Historically, the menstrual cycle has been viewed as a time of secrecy. When asked many women shy away from discussing their menstrual cycle or events surrounding the beginning of the menstrual. Negative inferences such as “the curse” and “the rag” are used to describe this very natural time in a girl’s life.
It is no secret that girls are experiencing their menarche earlier. Some have begun their menstrual cycles as young as nine. There are different reasons doctors explain for this occurrence. Some attribute it to genetics, while others say the environment and the intake of foods laced with hormones may be responsible. Whatever the cause, this time in a tween girl's life should be thoroughly explained and yes, celebrated. The reality is once a girl experiences her first menstrual cycle, her life changes forever.
As an educator I wrote the YouNiquely You curriculum as an innovative way to introduce puberty to girls 9-13 years old and to affirm every girl is special and unique. The curriculum gives tweens the tools to successfully maneuver through the physical changes, the emotional changes, and hormonal changes which typically occur when a tween is progressing toward the menarche.
What? You just got yours?
There's got to be more to it than this, right?
WHO WE ARE
Blessed with two girls, I wondered how I would handle three menstrual cycles each month.
I grimaced at the thought of ‘attitudes’ and mood swings, not to mention the number of sanitary pads to purchase each month. Those thoughts became a reality as my children began the journey from being girls to womanhood.
I struggled with when to have the “big talk”. I realized I was not alone when I began to have conversations with other moms in our community. I wanted to say all the right things to my girls and have all the answers. Most of all. I wanted them to feel special and let them know their menstrual cycle was nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. I wanted to celebrate their entrance into womanhood. My goal is to share what I have learned to help you celebrate your daughter’s ‘Becoming’.
Since beginning the YouNiquely You Seminars in 2011, it has been my pleasure to see the frowns on the faces of the tweens turn into smiles as they learned about their bodies. Some asked questions while others gave lil' testimonials about their own menses. To watch these tweens engage in conversation about 'becoming' has propelled me to continue with the vision to reach one girl at a time. Finally, my overwhelming satisfaction comes from the support letter from parents as well as the references they have given to other parents about the program.
The safe environment and the fun we have learning cannot be found in a book. I encourage you to contact me about sponsoring a YouNiquely You Program or registering a tween for the next seminar.
Ms. DeAndre' Marshall