Like growing up wasn’t difficult enough – body hair, periods, overactive sweat glands to name a few – social pressures throw a whole new world of dramas into the mix.

And whilst you may have a really open home in which you can engage in honest conversations with your child, it doesn’t stop you worrying about what’s going on when they’re at school, right? How do you know if they’re being influenced to do something they don’t want to do, and do they have the tools to be able to deal with it?

Here are some practical ways to help your child cope with peer pressure.

Start the conversation

A really great way to give your child a head-start is to make sure they know what peer pressure actually is. In a nutshell, it’s feeling under pressure to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing. It’s usually linked to bullying, smoking, drinking or taking drugs, looking a certain way, having sex, sending sexual messages/images or generally just getting into trouble.

Saying no is always okay

Empower your child to feel confident in themselves and their choices. Remind them that it’s okay to say no to something – anything – they don’t feel comfortable doing or taking part in. They are strong enough to make their own decisions. Remind them that you will always be there if they need to talk it through. In fact, it’s important to acknowledge their mates have a huge impact on their decisions at this age, but help them to realise there are ways in which they can say no and not lose all of their friends!

Boost their self esteem

The more your child feels confident in themselves, the more they will stand up for what’s right according to them. Some key ways you can suggest they tackle those peer-pressuring friends are to; be assertive in saying no, respect other people’s choices – in turn, theirs should be respected too, come up with alternative suggestions and avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable. Once they know how to tackle peer pressure, they will feel more equipped to say no.

Explain the consequences

It might seem obvious but to children, consequences aren’t always crystal clear. They might be pressured into stealing chocolate from a shop as a dare, but are they really aware that they’re breaking the law, which could result in being arrested? Whether it’s shoplifting, bullying or taking part in dangerous pranks, make sure they’re always clued up on what could happen as a result. The fear itself might give them enough of a reason to say no!

Give them options

No matter how close you are, it’s always beneficial to let your child know that there are loads more people out there to speak to than just you. Whether that’s their favourite teacher, a grandparent or friend’s parent, a doctor, school counsellor or neighbour, there are plenty of adults ready and willing to listen and help with their problems, no matter how big, small, embarrassing or seemingly insignificant.

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, visit betty.me or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Manjit Thapp

Period cramps: we’re all familiar with the dull aches and uncomfortable spasms that come with being a woman, but what does it mean if you’re experiencing pain around the uterus area in between bleeds?

Surely once your period is over the pain should be long gone until your next flow, right? Annoyingly, wrong. One in five women actually suffer from another type of period-related pain: mittelschmerz.

So, what actually is mittelschmerz?

The German word (which translates as ‘middle pain’) basically means ovulation pain – a sharp, stabbing sensation or a dull cramp that happens right in the middle of your menstrual cycle. Around 14 days before your period stars, an egg is released from one of your ovaries and *this* is where and when the pain occurs. It can last for a few minutes or a few days.

Why does it happen?

Ovulation pain is actually quite common, with around 20% of women experiencing it at some point in their lives. However, there’s no research out there that proves exactly why mittelschmerz happens. One theory suggests that the pain occurs when the egg breaks through the ovary wall, causing a small amount of fluid or blood to be released, irritating nearby nerves.

Okay, so how do you treat it?

In most cases, it’s totally natural and nothing to worry about but if you are experiencing severe pain or discomfort it’s best to talk to your GP. Keep a diary before your visit so you can tell your doctor exactly when the pain is occurring. If the cramp is mild, that still doesn’t mean you have to take the pain though, so try painkillers to ease the discomfort.

A hot bath or hot water bottle always go down a treat, too. In fact, when heat is applied to the body, sensory receptors are activated which actually blocks the pain inside the body. Another option? Stop your body from ovulating at all. You can do this by opting for birth control methods like the contraceptive pill or the implant.

When is it something to worry about?

As we said earlier, mittelschmerz is common and nothing to worry about but pain in the lower abdomen area isn’t always ovulation pain. There are a number of conditions that will have you experiencing abdomen cramps from endometriosis to certain STIs and sometimes cancer, so it’s always best to check with your doctor if you’re concerned.

