11 Year Old Started Period

Updated on February 17, 2010
R.B. asks from Beaufort, SC
13 answers

My 11 year old just started her period. She has cried and cried. She is very depressed about this. I have told her it is natural and all the usual stuff. We have been through this before with her 17 yr old sister, so it isn't like she didn't know about it. She is very upset that she started before her 12 yr old sister. Anyone have any advice for helping her handle this? Is it normal to be this emotional about it?

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answers from Dallas on

I would take her to the store jsut the 2 of you and let her pick out the kind of tampons or pads that she wants to use. I also started at 11 and was not very happy about it this helped me deal with it a little better cause I got to have control over at least part of it.

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answers from Atlanta on

OH! I can total releate to your daughter. I started my period the month after I turned 10! I was devistated. I felt like I had to gorw up because I started my period. I thought I couldn't play with my barbies anymore. And the pads my mother gave me...IT WAS Like A DIAPER! So many thoughts went into my head...And I started before my older sister. So then I felt guilty because she was so eager to grow up and become a "woman". I also had to let te whole school know because I was in ELEMENTARY! And in my elemantary we only had a bathroom in our class!! NIGHTMARE!!!!!!! I hope your daughter feels better soon... Let her knwo she is not alone in feeling that way.



answers from Dallas on

I think it is totally normal. There are some girls who are excited about it, some who are depressed and some who it just doesn't phase. We prepped our daughter from about age 9 - she started at 12 1/2 - she handled it great - I was more emotional about it. Her best friend that is a year older was desperately wanting her period to start - she just got it 1 month before turning 14 - after 2 months - she hates it and now wishes she hadn't been praying for it to start!!

You just have to be supportive that it is a normal part of growing up and the special thing about being a young woman. I agree with the poster who encouraged letting her pick her own hygeine pads - have control!! Celebrate being a woman - don't focus on the cramps, the inconvenience etc. .. and realize a lot of it is just hormones!!!


answers from Fort Myers on

I was also 11yrs of age and did not cry but was very anxious because I did not know what to expect. It could be that your middle 12yr old daughter associates coming into womanhood with time off school and now she feels left out because her sisters get to do something she can't. Your 11yr old could be shedding tears and being depressed because her friends are not experiencing their monthly period. It could be a lot of things wrapped up together and not one particular thing so keep the one on one conversations going and all the girls talking together sharing their feelings everything will be OK!



answers from Atlanta on

Hi R.,

Of course this is a normal, emotional reaction. She is still a little girl and now she has to deal with grown-up stuff. There is preparation in the sense that she understands it but just like death, you can expect it but you cannot really be prepared for it. Just keep comforting her and reread what Nicole said. She is right on about everything!

God bless,




answers from Seattle on

Hi R.!
I have talked and prepared my daughter for years, so she is very comfortable about becoming a woman and the changes her body is about to face.

However, my daughter, who is also 11, recently told me about a situation that occured with one of her friends that shocked me. A few weeks ago it was found that a girl who was close to my daughter and friends got her period. BUT it was the reaction from one of the friends that was shocking. She told the other girls that they should and could not play with the girl who now had her period! My daughter was shocked and still plays with the girl but the situation was disturbing. (Too say the least) I have never heard about something like this happening...

Ask your daughter if her friends are supportive or if there is some strange backlash?

And the most troublesome point I found was that the little girl said her PARENTS told her to stay away from girls who had their periods?! Shocking!



answers from Dallas on

Yes this is normal My girls started at age 9 and 10 and I think I was more depressed about that they where, You as a mom are doing well so far with just reassuring her and letting her no that she will be ok, just try things to take her mind off of it when she starts and in a few months she should be ok if very overwhelming at first, she will never like having it though, Im 35 and still don't. Your doing the right thing and keep up the good work.



answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with her picking out the pads/tampons she wants to use. You may want to pick up some small packages and let her try different ones. Buying based on what it looks like on a package can be overwhelming and she may be embarrassed to even look while she is in the store. I also started very young and hated having to be with my mom or DAD at the store when we had to buy pads. It didn't help that they bought the generic pads in the HUGE box that was all white with big black lettering that said MAXI PADS. God, I hated that! :)

The emotional part is part of the period. Those pesky hormones. Would you consider giving her Midol or Pamprin? Those seem to help with pain, bloating and possible PMS. If anything, telling her that they help might be enough.

