I remember the first time I encountered a tampon in my mom’s purse. It was around my sixth birthday and thought it was a treat. I picked up the colorful package and asked mom what it was and if I could eat it. “Put that back,” she said.
“But mom, what IS it?” I persisted. She sweetly and quietly told me that I’d find out when I was older. Conversation over. Whatever was inside that Tampax wrapper became a huge mystery and my imagination went into overdrive. Awkward conversations or not talking about it at all was the old-school method of talking about tampons—you’ll find out on your own some day. The new-school tampon talk is thankfully much less awkward.
We’re partnering with Tampax to help you start the tampon conversation in your own home and to hopefully make that conversation less awkward than the ones we had growing up.
Talking about Tampons: When To Start
Just like déjà vu, my own curious little daughter was playing hide and seek with her brother one day when she hid in my bathroom cupboard. “What are these mom? she asked, pulling out my Tampax Pocket Pearls. I flashed back in time to that one pivotal moment in my childhood. Let’s do this differently, I thought.
Moms today are trying to be more open and honest about sensitive subjects like periods and tampons. If they don’t hear it from us, our daughters will hear it from other sources—ones that aren’t very reliable.
Start the tampon conversation as soon as it comes up naturally. When my four-year-old and eight-year-old daughters asked what the Tampax tampon was in my purse, I started with the basics: “Mommies have to use them once a month to stop bleeding. When you are a teenager, you will use them too.“
Every girl is different, but the average age for getting your first period is around 12 or 13. It’s nice for girls to know about it way ahead of time.
Tampax.com has so many great tips and advice on how to talk to your daughter about her first period, how to use tampons, and what tampons are best for her.
So, what do I say?
The key to having the tampon talk is to make it as natural as possible. Here are some tips to avoid the awkward:
- Be open, act natural. When your daughter first approaches you with a tampon or period question, fight the urge to clam up or bumble your words. Act natural and weave it into your conversation organically. She may not be ready for all the in-depth answers now, so start with the basics.
- Let her ask questions. If you’re not sure what your daughter knows already, ask her. “Have girls been talking about periods at school? What do you know about that?” Let her ask questions without the fear of your judgement or negative reactions.
- Provide honest answers. Honest questions deserve honest answers. If you’re not sure how to respond to your daughter’s period questions, check out Tampax.com for great tips and advice!
- We’re both the same. Reassure your daughter that you are both the same. Share your first period experience with her and let her know she doesn’t have to be afraid. Let her know she can always come to you with questions or concerns.
The Best Tampons for Her
Tampax Pocket Pearl is a new pocket-sized option for girls-on-the-go. It’s the only compact tampon that gives girls an extra layer of protection. They have a new, compact size that fits in her hand, her purse, or her pocket for complete discretion.
Discretion is good when you’re a teenager.
I remember in middle school worrying about how I was going to hide my tampons. Tampax Pocket Pearl comes in a tiny package so girls-on-the-go can stay confident and dive into life without the worry. She can go to soccer practice, ballet class, or out with friends and her period won’t hold her back.
Teen girls helped design the look of the packaging which is really cool! They have bold, edgy wrappers, playful designs and personality, just like her!
Sensitive subjects are only as awkward as we make them. If the Internet had been around decades ago, those first tampon talks with our moms would have come up cupcakes and sprinkles.
Photography by Shelley Coates
This post is sponsored by Tampax. All opinions and personal stories, as awkward as they may be, are our own.