Having successful conversations about periods

It has been quite an intense few weeks but I’m really happy to be back with a guest post from a lovely friend and fellow student at Alexandra Pope’s apprenticeship program.

Jo Macdonald is the owner of The Red Box Company, an online shop that offers beautifully wrapped boxes full of essentials for a girls first moon

But Jo is not only making periods a positive experience by selling her products, she is also running A celebration day for girls, a workshop where she helps mums and daughters deepen their connection by opening to a subject that most mums and girls alike feel very anxious about.

I invite you to have a look at Jo's website and to find out more check her blog The Red Lifestyle where she post on a regular basis about periods, puberty, PMS and much more! 

Thank you Jo for sharing these wise words


In her amazing book A Blessing not a Curse Jane Bennett tells the true story of ‘a girl who had no knowledge of menstruation when she first started to bleed.  She felt utterly devastated and alone.  Having no-one she felt she could confide in, she committed suicide.’    

As a woman and a mother I find this story heart-breaking.  I’m sure you do too.  So many of us worry about how to talk to our daughter’s about periods, what to say, when to say it etc.  We can go round and round in circles worrying about it and forget that the only thing that actually matters is SAYING SOMETHING.  It doesn’t matter if you get it all right, it just matters that you START THE CONVERSATION

Girls who feel prepared and positive about their periods are more likely to:

~ have a more positive view of their body and self as a female
~ have a closer relationship with their family
~ delay first sexual experiences
~ suffer less with menstrual issues such as PMS
~ have an easier time during pregnancy and labour later on in life

Here are some of my top tips for having a successful conversation about periods and puberty with your daughter:

1            Puberty can start as young as 7/8 so the earlier you start preparing your daughter for the changes ahead the better it will be.  Age-appropriate conversations about growing-up and body changes set the foundation for a healthy respect and understanding of the changes ahead.  If your daughter is older, don’t feel as though you’ve ‘left it too late so why bother’ – it is never too late to help your daughter feel positive about periods and puberty.   

2            ‘Do as I say and not as I do’ just doesn’t cut it with periods.  Your daughter needs to see that you have a healthy relationship with your own menstrual cycle, or are at least working towards one.   Remember to use positive language.  If you refer to periods as ‘the curse’ or a ‘real drag’ you will be setting her up for a lifetime of menstrual problems as well as a negative image of her own body.  She needs to understand that menstruation is a normal and powerful part of being a woman so she can feel powerful in herself and respect her femininity.

3            Remember that your daughter is new to menstruation and needs as much information as possible.  Don’t assume that all of this will get covered in school.  Grab some books to read together, look on the internet, talk to others and check out all the different choices available when it comes to menstrual products.

4            If she doesn’t want to talk about periods then leave it for a while but do make sure you come back to the topic again as she will take on board the information you give her – even if it is drip-fed and she doesn’t say thanks!

For more information on successful conversations you can download my free book 7 top tips for talking to your daughter about periods and puberty

Your daughter only gets her first period once but will continue to menstruate for around 35 years.  It’s worth taking the time to make sure it is a positive experience and that her menstrual cycle becomes a positive, empowering part of her life not a curse.

For more information you can visit my website www.theredboxcompany.com    


  1. This is such an important issue to talk about......I so agree about Starting The Conversation.......so great that you are spreading this message Jo.....and thx Metzli for helping spread the word :).

  2. Thanks Gina! yes, it is such an important topic and sandly I still hear about women not knowing how to aproach it. Help us spread the word too! :)

  3. Thanks for inviting me to write for your blog Belinda, such a pleasure. Huge love ♥

  4. You are doing such important work Jo! I have two boys BUT I have nieces too. A couple of years ago I gave my neice a special kit for girls about menstration. I knew that this was important given that my sister is very busy and travels alot and my niece's father is the one who spends the most time with her. My brother-in-law ( her father ) was so glad that I had given her the kit and I think it became a starting point for discussions with her mom and dad. If we lived closer to them (they are out of province) I know I would have been tempted to offer to "start the conversation".

  5. It would have been lovely to have had access to this information years ago when my daughters were young. I had no role models for talking about menstruation in a healthy way. I'm so glad that you are getting the word out there in such a positive way, both of you!

  6. That was really sweet of you Petrea! thanks for sharing that story here with us!

  7. Thank you for your kind words Loran, it is true what you say. We didn't have role models, neither our mothers or grandmothers as this subject and many others have been taboo for thousands of years! It is time to bring them back! :D


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