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of the site or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Hailey Hamilton

When your daughter starts her period and is dealing with all the body changes and up-and-down emotions that come with puberty, it can be a pretty daunting time for her – after all, you probably remember your first period, there’s *a lot* to get to grips with, right? Luckily, she’s got you to support her and it’s likely that you’ve got this. You’ve probably already stocked up her sani-pad supply, had loads of period chats with her and made sure she feels ready and prepared for when it happens. Good work.

But actually, you and your daughter are not the only people you should be clued up. If there are men and boys living in your house, they really should be up to speed too. Yep, periods happen to girls, but they’re a human bodily function and a natural part of life, so getting the guys in the know on all things periods is totally the way forward.

So if you’re yet to broach the topic with her dad or brother/s, here are a few handy tips on how to educate the guys on your daughter’s periods.

How to deal with Dad

The reality is, dads can have a total whoooahhh moment and freak out a little. And that’s understandable. For us women, periods and puberty can be a time when we really bond with our daughters, but dads can struggle with the idea of their daughters growing up and potentially growing apart from them. Bless. Seemingly overnight their little girl is developing into a woman and they may find it difficult that she’d rather spend time with her friends than laugh at his dad jokes, or not really know how to handle her off-the-scale mood swings, let alone the *actual bleeding* thing. The key here is to reassure him. Let him know that developmentally it’s totally normal for a teenage girl to change and distance herself from her parents during puberty, and it doesn’t mean that he’s losing his daughter.

It’s also important not to shield your partner from the physical and emotional changes that are going on with your daughter, or pretend that they’re not happening. He’s an adult man and simply put, he has to deal with it. From the first signs of puberty you can begin to prepare him for what’s coming and encourage him to be proud that your daughter is growing into a woman. He’ll have been used to you getting your period for years, so he’s no stranger to a menstrual cycle, after all. He just has to get his head around the fact that his daughter may be clutching a hot water bottle once a month and filling the shopping trolley with pads now too.

Regardless of their close dad and daughter relationship, chances are she’ll feel mortified about having an open convo with him about her periods. Again, that’s ok and totally normal so just follow her lead. If she seems embarrassed to talk about bras, periods, or hairy armpits in front of Dad, reassure her that she can talk to you on your own at anytime, about anything, and let him know not to force any discussion if her vibe is awkward. When she’s ready to talk to him, she will. But remind her that there’s nothing to be ashamed about – plus he can be super-useful to do an emergency run to the shops for pads and chocolate.

Prepare Dad that they’ll be leaks a plenty (and he’s to chuck the sheets in the washing machine without saying a word), likely requests for painkillers, and a sometimes shoddy approach to the discarding of sani-wrappers (your daughter’s still learning, right?). None of these things need an accompanying lecture or grilling.

Keeping it positive with the boys

One minute they’re playing in the sandpit together, the next minute your daughter has boobs, is carrying pads to the bathroom and slamming the door in a teenage rage. Her brother is wondering what the heck is going on and why his sister has been replaced with a moody teenager who frankly wants nothing to do with him.

Depending on the age gap of your daughter and her brother – your son/sons might know everything, or very little about periods. Your job is to fill in the gaps and make the facts that they’ve learnt in biology and sex ed class, relevant to real life and their sister.

For younger brothers, an age appropriate, practical chat – similar to how you first began to talk about periods with your daughter – will do the trick. The key here is openness and letting them know they can ask you questions at any time without having to feel embarrassed. Older brothers, who already know the “mechanics” of periods, need to learn about sensitivity, kindness and how hormones can affect girls emotionally. It goes without saying that teen and pre-teen boys can be a little immature at the best of times, so nip any period teasing or body banter in the bud if you hear it. We all know it’s not acceptable for boys to make girls feel bad about their bodies and those lessons start with you. However playful it may seem, period or body shaming should never be welcome in your home.

And don’t forget your daughter

While you’re probably cool coming face-to-face with a used pad or tampon, the men and boys in the family will no doubt recoil at the sight of once. Fair enough. So now’s the time to nail how your daughter is disposing of her pads or tampons and for her to get to grips with good hygiene habits. Show her how to wrap them up, make sure there’s bin in the bathroom, and encourage her to help empty it regularly.

Remember, you’re not only raising your daughter to be positive about her periods and proud to be a woman, but you’re also raising your sons to be respectful of women and their bodies. And that all comes from your super confident communication. You’ve got this.

