32 answers

Talk to 5 Year Old About Menstrual Cycle..???

Hi! Ok, I can't believe I have to ask this...I am very discrete about what needs to be done in the bathroom when I am on my cycle, but I have a VERY observant little girl and when we have been in a public restroom together she has noticed things, or she has seen what I keep in the bathroom and started to ask me some question. I think the "truth" would freak her out! And I have always been able to answer her truthfully when has has been curious about things. But I have been stumped and just changed the subject on her when it comes to this subject!
I just need an age appropriate answer..and somehow cannot seem to find the right words. any suggestions would be appreciated!

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi everyone! Thanks for all the answers! More than anything, it just reminded me that raising a Daughter is going to bring lots more questions in the future, and I want to set up open communication now- So, we always have that relationship! The opportunity presented itself tonight-more questions :)..so I went with something like " God made Mommies bodies to create babies and this is part of how we do it....it doesn't hurt....yes, someday it will happen to you....."...and lots more ? came as the night went on...but it was great! So, thanks again for the quick responses! ...and the encouragement!!

Featured Answers

How about "These are things that grown-up women use. When you are older, there will be changes in you, and you will need to use them too. I will show you how when that time comes."

Something simple like that is completely honest, and in my opinion, enough info for a 5 year old.

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I have a five year old daughter as well, and I struggled with this same issue last year, wanting to "protect" her from the truth. But the issue was decided for me when I gave birth to my son 3 weeks ago. I have given birth at home with both of my chlidren, and Peanut was there for her brother's birth and saw all the blood, and she has seen the ensuing blood since then. It was a very simple explanation of, "that is what happens when you have a baby." She justs sees it as very normal. Good luck!

Just try being brief and truthful. Like "this is something all women have to do when they are older and they become adults. It's private, but I will tell you about it when you're 12."

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Going to the bathroom in my house is usually a spectator event. Showers, brushing teeth, applying makeup, and urinating are all up for grabs with my 5 1/2 year old girl. Like your daughter, she is also very curious and intelligent. She asks every time "is that blood?" And I assure her that I'm not hurt, that it's just my period.
What I've told her is that every woman has a uterus - kind of like a type of pillow in their tummies and each month that pillow fjlls up with blood to cushion a baby. I tell her, if I don't have a baby that month, my body gets rid of the cushioning stuff which looks like blood. I tell her it doesn't hurt at all.
This seems to put her at ease until the next month when she asks about it again.
The big thing is that she gets worried that I'm bleeding and I take it that's what may concern your daughter too. Just assure you that it's natural and it doesn't hurt one bit.

Good luck to you!

4 moms found this helpful

Sorry to jump in so late, but I've always been very open with my girls, and enjoy explaining things at their level. I hope it helps.

For what it's worth, we started out calling it "my -special- blood." I've explained to my daughters (my 6-year old noticed it a few years ago, right after I had my youngest), and asked about it. I explained that there is special blood inside Mommy's tummy, that helps to grow a baby. If there's no baby in there, I don't need it, so it just comes out, and every month my body makes more blood, just in case I want to have a baby (and that it doesn't hurt, because there's no "owie").

Also, if it helps, my oldest has asked about the various holes "down there." I've explained that one is for tee-tee, the one in the back is for poo-poo to come out, and the middle one is where the "special blood" and babies come out.

Best wishes and luck, and remember, always be honest, even when you're leaving out the gory details.


4 moms found this helpful

The truth is always the best! My daughter was about 3 when her older sister got her period so we discussed it in simple terms then (such as - mommies and older girls have a period once a month where they bleed a little, and there are things we use to keep the blood from being messy. the blood isn't an owie but it's from a part inside our body called a uterus. it's no big deal but you can ask me anything you want about it and I'll try to explain.) Kids like honesty, and it's good to start now and not just change the subject. Believe me, the questions get harder and harder as they get older because they are exposed to so much in the world. It's much better she hear the truth from you than stories from her friends. Start now and get in practice talking to her.

3 moms found this helpful

I think everyone's suggestions have been good. I would just like to add that now is a great time to begin having a talk with your daughter about her body and how it works. Experts now agree that, instead of having "the talk" at some point when your kids are ready, you should instead have a constant (age-appropriate, of course) dialogue with them, about sex, puberty, and all those difficult topics. This will help them realize that they can always come to you for straight answers, and also gets rid of that embarrassment about talking about "private" things. You sound like you are a bit embarrassed to talk to your daughter about this topic, but I don't see why. Every healthy adult woman goes through it, and it would be better for your daughter to hear about it from you than from her friends (who may or may not have the correct information to share).

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I've always had an ongoing OPEN communication with my now 15 yr old daughter. The truth should not freak her out.....it is a part of life. She should not be taught that something is "wrong" with her body.

I am not the most discrete..... I'm the first one to hop in the shower at home or gym and not worry about what someone else is thinking. I am confortable in my body and I teach my daughter that it is ok to be comfortable in her own skin.

I was raised by a mom who would NEVER get caught in a state of undress like it was very ugly, dirty or something like that. I'll never forget at 13 my mom was almost killed in a car accident and when I was at the hospital, she started freaking out one night because the attending nurse moved a sheet and I saw her private parts....GEEESSS....Thank God that didn't scar me... it just made me realize how prudish my mom STILL IS.

2 moms found this helpful

Most of the answers are very good but I would like to add one thing. Please don't lie to you child about it. My mother lied to me when I was about 6 and I asked about a neighbor girl who talked about starting her period. My mother told me there was no such thing and that the girl was lying. The result was that when I did start my period I didn't feel that I could talk to my mother about it (even though I had learned the basics of it at school by then). That little lie which my mother told with good intentions effectively shut down all communication between us about my body, sex or anything else like that. Within a few years, I had figured out that she lied to me and what I learned from it was that my mother didn't want to discuss these things and that I shouldn't ask questions about them.

Years later, I asked my mother why she had lied. She said she thought I was too young and didn't want to scare me - as she had been by family members who always talked about "the curse" and how awful it was.

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I just explained to my kids that it's mommy's "leaky" time of the month and it lasts for almost one week but doesn't hurt a bit. A woman's body changes to prepare for making babies at around age 12. If she isn't going to make a baby that month, then the blood that lines her uterus will just leak out, little by little, just for about 7 days out of every 30. We where tampons and pads to keep clean and it's just a natural part of being a woman. Now that my kids are 8, I also explain that sometimes mom is more irritable before her leaky time and less patient because of the chemical changes that occur in my body. I warn them when I feel it coming on so they know not to push the limits on those days LOL. They appreciate that I'm honest with them and they know they can ask me anything and trust that I won't be uncomfortable explaining it to them.

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I don't know why the truth would freak her out. There's nothing wrong with menstrual cycles (other than the hassle).

I never had to tell my kids anything, because I'm not discrete, so both my boys and girl knew about women and periods from a very young age. They were never shocked or worried or anything of the sort. It was just a fact. I didn't have to go into the particulars of what it was for, either, until they were old enough to ask about babies.

Since you are a private person, you probably won't change, but I can assure you that 5 is not too young for a little girl to know that mommies bleed once a month.

When you inform her that women bleed, and she asks why, you could start with the minimum answer - they bleed once a month. Then if she pushes you could say something like - it's to clean out the uterus in case there's a new baby. My technique is to give the minimal answer until there's nothing left but the full answer.

And I have found that kids don't usually ask what they don't really want to know and aren't ready to hear.

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