When you’re new to getting your period, talking about it with anyone, even your mom, can be uncomfortable. It can be especially awkward if you want to move away from using pads and ask her to buy you some tampons. If you’re nervous about having the conversation, preparing in the right way can make all the difference. Make sure you know the facts about tampons, get advice from friends or adults who you trust, and come up with a list of strong reasons for wanting to use tampons. Your mom is much more likely to agree if she knows that you’ve thought the whole thing through.
Research the benefits and proper use of tampons.
If you want to convince your mom to buy you tampons, it helps to have the facts on your side. Familiarize yourself with the benefits of using tampons, as well as how to choose the best type, how to insert them, and how to remove them so you can prove to your mother that you’re ready to use them.
If you’re not sure how to find information about tampons, start with the internet. Use your favorite search engine to search for terms such as “using tampons” and “tampon benefits.”
Your school nurse may also be able to provide pamphlets with information about tampons.
Educate yourself about the potential risks of tampons.
While tampons are usually completely safe, there are possible risks if you don’t use them properly. If you don’t change your tampons often enough, you can develop toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which is a serious condition.
You can also develop TSS if you use tampons that are too absorbent, so it’s important to use the right ones. Browse the tampon aisle at your local drug store to check out the absorbencies of the products that are available to see what would work best for you.
Make sure that you know the symptoms of TSS, such as high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, muscle pain, rash, and vaginal discharge, so you know what to be on the look out for.
Ask your friends for advice.
If you have friends who use tampons, talk to them about how they asked their moms to purchase the tampons for the first time. They may be able to provide some good tips on how to initiate the conversation and persuade your mother to agree.
For example, you might say to your friend, “I know you got your mom to buy you tampons. How did you ask her?”
If you have an older sibling who uses tampons, they may be able to provide firsthand advice on the best way to approach your mother.
Talk to another trusted adult.
If you’re really nervous about talking to your mother about tampons, it may help to get feedback from another adult. Talk to another adult who you trust, such as an aunt, grandmother, or friend of your mother’s, and see if they have any advice on the best way to approach her.
If you’re close with a friend’s mother who’s already agreed to let her child tampons, you might ask her for advice. She can speak to you as a mother herself and explain possible concerns that your mom might have.
If you’re close with your dad, you may even want to talk to him first. In many cases, though, that can be an even more uncomfortable conversation than with your mom so be sure that you’re comfortable enough with your father to talk about your period.
Decide how you want to discuss the topic.
Having a face to face conversation with your mom is the most direct way to ask her to buy you tampons. However, if you’re feeling awkward or uncomfortable, you may prefer writing to your mom so you have time to gather your thoughts and make a compelling case without getting flustered.
Consider sending a text or email to your mother about the tampons.
You can also write a letter or note to make your case.
If you’re feeling particularly nervous about talking to your mother, you may ask someone else to broach the subject with her first. You can ask a sibling, aunt, grandmother, or family friend to approach your mom.
Figure out what to say.
If you decide that you are going to have a conversation with your mother, it’s a good idea to come with a “script” so you know exactly what you will say. It can even help to write down some notes so you know that you’re covering the most important points.
Be honest with your mother. You may want to start the conversation by saying, “I have something important to talk to you about but I’m a little embarrassed.”
When you’re planning what to say, it’s best to start your sentences with “I feel” so your mother doesn’t get defensive. For example, you might say, “I feel that using tampons is best for me because I’m so active in sports.”
Make sure to include a line or two in your “script” that shows you know how to use tampons. For example, you might say, “I know I have to remember to change the tampon every four to eight hours.” That will prove to your mother that you’ve done your research.
Practice what you will say.
Once you know what you want to say to your mom, it’s a good idea practice in front of a mirror. If possible, you may also want to practice in front of someone else so you’re comfortable stating your case in front of another person.
If you have another trusted adult in your life, you might ask them if you can practice in front of them.They can provide feedback so you know if what you plan to say is persuasive or needs work.
Find the right time to ask.