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of www.betty.me or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Katie Edmunds

As your child grows and develops, the body finds its balance. But what comes alongside sprouting hairs, breast buds and periods? Infections! Today we’re talking about the itchy, uncomfortable situation that is thrush. A whopping 75% of women will endure thrush in their lifetime with many of them (including pretty much all of us at betty) experiencing it more than once. Yay.

The good news? It’s a common yeast infection – not a sexually-transmitted infection, FYI – so it can be treated easily. If you think your teen might be suffering, here’s how you can help.

What are the signs?

Thrush symptoms are pretty horrible incase you didn’t already know. The unlucky sufferer will have an itchy vagina, a sore labia, and due to this inflammation they’ll experience pain when they go for a wee. Not fun. Their discharge will probably look thick and white too. If it’s a really bad case, the skin around the vagina could become red, swollen or cracked.

Can it be prevented?

If your child is getting thrush on the regular, there are a few things they can do to keep it at bay – apply a greasy moisturiser to the vagina, ditch the perfumed body wash and bubble bath and avoid tight knickers or tights (keep an eye if they are doubling up on school tights during the winter). Also, if they’re on their period, get them to change their pad or tampon more regularly as thrush is more likely to occur in damp conditions.

How is it treated?

Although it’s a seriously uncomfortable condition, it’s actually easily treated. Phew! Anti-fungal meds will clear it up within one to two weeks. There are a few different types of medication. Each work just as well as the other so they can take their pick from; a pill you insert inside the vagina, creams to apply around and inside the vagina, and also capsules.

Do I need a doctor?

If your child has already experienced thrush before and is over 16, you can pop to the chemist for medication. However, if they are suffering for the first time and/or are under 16, the NHS advises you seek medical advice. In this case, it’s best to go and get a prescription from a GP. That way they can check to see if everything is ship, shape and shiny as well as putting your child’s mind (and yours) at ease.

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, visit www.betty.me or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Amber Griffin

Friendships are complex. It’s hard enough handling them in adult life when you’re self-assured, but imagine if you were a teenager in the midst of puberty. You’ve got to handle moving from primary school to secondary school, juggling new friends with old friends, and that’s before you’ve even tried to make sense of the raging hormones coursing through your body.

Small disagreements can feel monumental, fall-outs can be devastating and in the age of social media, arguments can escalate quickly. From dealing with conflict rationally to distancing themselves from toxic friends, here’s what you can do to help…

Make time to listen

It can be hard to get your child to open up, especially when they’re in the middle of a hormonal whirlwind, but knowing they have a shoulder to cry on at home is super important. You might not understand what’s happened or why – you probably won’t have the magic words to make it all better either – but knowing you are always there for them will be a huge comfort to your child and a great way of building trust between the two of you.

Teach them to talk

Once your child has opened up about their friendship woes, it’s a good idea to offer them some practical advice. If they haven’t already spoken to their friend about what happened and why, encourage them to reach out and start a conversation. Suggest they meet in a neutral spot so they can air their differences, feelings and get to the bottom of the problem. Sometimes an open dialogue is all that’s needed to bring them back together again.

Boost their self-esteem

Toxic friendships can be really destructive, but being negative about your child’s friends or telling them who to hang around with is likely to make things worse. After all, teenage relationships can change from one day to the next. If you’re finding that the same individual or group of people are getting them down, make your son or daughter sees that friendship is a two-way street. Ask them if they’re getting out of the friendship what they put in. Is the friendship beneficial, supportive, or even fun anymore? It’s likely that in time they’ll come to the see this toxic friend is a waste of time and energy all by themselves.

Be online aware

From cyber-bullying to self-esteem issues, the internet can be a tricky place for teenagers. That’s not to say it isn’t a great space for making friends and engaging in passions but it’s important you’re aware of what’s happening in their online world. We’re not saying you should be logging into their accounts but there’s no harm in asking if they are experiencing nasty comments due to their friend fall-out. Reassure them that there are always ways to combat this, from reporting abuse and making their profile private to taking a break from social media altogether.

