It’s time to talk, mom-to-mom. This job we have is HARD and it’s important that we stick together, because not all of us have a built-in village of local family or longtime friends to assist. We are ridiculously grateful for all the moms who have shared honest experiences (including the messy parts) and offered a hand or a shoulder when it was clear we needed it. Now it’s our turn to help. If you have teenage daughters, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve compiled some of the most likely “OMG moments” our teenage daughters will face — from awkward crush interactions to surprise periods — and how to be prepared for them. Here’s how to tell your daughters what to expect, and how to help them navigate these moments.
1. Her crush asks about her friend
It is a universally acknowledged truth that at least one of every teenage girl’s crushes will crush on her BFF instead. While this can’t be avoided, we can let our daughters know what to do when their crush says, “So about your friend…” Before this happens, remind your daughter that friendship comes first no matter what, so withholding that info out of jealousy isn’t a good look. Encourage her to discuss it with her friend, and to stand by her word if she gives her blessing for her bestie and crush to hang out. Then remind her to look around at all the other crush-worthy people out there who are a better fit for her.
2. Her first period arrives in the middle of a school day
Periods have their own agendas, doing what they want, when they want. Mostly they prefer to say hello at the most inconvenient time — like in the middle of a school day right before a major test. OF COURSE. That’s why it’s best to give her a cute zippered pouch for her school bag, stocked with U by Kotex Teen Pads, which are uniquely sized to fit teenage bodies and needs better than any other. Bonus points if you tuck hand wipes and a spare pair of underwear into the pouch.
3. She doesn’t see any friends in the cafeteria at lunchtime
Tell your daughter not to look at this as a social emergency but as an opportunity. She doesn’t need to be best friends with everyone at school, but it’s good to be friendly with likable people, even if she doesn’t hang with them on weekends. While her besties may not be saving a seat for her, there are probably quite a few friendly faces from various classes or extracurriculars who’d be happy to welcome her to nosh with them that day. Not only does it keep her from dining solo (which she will learn has its perks!), it opens up her social circle a little bit wider, which is always nice.
4. She realized her BFF — who ate the same lunch she did — has killer breath
She leans in to borrow a mechanical pencil, and oof. If her pucker is pungent, your daughter’s probably is, too. Tell her to give her friend a gentle heads-up of the situation, then get herself a hall pass to hit the bathroom. Take a nice long sip from the water fountain before using the sink to swish, gargle and spit. Tell her to wash her hands and use a tongue scraper to get the stink off her tongue. Swish and spit once more, and drink plenty of water to flush her pipes clean until she can get herself to a toothbrush.
5. She forgot her locker combination
Whether it’s her first week at a new school or she’s simply exhausted from a late night of studying, the simple act of remembering a locker combo can be tricky. The clock is ticking, and she might not have time to run to the counselor’s office for the digits. If her school allows phones in the hall, have her make a contact entry of “Blue Locker” (or whatever the color is) so she can quickly look up the combination if she ever forgets.
6. When called on in class, she was 100 percent daydreaming and has no idea what the question is
Minds wander, and that’s okay. Not every teacher will take it in stride (especially if she makes a habit of it), but if she responds respectfully to being called out, the experience might not be too bad. Have her try a taste of humble pie by saying she’s sorry that she didn’t hear the question and kindly asking that they repeat it. The teacher might be prepared for a rude remark by a bored student, so her apology could earn some surprise brownie points.
7. She got a shockingly terrible grade on a paper when she really thought she nailed it
This is such a bummer because she tried. She really tried! Have her talk to the teacher after class to explain that the grade genuinely surprised her because she thought she understood the assignment. She should ask advice on how to correctly grasp the concepts and if there’s any chance of earning make-up points after she does so. By owning up to her shock and misunderstanding, she can open the door to getting the help she needs to keep this grade from hurting the academic big picture.
8. She farted in gym class during sit-ups
Embarrassing situations can often be smoothed over with a hearty combination of humor and truth. The fact is, everybody toots. Maybe it’s not ideal to do it in a quiet gym class in front of her peers (including a crush, the class clown and that one mean girl who always finds a flaw to pick at), but a light laugh and a “Well, at least you know I ate healthy today” while shrugging it off shows maturity and acceptance — even if she’s totally not feeling it.
9. She forgot her words during a class presentation
She has practiced and practiced and watched videos of herself practicing the same words over and over again. But on the day of the presentation — BLANKNESS. This has happened to every single human who’s had to speak in front of a group, whether it’s five or 5,000 people. The key is to remember that she knows this. Suggest she take a peek at her notes or start that part again after a smile to the room and a “Sorry! So much information up here I just had a brain cramp. Let me start over.” She’ll ease the tension from her peers and herself, making it much simpler to finish what she started.
10. She showed up at the school dance in the same exact outfit as her frenemy
That last twirl in front of the mirror before she headed to the dance confirmed it: She looks fantastic. From top to toe, her get-up reflects her personality and brings out all of her best features. She and her friends roll up to hit the floor, and she discovers her frenemy wearing the same thing. Does she rush home to change? Call you to bring her an emergency outfit? Hide in the bathroom? NOPE. Recommend that she give that girl a nod. Because no matter what they’ve bumped heads about in the past, at least they can acknowledge that they both have great taste.
Have these chats with your teenage daughter sooner rather than later so she’s ready when the time comes. She’ll probably roll her eyes in the moment, but she’ll eventually thank you when she realizes you were right about a lot of things. And don’t forget to keep a selection of U by Kotex Teen Pads at home too, so she’s prepared for anything.