Taking my daughters to swim practice is important to me. I enjoy watching them (and of course, socializing with the other moms) but it is also because I know how difficult it is for their dad to take them. He’s perfectly capable and is willing to do it, but with two tween daughters, if they decide to hang out in the locker room for a while after practice, he’s totally at their mercy.
Unfortunately, sometimes there are more important things happening that require my attention. Sometimes it involves work but in this case, it was an evening event at the elementary school. Sure, I could have sent him to THAT but seriously, swimming was the better option by far. You see, the evening event at the school was “Parent Health Day.” It’s when the nurse and school counselor meet with parents of 4th, 5th and 6th graders to show the videos the kids would be watching for sexual education. With two daughters, this was something I needed to attend. I expected that parents of boys would send the dad. 4th grade parents (that’s us) get to watch the videos on puberty. Believe it or not, the 6th graders watch videos on sexually transmitted diseases.
Things sure are different now than when I was growing up.
The video basically talked about all the things I’ve been going over as a result of my #KotexMom Ambassadorship. Changes in their bodies, mood swings and of course, signs to watch for to know when periods begin. Keeping a journal to track when her period might begin will help ease the anxiety that can be caused by concerns of an ‘unexpected’ arrival. Providing tips and tools will help my daughters be better prepared all around.
As an example, the other day Miss M came home from school and told us that something smelled funny on the bus. She explained, “It smelled like fish on the bus.” That comment opened the door to an excellent conversation on cleanliness and hygiene. I started explaining the importance of getting clean in the shower, washing her face regularly at the sink and that when the time comes, freshening up while in the restroom.
These are all things that are normal and helping our daughters know that it’s normal is extremely important. As parents, REMEMBERING that it’s normal for her have mood swings is just as crucial. She is battling physical changes – not only in her body shape but also blemishes – as well as emotional ups and downs. Moodiness is happening and we’re trying to get her to realize that being emotional is okay but taking it out on the rest of the family is not. But change, like leaves falling from the trees, is inevitable.
The key is to keep the conversation going. Find opportunities to discuss all these changes so that it isn’t overwhelming when something major happens. Find the joy and beauty in the fallen leaves…