Encourage them to spread their friendship wings

Just because your child has been best friends with the same group since primary school, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t seek friendships elsewhere. One of the best ways to avoid feeling isolated in the midsts of an argument is to have another friend or even another group of friends to hang out with. Remember, school is one of the best places for your child to explore their interests, hobbies and passions. If one friendship is in trouble, they’ve still got the school band or their sporting teammates to hang out with. Clique’s may seem cool, but having a wide variety of friends makes life so much more fun!

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of the site or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Hailey Hamilton

When the early stages of puberty hit, a fuzzy layer of hair begins to grow. It tends to be light and fluffy at first and may even feel kinda cosy as it covers your teen from head to toe. It sounds kinda cute right?

They could be totally cool with the fact that they’ve got a layer of leg hair – hey, it basically acts like a pair of tights during winter so we get it – or they could be freaking out when they see even a whisper of hair sprout from their calves.

Whether your teen wants to wholeheartedly embrace every single strand on their growing body or feels super self conscious, it’s all about education and choice. So, how can you help?

Get clued up

At betty, we believe the best way to tackle any kind of teenage drama (crushes included) is to open up the conversation, so knowing what you’re dealing with here is really important. Let’s face it, it’s been awhile since we hit puberty so a refresher can’t hurt. There are two types of of body hair: vellus and terminal. Vellus hairs are the soft, downy strands that are usually light in colour, whilst terminal hairs are the coarse, dark strands (aka armpit hair, pubic hair etc). It’s likely your teen will grow vellus hairs during early puberty, with terminal hairs coming later.

Remind them they are unique

There’s loads of variation when it comes to body hair so there’s no point in them comparing themselves to everyone at school. The colour and coarseness can depend on ethnicity, gender and even hormones. Whilst some teens might get a subtle spray of light brown hair on their legs and armpits, some will end up with dark arm hair and fuzz on their face. It’s important to let your child know that whatever hair growth they are experiencing, it’s totally natural (humans are actually covered in around five million hair follicles!) It’s there to regulate body temperature and keep dirt out of our bodies. It’s actually pretty darn clever.

To remove or not to remove?

There’s no right or wrong way to handle body fluff. If your teen wants to rock armpit hair and dye it blue that’s totally cool, but then so is waxing their entire body if that’s what makes them feel comfortable. It’s another conversation that can be started by you. Do they want to remove some of it, and if so how? It’s best you guide your child in terms of hair removal though – leaving a 13 year old alone with a razor is not the one.

Methods they can use

Method one is easy: leave it! Allow your child to embrace their fuzz if that’s what they want (some kids don’t even notice they’ve grown any). It won’t stop them scoring the winning goal in football and certainly won’t affect their grades, so chill. If they do want to get rid though, there are plenty of ways – shaving, waxing, plucking, hair removal creams, epilators… the list goes on. Just make sure you explain how to use each and every method effectively or take them to a professional salon. This handy guide can help kickstart the chat.

Just remember, there are zero health benefits to removing your body hair but if it’s having an impact on your teen’s self esteem, whipping it off can be tackled with total ease.

Fuzz freak-out aborted. You’re welcome.

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of the site or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Kate Borrill

Noticed a stale whiff coming from your teen’s bedroom lately? Or maybe their school shirt has a couple of yellow stains under the pits? If everything is getting a little bit pongy, chances are your child is just about to enter the puberty party.

Excessive sweating can be embarrassing at any age – we’re talking massive wet patches, brown B.O. stains and tangy smells coming from every crevice – but when you’re between the ages of 8 and 14 it can feel like the end of the world.

Don’t fret though, there are loads of helpful ways you can tone done the stench so your teen can go back to worrying about important things in life, like what the heck is happening in Stranger Things?

So, why does sweating get worse during puberty?

Right now your teen is a ball of raging hormones. In fact when their bodies start to change, a massive three million sweat glands become activated, hence the huge surge in sweatiness. This usually calms down once puberty is over, but that still means up to five or six years of serious sweating.

Where does it manifest?

The main hotspots are the armpits, the groin, the hands and the feet. The armpits can become especially embarrassing for teens as body odour (or bromhidrosis) can occur. Technically, B.O. is the musky smell that’s produced by bacteria on the skin that breaks down the acids in your sweat. It comes from the apocrine glands that are mainly found in the armpits.

