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Advice for dads

Be prepared for what’s coming

It’s quite possible that things are about to get a little weird, Dad. You’ve got a daughter who’s going through some pretty serious changes, in her body and probably in her attitude too. We’re here to tell you that this is all normal, and you CAN help her through it. Just because you won’t have a period doesn’t mean that you have to flail around hopelessly, desperately change the subject, or worse - embarrass her when she just needs some support.

Knowing more is the best strategy

So what’s actually happening? Simply put, your daughter’s body is maturing and preparing for womanhood and babies - whether you like it or not - and truthfully, men aren’t equipped to handle it. Puberty is different for boys, and theoretically simpler too - a growth spurt, breaking voice, and pubic and underarm hair are about the worst they have to worry about. For girls? It’s sensitive, emotional and can be dramatic - and you need to be there for her.

Puberty in girls usually starts at around 10 years old, although it can happen anywhere between 8 and 13. Typically, this starts with her boobs growing and hips widening, followed by pubic and underarm hair, and then… her first period. Say it out loud: Her. First. Period.

Let’s understand exactly what this is. Simply put, the menstrual cycle releases an egg every month while preparing the lining of the womb for an embryo in case it is fertilised. When it isn’t, the body will naturally flush the egg and lining away – that’s the period. It’s not gross, it’s not beautiful - it just is. It usually starts with a white discharge before leading into ‘spotting’, so that will be your cue to get her some liners that she can wear daily to avoid the much-dreaded nightmare of a surprise spill at school the first time it arrives properly.

Essential rules for Dads

Don’t get freaked out. Your daughter absolutely needs to know how normal she is, because she genuinely is. Always stay calm, and be sincere. Don’t joke but don’t be overly concerned - you’ll annoy her and she’ll know you’re clueless, which will make connecting with her at this confusing time even harder.

Understand her. She may be moody, emotional or withdrawn. She’s likely to be feeling bloated, tired and headachy, with a cramping tummy. A couple of painkillers will help, and Lil-lets Intimate Care Soothing Tummy Rub will also do the trick. Just give her space - if she’s not in the mood for a heart-to-heart or a game of Twister, let it go. She’ll be fine.

Be available. There may be a 3-minute window within which you can empathise. Don’t force advice down her throat, and don’t be aloof. This is all about her, it’s on her terms - so just be Dad and give her the time she needs to talk about it, if and when she needs you.

Be practical. Lil-lets has a full range of tampons and pads designed by a woman gynaecologist, as well as Intimate Care products for good vaginal hygiene and care. Give her the options - there are no rules for what she should be using; some girls start with tampons and others start with pads. It’s really personal. Understand that embarrassment and self-consciousness is a big part of being this age, and help her make an informed decision by stocking up at the shops so that she can try things out. That way, she can figure out what suits her in the safe environment of home.

Connect her to resources for advice. Direct her to the Teens area on this website, where she’ll find tons of useful information. If you’re floundering and she’s not getting the help she needs, bring in the big guns: a woman that loves her and has her best interests at heart. She won’t think any less of you, and there’s always the Lil-lets consumer hotline. Our resident expert will get back to her for a chat, any time.

Give her love and choices

Finally Dad, just be you. Your daughter knows that you’ve never had a period and never will - so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Let her know that you understand the gravity of the stage of life she’s in - a little spoiling will go a long way, and a daddy-daughter date will underline your sincerity. She’s becoming a woman - so even at 10, flowers and chocolates are a no-brainer.

One way to help your daughter figure out which product she likes is to write to us for her FREE Teen Kit! She’ll get a range of products to try out at home in her own time.

Further reading

For tips on maintaining an honest and healthy relationship throughout your daughter’s adolescence:
Read More

Advice on approaching the topic of menstruation with your daughter, from one Dad to another:
Read More

Designed by women for women

At Lil-lets we understand that everybody has different needs when it comes to ‘that time of the month’.
That’s why we are constantly introducing new products to our range.

Frequently asked questions from parents

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How old will my daughter be when she starts her period?

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Which products should I advise my daughter to use when she starts her period?

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Can my daughter use tampons when she starts her period?

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