Teaching Girly Monthly Maintenance #KotexMom

Teaching Girly Monthly Maintenance | Sweet Phenomena

We’ve been talking about helping your daughters come to terms with their periods for the past few months.

We’ve covered those really tough topics, like having “the” talk.

We’ve talked about how U by Kotex Tween is helping moms {and dads} everywhere give their daughters a better first period experience than what they had.

Now we’re easing into something a little simpler: monthly maintenance.  It’s simply not enough to prepare your daughter for starting her first period and leave it at that.

She’ll still have questions, even after she’s started.  There are still several important things she needs to know.

Below you’ll find a few tips on what to talk about in regard to this subject.

Teaching Monthly Maintenance

  • Hygiene is important.  It’s really important to impress upon your daughter the importance of changing her pad on a regular basis.  This is the best way to avoid accidents.  It’s also a good idea to teach her how to properly dispose of used products.  You don’t want any clogs occurring. I’m just sayin’.
  • Deal with accidents.  Sometimes accidents occur.  There’s nothing you can do about it.  But you prepared your daughter, remember? Remind her to use her emergency stash of supplies and clothing and she’ll be good to go!
  • Knowledge is power.  A huge part of being prepared is to know what’s going on.  Teach your daughter how to track her cycle on a calendar so she knows when to expect her next period.  Then it’s not a huge surprise that catches her off guard.
  • Build confidence.  I added this as part of monthly maintenance because a} it’s just a great thing to do for your daughter and b} it’s hard being a girl who has just started your period.  You remember what it’s like: you think everyone knows you’re on your period and it’s embarrassing.  Help your daughter realize that this simply isn’t true and what she’s going through is a natural part of life.
  • Make it fun.  Having a period isn’t fun.  It’s a fact of life, though.  Make this time easier to deal with by providing fun products {like the U by Kotex Tween ones}, neat little containers for her emergency kit, and more!
  • Know the warning signs.  In addition to tracking her period on her calendar, your daughter can identify the “warning signs” of an imminent period.  Help your daughter understand why these things are occurring and what they mean.  Get even more great tips here.

Win Awesome Supplies

Want to score some awesome U by Kotex Tween pads and liners for your daughter?

Trust me, you do.  They’re awesome.

Head to this site and you can be one of 50 moms that wins this great prize!

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.

Always be Prepared #KotexMom

Most of us have at least a month of school under our belts by now.  Routines are developing, schedules are in full force, and Fall is in the air.

We’re not going to talk about stuff like that, though.  We’re going to talk about one of those things that always seems to slip our minds: what happens when your daughter starts her period while away from home.

The most obvious place for this to happen is at school, but I homeschool, so I quickly thought of all the times when it could still happen:  at soccer practice/games, while at a friend’s house, or out shopping.

No matter what type of school your child is in, starting her period while away is something very real to your daughter.

So, how do you deal with this?  More importantly, how do you help her deal with it?

Prepare Yourself to Prepare Her

Remember all those times you think to yourself as a mother: “Oh, I hope she doesn’t get information about that from other kids…”

Well, this is one of those times you should be thinking that.  You should be the one to prep your daughter for this, not someone else.

You can’t really do a good job at this unless you’ve got everything down yourself.

Know if she has any “systems” in place at school, such as a nurse. Maybe the nurse has an emergency kit on hand.

Make sure she has all the supplies she needs {pads, a change of clothes, etc.}. This doesn’t have to be anything major, but she should get used to carrying a pad or two at the very least.

This will help her feel more prepared for when the time comes.  U by Kotex Tween has an array of awesome products designed specifically for tweens.  They’re colorful, they’re small, they’re compact.  No more lugging around that massive pillow in the icky pastel pink wrapper…

Make sure she understands what will and won’t happen. How many times have we experienced the fear of the unknown?  Tons.  Don’t do that to your daughter.

Kotex has put together a great site that covers any topic related to periods that you can possibly imagine.  I really like their section on first period questions.  Study that with your daughter and you’re set to go!

Preparation is key here folks.  Set your daughter up for success and make sure she’s got her period pack on her at all times.

Let her know what will happen so she knows what to expect and how to react.

How did you prepare your daughter?  Did your mother prepare you?  Let’s chat below!

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.

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.

 

Fun Food Stuff

Another fun one!  We love to cook and bake around here!

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When you stumble into homeschooling {as opposed to it being something you’ve always planned for your children}, you have to work with what you’ve got.  When we started homeschooling, I had cooking and baking.  No awesome artistic abilities, no creative capabilities, no curriculum-building talent.  So, cooking and baking have been used as an oh crap filler, an addition to a lesson, a kick-off-the-school-year activity, or a just-for-fun-we-really-want-to-eat-this activity.  Following are a few of our favorite fun food projects and recipes.

1.  Bake something and decorate it

Whether it’s a cake you bake from scratch, a dozen cupcakes made from a box mix, or sugar cookies baked from a roll of store bought dough, kids love to decorate them.  You can use store bought frosting, buttercream frosting, or royal icing {this one hardens, but many kids still like to eat it…}.  If you don’t have any pastry bags and tips on hand, just put the frosting into a sandwich baggy and cut of a corner, creating an instantaneous piping bag.  This is a great opportunity to teach things like colors, kitchen safety, and math.