How can I help them manage excessive sweating?

Chances are your teen has no idea what to do with all the sweat pouring out of them right now, but there are plenty of ways you can help. Encourage your child to take a warm bath or shower every single day, make sure they thoroughly wash their armpits using antibacterial soap, stock up on deodorants (maybe pop a mini in their school bag so they always have it on hand) and shop for natural fibres where possible.

When do I need a doctor?

If it’s *really* bothering your child, a GP or pharmacist can recommend extra-strength antiperspirants with aluminium chloride in them to help prevent the production of sweat. If their sweating or body odour is causing distress, there is a change in body odour or they begin to sweat much more than usual then the NHS recommends that you visit your GP too.

Finally, remind them that both sweating and B.O. are *totally* normal! Likelihood is their siblings, friends and even crushes are going through the exact same sweaty dramas right now. Just be open and honest with them about any worries they have and then everyone can get back to watching Stranger Things. You’re welcome.

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of the site or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Amber Griffin

Puberty is an overwhelming time for teenagers. They sprout hair in places they didn’t even know existed, their genitals change and they start to feel a whole different set of emotions.

For boys, puberty usually kicks in between the ages of 9 and 14 and tends to last for up to four years. That means four years of growth spurts, testosterone surges and yep, you guessed it, wet dreams.

Don’t worry though, if you’re clued up on the signs that it’s about to kick in, you can make sure they – and you – know exactly how to deal…

1. Hair, everywhere

Hair tends to be the first thing to make an appearance when puberty begins. The earliest place? The pits. If your son has started to get fluffy or wiry hair under his arms then he’s starting to produce testosterone – the hormone that plays one of the key roles in male development. Like armpit hair, pubic hair is another sure-fire sign your son is growing up. Yep, thick curly pubes will start to grow around the penis. Alongside this, the testicles will grow and the scrotum will hang lower, becoming darker in colour, thinner and smoother.

2. Sweating

Thought his PE kit was pongy? Well brace yourself for a whole new world of smells because puberty can kick up a right stench. Expect your son’s body (particularly his armpits and his feet) to smell more. Why? Because when the body changes, roughly 3 million sweat glands are activated!

3. Mood swings

It’s easy to put female mood swings down to PMS or hormonal fluctuations, but boys can also experience a range of emotional changes during puberty. The surge of male hormones produced during this time means your son might flip from being happy to upset or angry pretty quickly. Boys are often more likely to act impulsively and lash out. Don’t worry, this rollercoaster of feelings will level out eventually.

4. Spots

Ahh, the dreaded teen skin begins. Along with fluffy hair, you’ll begin to notice pimples here and there. If it’s minor, your son will likely experience spots for a few years before they disappear but these puberty pimples could lead to acne so it’s worth keeping an eye on his skin. There are tons of products out there that can help if it’s getting him down.

5. Growth spurts

If you have to buy your son a new pair of school shoes every few months because his feet won’t stop growing, that’s another sign that he’s hitting puberty. Not only will he begin to grow taller (around 3 inches a year on average) but his shoulders will broaden out. Sometimes boys can get swelling around their nipples too, but this is just another sign their body is changing with age.

6. Voice breaks

It usually starts with a few squeaks here and there, then before you know it he’s gone and got a deep booming voice that you don’t even recognise – his voice has broken. As your son’s body changes, his larynx grows larger and thicker causing the change in pitch. This is what will eventually form his Adam’s apple.

7. Wet dreams

Last but not least, wet dreams! Yep, there will be a time when your son wakes up to find his bedsheets wet and sticky. It’s usually down to an arousing dream and can be a bit of a confusing experience, so assure your son that it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. The upside? You can use it as the perfect excuse to get him to do his own washing from now on…

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of the site or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Pads, tampons, menstrual cups, period pants – there’s a whole world of sanitary products out there to explore. So when your daughter starts her period for the first time, it can be pretty overwhelming to understand what’s right for her and why.

Naturally, we’re sure you want her to feel as prepared as possible. Opening up the conversation nice and early is a great place to start, but if you want her to get an A* in womb studies (if only that was a subject, we’d rule) then we suggest a show and tell.