If you are open to it, you may even talk to her about going on the pill (in the future) if the periods get bad or if she really struggles with them every month. I was put on the pill at 12 years of age to control mine and really look forward to going back on it in another year and a half (after baby is born and breastfeeding for a year). If she knows that there is something to help control them or make them go away for 3 months at a time (Seasonique), she may feel like she isn't so STUCK with this every month.

Good job for being a great mom and doing what you can for her!



answers from Minneapolis on

Im sure she is just upset and mabye embarrased if none of her friends have gotten thiers yet. I was either 11 or 12 when i got mine and none of my friends had thiers yet. I didnt tell them and i cried and cried because i didnt like being the first and was embarrased. Once i knew my friends started getting thiers then it wasnt so bad anymore. Just keep talking to her about it and im sure once her sister or her friends get thiers she will feel better about it. Good luck!



answers from Charlotte on

Hell R.,

I can imagine it is very difficult for her. It is not just hormonal. I am a holistic doctor who focuses on women's issues and I have worked with many tweens. She needs your emotional support and please do not have her use tampons; too traumatic. Have her pick out organic pads without dioxin; bleach used in feminine care products creates dioxin which is linked to many types of cancer.

If she has a lot of cramps that means she may be deficient in essential fatty acids (fish oil, flax seed, avocado, olive oil) and B complexes; especially B6.

And in response to the last email, do not put your child on birth control pills. It messes up the feedback loop between the anterior-pituitary gland and the reproductive organs. What this means, is when women go off the pill and want to have a child, many women have problems, this means infertility. I have worked with many women with infertility which has been realted to this feed-back loop problems ccaused by the use of the pill. This is real and well researched and documented. The worst part is that if any woman has been on birth control for longer than 10 years, she may never be able to stabilize the feed-back loop and may have hormonal problems for the rest of her life. It makes for an exceptionally diffcult menopause when this system is malfunctioning. Also, the pill blocks the bodies absorption of B6, which makes for even more difficlut menses.

I wish you the best!



answers from Atlanta on

When I was little (in the prehistoric era:) ) my mom gave me a book around 6 mos before I started around 11 as well. I was the only girl in my catholic school class of 30 to have a period for 2 years... and to have a divorced mom and to be a little overweight:)

It helped to know I wasn't alone, I wasn't "the only one" and I wasn't "weird or abnormal". I was an only child living outside a neighborhood, so that "alone" feeling was very real for me, and perhaps magnified for your daughter as she is now "unlike" her beloved sister in one way.

Girls and women are emotional as well as hormonal, and she should be allowed her feelings as long as she's healthy in their release:)

Try getting her a book or surfing online with her about all kinds of kids and cultures and advice that's now available and we didn't have:) I'm sure there's more out there, but here's what I am bookmarking...

"The Period Book: Everything You Don't Want to Ask (But Need to Know)"




answers from Dallas on

Sounds like you are on the right track with giving her a lot of support.

We talked a LOT about the period and issues going along with it in length. My daughter adjusted well, she started at 12, but we had prepared from age 10 or so.

Keep in mind her hormones are going crazy as well. My daughter is 15 now and quite tired of her monthly visitor. About once every 3-6 months I have to pick her up from school or let her stay home a day because of the cramping being heavier, sick stomach, etc. She is lucky because there are a couple of girls in her class that routinely miss 1-3 days a month due to their cycle.

Fortunately, I don't have to deal with it anymore (hysterectomy in 2001....whoo hoo) and I am careful to express my enjoyment of my freedom because I know she has a long way to go and it is not the most fun thing to go through.

Hang in there....



answers from Atlanta on

Yes I would think this is very normal. I can remember back when I started mine and I felt the same. Alot of my friends didn't start until 17 and quite a few of them did not have them every single month. Once her friends start she'll feel better. I think the girls are starting now really early, as early as 9 now, due to what's in the foods we're eating.

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