Preparing for Talks with Your Daughter #KotexMom

Mom and daughter

If you’re a parent, especially a mother of a girl, I don’t have to tell you how important it is to keep the lines of communication open.

The process doesn’t start when they become a teenager.  It doesn’t start once they’ve had a bad experience or gotten into trouble.

It starts at birth.  Some would even argue before then.

Know why?

It takes time to foster a relationship with your daughter.  It takes time to make her feel that she can come to you with anything.

You, as a parent, must take time to prepare for talks with your daughter.  If you don’t, she’ll go to someone else; someone who is in all likelihood not prepared.

Preparing for Those Moments

The great thing about preparing for these moments is that you don’t have to do anything extravagant.  Just be there for your daughter.

Listen to her.  Don’t judge, just listen.  Create special Mommy/Daughter moments and traditions.

To me, this is the first step.  Just learn how to enjoy your daughter.  Learn more about her so you can better read her cues.

The BIG Conversations

Most of the time you and your daughter are together, conversations will revolve around normal, everyday things.

It’s been my experience that the whoppers don’t have much lead-in.  They just kind of smack you over the head with them.

I’m going to be quite honest:  I’m probably still very bad about hiding my emotions when I’m told something I wasn’t prepared to hear.

Know what makes it easier?  The fact that my daughter and I have a great relationship and she comes to me with what’s on her mind.

We’ve already laid that foundation, so everything else is much easier to build.

All this touchy-feely stuff is great, but when it comes to something like discussing your daughter’s first period, you need some nuts and bolts type stuff.

That’s where Kotex comes in.  They’ve taken a conversation that’s been happening for generations, one that’s uncomfortable for just about everyone, and given  you the tools you need to prepare specifically for that talk.

Last month I shared the calendar resource with you, but I wanted to underscore it’s importance again.

If you take nothing else away from this post, remember the calendar.  If you’re having trouble figuring out exactly how to handle the period talk, this thing will get you through it.

I firmly believe you need to be prepared for everything, but especially for something so extensive as this talk.  You need to know the facts.  You need to know what she might ask.  You need to know how to handle it.

Oh, and remember:  it’s OK if you don’t know the answer to a question.  Just tell your daughter, research it, and come back to it.

Still need some help and want to point your daughter in the direction of some good information?

Be sure to check out the Hello Period site, put together by U by Kotex Tween.  It’s a great resource for daughters.

I’d like to say one final thing about preparing for these talks:  think of it in terms of how your daughter views it.  She’s going through changes that are quite possibly scary to her.

She’s looking to you, her hero, for information and assistance.  You’ve been there.  You can help her.

Remember the awkward talks you had with your mother.  Or the ones she had with her mother.  Break the cycle.  Make use of the technology and the resources U by Kotex Tween has put together and provide her with the best possible start into this new phase in her life.

What about you; how do you prepare for talks like this with your daughter?

photo credit: Julien Lagarde via photo pin cc

True Confessions:  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.

 

Family Grilling Party with Sears Grilling #GrillingisHappiness #SoFabU

Cucumber Salad 1

For the past six weeks I’ve been working through my SoFabU/Sears Grilling food photography course.

Sometimes it’s been difficult to make the assignments look the way I want them to.  Sometimes I wasn’t at all happy with the pictures I took.

And then, there were times where I was blown away by the progress I’d made.

The latter happened more often than not.  I feel my photography skills have grown by leaps and bounds, and can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am to Sears and SoFabU for putting this together.

It was a phenomenal course and I am definitely a better blogger for having taken it.

Family Grilling Party

This week’s assignment involved putting all of the knowledge we’ve gained from the past few weeks to the test by hosting a home grilling party of some sort.

We happened to have family coming into town anyway, so this week was perfect for this.

Below are some of the pictures that made the cut this week.

My famous deviled eggs.  They’ll convert people.

The most delicious cucumber salad you’ll ever eat.  My father-in-law made it:  cucumbers, red peppers, tomatoes, green onions, a few slices of serrano peppers, white vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Peel the cucumbers and then scrape the sides long ways with the tines of a fork.  Slice the cucumbers and chop the tomatoes, red bell pepper, and green onion and add it to a bowl.

For a small bit of heat, add a few slices of serrano pepper.

Mix in soy sauce, white vinegar, and sesame oil to taste.

One of the best pictures I’ve ever taken.  Ever.

Yummy steaks!

Meat cooking away!

Babydoll even hopped in to take a picture.

The final product: steak, deviled eggs, red rice, and cucumber salad.  We finished it off with some peach cobbler and a family movie night!

True Confessions:  I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sears #CBias #GrillingIsHappiness. All photos and opinions are my own.

Food Styling – Campaign Photography with Sears Grilling #GrillingisHappiness #SoFabU

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This week’s class theme was food styling and photography.  Our lesson was intense, and long, but extremely useful.

There is just entirely too much information to share here in one blog post, so I’ll fill you in on a few basics.

Styling your food is important.

Lighting is important.

Background is important.

Props are important.

Restaurants know this, and folks who make commercials know this, and folks who put pictures of food in publications know this.