Whether you grab your laptop and a couple of hot chocolates to run through this list together or get creative and cover your kitchen table with san-pro, make sure you teach her about everything on offer so she can make an informed choice.

Pads could be the perfect start

Dealing with your first period is pretty daunting, so it might be best to introduce your daughter to pads first. They’re super simple to use – just rip off the plastic and stick in your knickers – plus they don’t involve inserting anything up the vagina.

Pads come in different sizes and absorbencies from light to long to maxi depending on your flow. The frustrating thing? They cater to adult body sizes so it might be worth buying a few different packs for her to try on for size.

It’s likely that your daughter will be quite light when she first starts, so pantyliners could also be another option – they tend to be thinner and smaller so she can use them in the same way as a pad during the beginning and end of the period. However, if she finds herself experiencing heavy periods, thicker pads with wings could be the way to go.

Keep your eyes peeled for info on our brand new bettypads coming soon, FYI. They’re designed especially for teens so actually fit their knickers! (You’re welcome.)

She might want to try tampons

If your daughter wants to skip pads and try tampons straight away, that’s fine too. They’re a great option if she’s active (she won’t have to miss swimming or gym because of a chunky pad). Like pads, there are also loads of different absorbancies and sizes but it’s more important with tampons to use the right one – it’s more comfortable too.

Explain to your daughter that her body will be able to tell her what strength she should be using. If she finds it difficult to remove it and there’s loads of white still showing, then she needs a lower absorbency. On the other hand, if she sees menstrual fluid on the string after only a couple hours then she needs a heftier one.

Why not get her to try applicator tampons first? They’re ideal for beginners as the applicator acts as a guide to help her insert it. Just make sure she’s relaxed, has washed her hands and is pointing the tampon towards her lower back when she pops it in.

Menstrual cups could be the one

You might think that menstrual cups are for more experienced period peeps, but their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, so it could be a legitimate option for your daughter. They’re reusable, cheap and enviro-friendly so are perfect for budding eco warriors.

The downside? They can be a bit tricky to use at first but once you’ve mastered inserting a menstrual cup, you’re golden. It just sits inside you and collects fluid – a whole load more than tampons and pads as it lasts for up to 12 hours, meaning your daughter doesn’t have to worry about dealing with her period at school!

Period pants are a secret weapon

Imagine just throwing on a pair of pants and not having to worry about your period at all. Dreamy, right? Well you’re in luck because there are a couple of amazing brands out there producing protective knickers that actually absorb your period. And not just a few specks here and there either, they hold up to two tampons worth of fluid. Just pop them in the washing machine between uses and away you go.

What about sustainable superstars?

If the reusable aspect appeals to your daughter but she isn’t keen on cups or pants, there are reusable pads and tampons which can be bought too. They’re pretty much identical to standard ‘pons and pads but instead of binning them, they can be washed and used again and again.

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of the site or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Kate Borrill

So, you’ve talked your daughter through the different types of pads, you’ve spoken to her about leaks, you’ve prepped her for the inevitable day that she comes on at school, but have you tackled PMS yet?

It’s pretty likely she’ll experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome) at some point. As many as 75% of women suffer in some way, however the symptoms vary from woman to woman. When it comes to pain, some will barely feel a twinge while others experience a crippling wrestling match inside their wombs – and that’s just the physical side. If you’ve ever experienced ALL THE EMOTIONS in the week leading up to your period, well, you know the deal.

But don’t worry, it’s super-easy to make sure she’s prepared to deal with PMS and all its side effects. Remember, knowledge is power!

So what are the symptoms?

PMS may affect your daughter both emotionally and physically but it’s good to reassure her that the symptoms are likely to improve when her period starts, then disappear a few days afterwards.

Emotionally, she could be anxious, tired, teary and the smallest trigger might set her off into the biggest of frenzies. Physically, she might feel bloated, experience headaches, have sore breasts and to top it all off, she could get bad acne. Just what she wants when she already feels lousy.

Although no one really knows why it happens (not even the scientists have worked it out yet) PMS is thought to be linked to the changing hormone levels in the body during the cycle. With a few small tweaks to your daughter’s habits during her period, she can help herself feel a little better. (And it’ll probably make your life A LOT easier too.)

