'll be more mindful about it.

I don't remember whom I'm quoting but years ago when I was researching how to talk to my own children I came across a line that I still stick to.

"Instead of a few long conversations- have 300 1-minute conversations with your child."

Too many details overwhelm a child.

Throw in details casually and don't make them as if they're heavy stuff.

She might come around in a few days weeks or months but there's no point in forcing her to listen to you except for the very technical stuff like pads etc.
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