Kits help parents tell girls about their first periods

One of those “uncomfortable” discussions some parents have with their daughters is introducing the topic of monthly cycles.

Around age 9 or 10, girls need to understand how their bodies are changing.

Kathy Pickus of Mukilteo, and her sister, Terri Goodwin of Seattle, created The Dot Girls First Period Kit as a visual aid for one of the most important sit downs of our lives: Where babies come from.

The bag includes a 12-page booklet with answers to questions to read together, a menstrual calendar, a gel-filled heat pack to ease cramps, sanitary pads and hand wipes.

Some ibuprofen would have been nice too, but that’s just me.

“These kits help jump-start the dialogue about not only having a first period, but about the differences between sex and love,” said Pickus. “The kit is designed to help tongue-tied moms and single dads explain things more easily to their daughters.”

The women said they had a wonderful mother, but there was never a menstrual talk.

Pickus started her period on a family trip to Montana.

“It took me a full day to tell my mother, because I honestly thought I was dying,” Pickus said. “I was totally scared by what was happening.”

Goodwin’s period started a week after their brother died in a car accident.

“Our mom bought her the necessary supplies, but was not in any shape to sit down and talk to Terri about what was happening,” Pickus said. “Terri was surprised and scared.”

As mothers, they wanted to create something to address the uncomfortable topic.

Pickus, 48, is the mother of Dylan, 16, and Aaron and Haley, both students at the University of Washington. The Mariners fan and quilter graduated from UCLA with a degree in business economics. Goodwin, 42, has two young sons, is also a UCLA graduate and received a design degree.

Besides helping parents open the door for discussion, Goodwin and Pickus also hope the kits will lessen the anxiety girls feel about their first period and turn it into a positive experience.

Fair warning from an informed parent eases the inevitable.

Columnist Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451 or oharran@heraldnet.com.

Where to find it

The Dot Girl’s First Period Kit may be purchased online at www.dotgirlproducts.com for $18.

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