Keep her diet in check

We’re not saying she can’t indulge in her chocolate cravings (we’re not evil, y’know) but we would say encourage her to eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables. Sure, it’s the last thing she fancies but all those nutritiously rich foods will help her body battle PMS more effectively.

Also, we know it’s autumn and double portions are one of the perks but it might also help if she eats smaller meals more frequently as this can help to reduce bloating. Salty foods can cause bloating and fluid retention too, so maybe skip the crisps on this month’s food shop.

If she suffers a lot from bad headaches, make sure she’s drinking plenty of water throughout the day as being dehydrated can make them worse.

Make sure she’s exercising

Now it doesn’t matter what this is – dancing, running, football or even just taking the dog for a walk – but if you get her moving her body rather than hibernating in a duvet she will actually feel much better. It’s recommended that women should do at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. This exercise will not only help the symptoms of PMS, but it can also alleviate depression and tiredness.

Calm her stresses

Your daughter may not have the same stresses as you, but she will be going through plenty of her own. Remember being a teen? There are a gazillion different things to be anxious about: school work, spots, friend dramas, first crushes. Not only can this cause her distress but it can actually makes her PMS worse. Why not combat it by getting her to try out yoga or pilates? It counts as exercise (tick) and is an instant stress-reliever. Heck, you can even go together for some extra bonding time.

Be aware of her health

If your daughter’s feeling crappy and you feel comfortable doing so, it’s fine to give her a couple of paracetamol from your medicine cabinet. This can take the edge off severe stomach cramps, headaches or muscular and joint pains. Generally, PMS symptoms are more annoying rather than serious, but if your daughter is finding herself in severe pain, experiencing chronic skin problems or feeling really depressed it might be worth taking her to your GP as they might be able to prescribe something stronger to help.

Remember, it doesn’t last forever

PMS can be horrid, but it’s always great to remind your daughter that although it feels bad now, it’ll all be over soon! And the chocolate will be waiting for her when it does.

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of the site or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Hailey Hamilton

The internet is great for so many things – end-of-season sales, pictures of cats, Pinterest – but it can also play a huge part in your child’s confidence levels. Apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook could be causing them to make comparisons between themselves and (often distorted) versions of other people’s bodies.

So it’s worth checking in every so often and reminding them that everybody is different, everybody has their own quirks to be celebrated and pretty much everybody either filters or alters their pictures (hello celebs).

But if you are worried about your child’s self-esteem, read on for some tips to boost their confidence. Heck, maybe even take some of your own advice, we can all be guilty of bad body image sometimes!

Be their personal cheerleader

Puberty sparks a whirlwind of changes, so it’s no wonder your child is feeling a little insecure. It probably also doesn’t help that their friends are developing at different times so they are bound to compare – not only to the photos they see on social media, but to each other.

If they have even the smallest negative thought about themselves, hearing a throwaway remark about it can amplify the problem. It helps to encourage them to ignore it and forget about it (although much easier said than done), whilst also encouraging them to remember all the good parts about themselves. Positive vibes only!

Start with high self-esteem

One of the most important lessons you can teach your child from day dot is self love. Why? Because when self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our lives in a negative and critical light. We also feel less able to take on the challenges that life throws at us.

Clearly we don’t want our children experiencing this – if this feeling lingers for too long, it can lead to problems such as depression and anxiety. So help them find their inner strength. Get your child to recognise what they enjoy (it could be sport, arts and crafts, science – anything!) then encourage them to spend time doing what they love.

Don’t let them develop bad habits

Studies carried out by researchers from the University College of London Institute of Child Health found that 18% of girls and 3% of boys aged 14 felt a lot of pressure from the media to lose weight.

That pressure, in turn, can cause bad habits and poor relationships with food as they grow and develop. Make sure that your child is eating a healthy, balanced diet – you could even encourage them to help you cook dinner. You never know, you might have the next Junior Masterchef under your roof!

Positive relationships are key

If people are bringing your child’s mood down, they probably don’t have their best interests at heart. Remind them that they should surround themselves with positive friends who make them feel loved, appreciated and safe. Children need to learn how to be kind to themselves as well as others so encourage them to respect their own needs as well as others. They’re *so* worth it.