Whenever you’re asking your mother for something, timing is key. You want to talk to her when she’s in a good mood so she is more receptive to what you’re asking. That’s why it’s best not to start the conversation right after she’s gotten home for a long day at work or in the middle of preparing dinner.
If you want to be sure that your mother is open to having conversation, you may want to set a time to talk. For example, you might say, “Mom, I want to talk to you about something. Can we do it this afternoon after soccer practice?”
You may want to ask your mom to go for a walk or a drive, so you have some quiet time to be alone and you’ll know that you have her undivided attention.
If you really want your mom’s in the best mood before you ask, consider taking her out for coffee, frozen yogurt, or some other treat that you can share.
Explain that tampons are more comfortable during activities.
Pad can sometimes feel bulky and heavy, so tampons are often a more comfortable alternative. That’s especially true if you’re involved in activities where you move around a lot, such as sports, dance, or cheerleading. In particular, tampons are usually the best option if you’re a swimmer because you can still swim when you’re wearing one.
For example, you might tell your mother, “I hate the way pads feel when I’m playing soccer. I feel that a tampon would be comfortable when I’m running around.”
Mention how small and discreet they are to take to school.
Because tampons are smaller than pads, it’s often easier to carry them with you. Tell your mom that you won’t have to worry about fitting them in your bookbag, gym bag, or locker so you’ll never be without protection if you unexpectedly get your period.
For example, you might say, “I can easily fit a couple of tampons in the inside pocket of my backpack where pads won’t fit.”
Discuss how tampons might make you feel less self-conscious.
Because pads are larger and more bulky, they can sometimes show through your pants, skirt, or shorts. Explain to your mom that you’ll feel more confident with tampons because they’re not visible at all.
For example, you might tell her, “I always feel nervous about people seeing my pad when I’m wearing skinny jeans. I wouldn’t have to worry about that with tampons.”
Listen to her concerns.
After you’ve explained to your mother why you want her to buy you tampons, be ready to listen to her response. She may have concerns about you using tampons, and even if you don’t agree with them, be respectful and consider her point of view.
If your mother is concerned about the possibility of TSS, remind her that the condition is fairly rare. Reassure her that you’ll change your tampon every four to eight hours as necessary, and you know what symptoms to look out for.
If your mom is concerned that using tampons will affect your virginity, you can tell her that’s a myth. The only way to lose your virginity is to have sex.
If you haven’t had sex yet, your mom may think that you can’t use tampons, but that’s another myth. You may prefer to use “slender” tampons, though, because they’re easier to insert.
Give her time to think about your request.
Don’t demand an answer from your mother about the tampons right away. Tell her that you’d like her to take some time to think about it. If you pressure her for an immediate answer, chances are she’s just going to say no.
To make sure that she doesn’t forget to give you an answer, set a time for you two to talk again. For example, you might say, “Take some time to think about this. Can we talk again tomorrow night?”
Be open to her conditions.
Your mother may agree to buy your tampons with certain conditions. If it’s important to you to use tampons, you should have an open mind. Following her conditions may open the door to you being able to use tampons freely.
For example, your mother may tell you that she’ll buy you tampons but you can only use them on days when you’re participating in sports or other physical activities. That may not be exactly what you want, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Your mom might agree to buy tampons for you to use, but request that you talk to a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional to ensure that you know how to insert them properly.
Respect her decision.
Whatever your mother decides regarding the tampons, it’s important to accept the decision maturely. If she says no, you will definitely be disappointed, but throwing a tantrum over it will only make her less likely to change her mind in the future.
If your mom tells you that she won’t buy you tampons, tell her that you respect her decision but hope she will reconsider in the future. For example, you might say, “I respect that you feel this way right now, but will you please continue to think about it?”
Wait before asking again.
If your mom does say no, you’ll probably want to ask her to buy you tampons again the next day — resist the urge. Your mom is going to get annoyed if you keep asking her every day. Give her a couple of months to get used to the idea before asking again.
If your mom says no, you might ask her right then when you can talk about using tampons again. If you agree on two months, be patient and wait the full two months before bringing up the topic again.