I know this too, but it’s hard.  Plus, it takes a lot of planning.  Time I didn’t have this week.

Nonetheless, I learned a great deal and I can’t wait to continue playing around with my plating.

I realize I have quite a ways to go, but I am still happy with my progress.  While I did try to get properly styled food, I was still trying to focus on getting a good quality picture.

I promised myself I wouldn’t point out all the flaws in my blog post, so I’m just going to put my photos below.

True Confessions:  I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sears #CBias #GrillingIsHappiness. All photos and opinions are my own.

Let Me Tell You ‘Bout the Birds and the Bees #KotexMom

kotex-mom-badge-rvsd

No, not quite that talk.  But really, this talk eventually leads to that talk.

If you have a daughter, you’ll have this talk.

At some point, in some fashion, you’ll have this talk.

It may be in-depth and comfortable, or it may be short and awkward.

Yes, I’m talking about the period talk.

I feel fairly comfortable with my daughter, and we do discuss pretty much anything under the sun.

Even still, I still feel that twinge of “Oh crap!” whenever I think about having this discussion with her.

How do we make it easier?  Here are three tips to help ease you into the discussion.

KNOW YOUR STUFF

Have you ever had to give a presentation?  Wasn’t it much easier to do when you were properly prepared?

This talk with your daughter is no different.  If it’s difficult for you to discuss this with her {and really, even if it’s not}, educate yourself.

Know the facts surrounding first periods, know what changes will be happening to your daughters body, and most importantly {in my opinion} know the difference between myth and fact.

It amazes me the number of parents that never question information they were given or have heard and then pass that on to their children.

Set your daughter up for success; educate yourself so you can prepare her for all possibilities and situations.

CHOOSE A DAY TO HAVE “THE TALK”

Maybe it’s just me, but unless I pick a specific day for something, it usually doesn’t happen.

Then there’s the uncomfortable nature of this conversation, and well, it would probably never occur if I didn’t pick a date.

U by Kotex Tween has this awesome calendar online that helps you prepare for the talk by not only picking a date, but by also giving you steps to take to prepare:

I love, love, love this thing!  You just choose your day and it gives you tasks to complete on the days leading up to the talk.

It covers facts you should know, questions she might ask, tips on starting the conversation, and more.  It’ll even send you a reminder via email.

BE PREPARED

I don’t mean for the talk.  We’ve discussed that already.

I mean be prepared for her first period.  I think we get so caught up in the talk that we don’t think about the logistics sometimes.

She’ll need sanitary items.  I love that Kotex has has designed U by Kotex Tween products, just for tweens.

Remember having to keep those giant, thick pads in your purse?  Remember the distinct {ugly} baby pink wrappers?

Our daughters don’t have to deal with products not designed for them and their bodies.  These things are stylish!

Now, before you think I’m crazy, hear me out.  If you have to use the stuff, shouldn’t it be cute?  I think so.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m still not entirely comfortable about this conversation.  I don’t think I ever will be.  I do think that I’m much better prepared to have it now, though.

I think it’s important as a parent to have these conversations, the uncomfortable ones, because most of the time, they’re the most important.

I’d rather have this experience and know my daughter is prepared than to not do it because I’m uncomfortable.

My job is to set her up for life, and this is a part of life.

We haven’t just had one talk, we’ve had several small talks.  It’s by no means done, but I think as you let things happen naturally, it is a bit better.

If she doesn’t bring it up, bring it up on your own, in subtle ways.

Have you had this talk with your daughter? Do you have any tips to share?

True Confessions:  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.

 

Campaign Photography with Sears Grilling: Food on the Grill! #GrillingisHappiness #SoFabU

Hot Dogs 4R

This week’s course work focused on photographing food cooking on the grill.

lot of technical knowledge was discussed {ISO, aperture, shutter speed} and a lot of different angles were discussed {tilt, diagonal, from above}.

This was probably the hardest week yet, for several reasons.  Generally speaking, when you’re cooking, you’re not thinking about taking pictures.

With the help of my wonderful husband, though, I was able to snap a few {or 140+} pictures.

One thing I’d like to note before moving forward:  infrared grills cook fast.  Like, super-fast.  They get to 700 degrees…

This means there is a lot of smoke.  This means that it can be difficult to get good pictures, at least for those of us who are inexperienced.

Despite the lack of good pictures for our burgers, they were the juiciest burgers ever.  Ever.

Loving our new grill!

Hot dogs were first.  I love a good hot dog.  And, we tried spiral cutting some of the dogs.

See?  Really, really hot!

Love this picture!  A few weeks ago I wouldn’t have been able to get a shot this close and have it be so crisp!

Yummy, burgers!

This isn’t a technically “sound” picture, but I just had to show you the smoke.  And this wasn’t even the worst of it!

Finally, we had Asian BBQ chicken.  Yummy!

I have to point out that my lovely husband de-boned these after I accidentally bought bone-in chicken.

In addition to the excitement of using our new grill, I had a great week spending more time with Vince.  We’re both learning together:  I’m learning how to grill and he’s learning how to use the new grill.

Totally awesome.

True Confessions:  I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sears #CBias #GrillingIsHappiness. All photos and opinions are my own.