2.  Participate in a fair baking contest

This has become a yearly tradition for Babydoll and me.  We enjoy perusing the county fair exhibition books, looking for the various categories we’d like to enter something in. Generally, the children’s categories are judges on appearance and/or taste, and are divided into appropriate age groups.  Even if your child doesn’t win, they usually still get an participation ribbon.  Many fairs even give free admittance to exhibitors. This is our special time together, and involves learning how to budget your time, create or follow a recipe, write legibly, and speak publicly.

3.  Make homemade donuts

Donuts are surprisingly easy to make {don’t worry, you don’t need a deep fryer}, and they’re wicked delicious.  We make donuts to kick off the school year, attempting to make some shaped like the grade Babydoll is entering.  This is a great photo op to document the beginning of each school year. Our favorite recipe is this one by Paula Deen.

4.  Create your own rock candy

We did this during a science unit on rocks.  It’s super easy and Babydoll loved checking her crystals each day.  Babydoll has always been fascinated with rocks anyway, so seeing how they were formed was a treat.  Eating the candy afterward isn’t half bad either.  Here’s a great lesson plan designed around this experiment.

5.  Make your own pizza

Lots of families do this, but you can easily take this a step further.  Use this as an opportunity to teach your child about diameter, meal planning {let them make the list, find the items in the store, and comparison shop}, dough making, how yeast works, there are so many possibilities.  I give Babydoll her own dough, pan, and toppings and let her go to town.  There’s something about making their own food that makes kids feel special.

6.  Read a cookbook together

Sure, some cookbooks are simply filled with recipes and nothing more.  Some of the best cookbooks are filled with stories and personal anecdotes to go along with the recipe.  This makes the cookbook much more interesting, and worth sitting down to read.  In addition to practicing their reading skills, kids can also decide which recipes they’d like to make and what ingredients need to be purchased to make them. Babydoll’s current favorite is Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids.

7.  Plan special meals

Babydoll loves it when we do theme meals.  Whether it’s for a family celebration or just for fun, creating a meal based on a specific theme lends itself to all sorts of learning.  Kids can come up with a theme, research recipes and decor, choose an appropriate date and time for the meal, help shop for necessary items, and help make decorations and prepare the food. Our personal favorite is spring brunch, complete with awesome folded cloth napkins, printed menu, and Winnie the Pooh spring china.

8.  Make ice cream

This is a fun summertime treat to make.  Whether you have an old fashioned ice cream machine, a frozen yogurt and topping dispenser, or an inexpensive model from a craft store, making ice cream can be so fun!  Help your children research and try different recipes, learning how the ingredients work together to create the frozen treat.

9.  Visit the farmers’ market

Farmers’ markets are wondrous places!  If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place that has a year-round market, you’re set.  You can teach your children about seasonal cooking, using the produce that is in season to create delicious and fresh meals.  If you’ve only got access to a summer farmers’ market, you can still fill your warm months by visiting the market each week and teaching your children about seasonal produce, growing seasons, the process of seed to plate, how to pick ripe produce, and engage in the fun activity of creating a meal from market purchases.  Some markets even have fish, poultry, meat, fresh baked goods, and homemade snack foods.  Search for CSAs, farmers’ markets, farms, and other food establishments in your area on this site.

10. Cook something from another country

When Babydoll attended a Montessori school in WA, one of her end-of-year assignments was to partner with someone and create a presentation on a certain country.  Babydoll and her partner were assigned Nigeria, and they had to research all sorts of things, one of them being food.  They didn’t have to prepare a dish from that country, but were encouraged to do so.  We had so much fun learning about the local ingredients, what people in that country traditionally ate, and what foods were viewed as snacks, special foods, market food, etc. We ended up making a dish called chin chin that is so delicious!  It was a great experience.

Food is a part of every culture, and is a common way for people to connect.  While cooking doesn’t have to occupy every homeschool day, it truly is worthwhile to work it in at regular intervals. Children will greatly benefit from the experiences, and it will likely draw the family together and create lasting memories and family traditions.

What about you?  Do you have any fun food activities you do with your kids?

Photo Credits – Fair, Brunch, Ice Cream, Farmers’ Market

Raising Risk Takers

Loved doing this post!

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Children are born with an innate curiosity that leads them to take risks.

Then, we as parents, spend the better part of 18 years stomping that curiosity right out of them.

While this is a good idea to a point {who really wants their kid to stick their head inside an oven to see what all the fuss is about?}, there are compelling reasons to raise risk takers:

  1. It teaches them to love learning – When you’re curious, you dig for answers and information.  Curiosity breeds a natural love of learning.  Risk taking teaches kids to always question things, always want to know more, always love learning.
  2. It teaches them to  become leaders – Leaders are risk takers.  They know when to push the envelope, and when to just hold on.
  3. It teaches them to think of others – A risk taker learns to consider others when making decisions.  While this may be a learned behavior, it is one that is learned rather quickly when one is faced with how his or her decision affected others.
  4. It teaches them to deal with disappointment – Every risk we take and every decision we make will not turn out the way we want.  Teaching our children to become risk takers allows them to learn how to handle disappointment with style and grace.
  5. It teaches them to go after what they want – Nothing in this world is handed to you, you have to work for it.  Risk takers know this, and go after whatever it is they want.  They might not always get it, but they know they tried.
  6. It teaches them appreciation - Risk takers quickly learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them.  They have what they have, they are who they are, and they can do what they do because of every person they have interacted with.
  7. It teaches them to become decision makers – Risk takers learn to make decisions.  They don’t sit around waiting for others to make decisions for them.
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