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Helping Your Tween/Teen Daughter Be Prepared For The School Year

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Once upon a time, when I was in my 20’s, I was a school teacher. I taught school at a very hoity-toity private school, where the parents paid big bucks to receive more personalized attention for their well-heeled students. It was on me to provide that attention and educate those offspring, and I did my level best to do so. Parent-teacher conferences always made me a little nervous. First, I was young. Second, I was moving in circles of people who had power in our community, and not a little influence. So, I was generally somewhat on edge when it came time to meet the families of my students.

One parent-teacher conference day, I was having a private conference with the parents of a child I’ll call little Johnny. Little Johnny’s father was a huge, hulking figure of a man, with a booming voice and meat hooks for hands. Meat hooks decorated with heavy gold rings and a bracelet. Not unlike actor Brian Dennehy in physique, this man was imposing. Little Johnny had some fairly severe learning disabilities, and had made GREAT strides that year, and his parents were both thrilled with his progress in my class. So, while it was a meeting I wasn’t dreading based on the student’s progress, I still felt intimidated by the presence of this power couple, and by this large man, in particular.

He looked a little bit like this guy.
Image from here. 

I had dressed with care for the conference day. I knew that sometimes one’s youth may not engender confidence, and it was important to me to try to appear to be professional. I was wearing my light camel-colored suit, with a teal silk blouse, and I felt good about the way I looked. As the conference drew to an end, I warmly thanked both parents for coming, shook their hands, and walked in front of them to the door, to open it for them, as they made their way out.

I watched them walk down the hall, and then took that moment to make a mad dash to the bathroom, due to a niggly little feeling that had begun while I was in the middle of the conference. Any woman reading this will know what I’m talking about. You know that feeling that you get, that is almost a dribbly kind of feeling? It’s subtle, but we learn to recognize it: it’s the sign that our period may be about to start, or have just started.

Well, mine had just started, and not only had it just started, it had just started WITH A VENGEANCE. Think Johnstown Flood. And there was a large, lovely burgundy stain about the size of a biscuit on the back of my light camel-colored skirt.

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The HORROR!!!!!!!!!!!!

The memory of what I had just done made me want to run screaming into the night (except it was day): I had stood up from that little circle of chairs, turned my back on the parents, and displayed my crimson stain for their inspection!!!

Lordy, lordy, lordy.

At that point in the day, it happened to be lunchtime, and I happened to live near enough to the school that I could blast home, change my clothes, and make it back for my next conference, but honestly? I’m still somewhat scarred by the incident.

I tell you that in the sure and safe knowledge that:

  1.   I no longer live in that town and have since changed my name (OK, and maybe it wasn’t for that reason, but STILL, it was helpful!) and I sincerely doubt that little Johnny’s parents read this blog or know my new name, and 
  2.  this type of accident has happened to almost every woman on the planet, to one degree or another. Perhaps yours wasn’t as spectacularly humiliating as mine was, but, if you’re a woman, you probably have a story about the time you felt a bloody fool. 😀

But my point is, that if you’re a Mom, you will DOUBTLESS want to save your own daughter from such an experience.

(Not that she’ll actually LISTEN…do kids EVER learn from OUR mistakes??? But that’s another blog post…)

Let’s pretend that she WILL listen. Let’s pretend that, in fact, she is ripe for advice, at the beginning of this school year, to avoid having an accident. What might you as a Mom mention to her?

  1. Keep a calendar, marking the first day of your last period.
  2. Get one of those cool pieces of software that they make for your phone or your iPad, that helps you keep track.
  3. Watch for telltale signs like facial breakouts, backache, feeling “fat” or bloated, feeling extra hungry: these can all be signs that your period is on its way.
  4. Always carry feminine supplies in your purse, and consider the possibility of storing a clean pair of underwear in your school locker or the bottom of your backpack, just in case.
    Here’s a bag of supplies I have my daughter keep in her backpack: just in case.

And, if you’d like more suggestions, Kotex has a couple of great websites with helpful information. One is for you, and this page might help you as you think about what you’d like to communicate to your daughter in regard to being prepared for her period. This second website is geared specifically toward your daughter, and answering any questions she may have, and would like to do some reading on her own.

“I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

P. S. Have you ever felt like a bloody fool? 😀