Remind them they’re not alone

Sure, they might think that school is brutal, but their idols feel exactly the same as they do. Celebrities and supermodels aren’t safe from body-shaming either. The paparazzi have a field day highlighting what they believe is a ‘bad bit’ (pffft) and whether they’re deemed too fat; too thin; too tall; too short; too muscly; too curvy, it’s all just so darn negative. Instead, direct them to betty.me where they can learn *all* about body confidence and see how their fave celebs shut down people that body shame them.

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of the site or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Katie Edmunds

We all know how it goes: your daughter seems grown up one minute then reverts back to the dreaded terrible twos the instant her temper tantrums re-emerge. Your usual reaction might be to explode back at her, but while we’re not excusing her behaviour, there may be a few reasons why she’s acting out…

Is she feeling a little stressed or anxious?

Lots of things can cause stress and anxiety, and people of all ages can be affected by it. You’ll know yourself that sometimes something so small can get you feeling jittery – it’s good to remember that your daughter may be feeling the same. The thing she’s worrying about may seem insignificant to you but to her it could be a big deal. Whether it’s homework that’s bothering her, or she’s fallen out with her bff, it all plays havoc with her emotions.

What causes it?

This is a tricky question to answer because there could be literally hundreds of reasons. She is a teenager, after all. Stress differs from person to person and the symptoms can also be different. Some people just feel a little down, others breath quickens and they feel their heart pounding harder than normal, while some can experience a tightening in their chest and an overwhelming sense of fear. It can be caused by upbringing and genetic makeup or triggered by a big change either in the family or friendship group (you know your daughter’s friends are just like family to her!) Just remember that whatever causes it, it’s important that it is handled with love.

How can you comfort her?

We know it’s not nice when your daughter isn’t her usual sparkling self and she feels as if the world is against her. But, the good news is there is a lot you can do to comfort her and help her get back on track.

  • Take a breather. This sounds simple but encourage her to take a moment for herself. Get her to stop and calmly count breaths. There are also some great breathing techniques online if you need help. Focusing on something as simple as her breath will draw the attention away from her worries.
  • Go outside. Even it’s just for a short time it will make her feel loads better! A breath of fresh air can help put things in perspective. A 2015 study at Stanford University showed that even a 10 minute walk in nature near greenery or water significantly reduced anxious thoughts.
  • Encourage her to write a worry list. Sometimes it can be easier to see everything written on paper, then you can instantly see that a lot of it is either manageable or isn’t worth sweating over. Even just the physical act of scrunching and ripping up the paper gives a feeling of power.
  • Some people are lucky and have the most wonderful creative streak in them but no matter how arty your daughter is, getting creative can help with anxiety. She doesn’t have to be good at it, as long as she is having fun creating her own masterpieces or singing to her own Wembley-filled arena whilst in the shower (complete with hairbrush microphone) it will help relieve her stress.
  • Run her a bath! You know yourself the power of stepping into a nice warm tub full of bubbles – your cares are all magically carried off to another place. Add some candles and relaxing music and you might not see your daughter for a while!

Talk, talk, talk.

Most importantly, talk to her! Get her to open up and talk about her feelings. Sometimes just a friendly face or shoulder who is simply there to listen is a huge help. Even if it’s not you, encourage her to talk to her best friend – they are also good at helping find solutions to problems!

Something more serious…

Sometimes things just build up and before your daughter knows it, she feels swamped in negative feelings; no matter how many cuddles or listening ears you give her she almost feels paralysed with nerves. This is no state for anyone to be in, so it might be worth seeking professional help from a counsellor, therapist or GP. They will be able to offer advice on how to help her deal with anxiety.

Don’t let her lose out on experiences though. If she’s been looking forward to a party for ages and now suddenly doesn’t want to go, remind her of all the fun she could have. If she feels a bit unwell before her debut football match, and feels she should sit out, gently encourage her. Remind her that feeling nervous about something isn’t always a bad thing – sometimes the adrenaline can actually make her perform better. Everyone gets butterflies, it’s perfectly natural!

betty is a teen brand which aims to break the taboo of talking about periods and challenge societal barriers about these types of teen issues. betty is changing the way we perceive and talk about periods, and instilling body confidence in young women. For more information, check out the rest of the site or follow @bettycollective on all social channels.

Image: Hailey Hamilton