My ten year old niece and I are very close, her mother (my sister) is not around and she generally comes to be with 'girly' problems because her father is old fashioned. She started her period yesterday and was too terrified to tell her father because she was afraid of what he might say. I know he's having trouble coping with his little girl growing up and I have no idea how to approach the subject with him. He has to know eventually, for her sake.
Does anyone have any idea how I could help my niece tell him? Any advice at all would be welcome.
First of all, I am so sorry your neice isn't able to tell her mom, the one person she should be able to talk to, but I am so, SO happy that you are there for her to talk to about important things. It's extremely important for all young girls to have a positive female role model. I'm sure she appreciates you being there for her.
Having said that, I can totally understand her not wanting to tell her dad. I was 11 when I started my period and wouldn't tell my dad because it was too embarassing for me. I told my mom and then didn't even think twice about whether my dad would or wouldn't find out.
Unfortunately, regardless of how "old fashioned" her dad is, he has to face the fact that little girls grow up and their bodies change. It's a normal part of life and a normal part of being female. I would hope her dad wouldn't make a huge deal of this because this isn't something she can control. She probably wishes it hadn't started herself! I know my daughter thought it was disgusting when she first got her period.
I think you should ask your neice if she is more comfortable with you telling him about this. After all, if her mom isn't around and her dad is responsible for raising her, he is going to be the one who has to purchase her feminine products since she can't get them for herself. He has to know, and if he needs help in dealing with this, and her mom isn't available, then maybe you will have to help him come to terms with it. You can also offer suggestions about which products your neice will need or prefer and you will also need to make him very aware that this in no way is a bad thing and he needs to not make her self conscious about it.
She is growing up, and he has to accept it. Take care- you are a good aunt.
I agree it is wonderful that your niece is able to confide in you.I am sure that her dad will be a lot more understanding than she thinks.My daughter started her periods at 10 and it was very difficult as primary schools do not seem prepared for this. I found a really good interactive cd which we used together.It covers all about puberty and growing up and has lots of different ways of sharing issues.
Good luck and I really hope that this helps xxxxxxxxxxx
Last edited by moderator2; 12-19-2006 at 06:57 PM.
Reason: posted commercial website
Does the girl's father expect her body to not mature in the least? I know your niece is Daddy's little girl, but he can't stop her body from what nature intends it to do. I realize it's embarrassing for a young girl to go to her father about this kind of thing - heck, I was too scared and ashamed to tell my mother when my periods started because I thought I was sick and was too embarrassed to tell her I was sick "down there".
In any case, it's wonderful that you're there for this young girl - if the mother is not a good role model or is not in the picture at all, this child is going to need a female figure to look up to and talk to about girl stuff. Kudos to you for being there for her, because I have a feeling the girl's father would also not be too fond of explaining this kind of issue with his daughter. Hopefully things will turn out alright for her in the end, because I would hate to think any parent would be so narrow-minded as to hold the start of a girl's menstrual cycle against her like it's some kind of awful or life-threatening habit.