Talking to your children when they have questions and making them understand certain things is tough at times. Talking about sensitive topics like periods or menstruation can make parents and kids feel uncomfortable. When we tend to explain about periods to our daughters and even sons, the data available everywhere is either very scientific or shows menstruation in a bad light- as if it is a very dirty thing that happens to one's body. This article will help you on how to talk to your kids about periods.
If you’re the parent of a girl, inevitably, at some point she will emerge from the bathroom or come home from school and inform you, in some probably unexpected fashion, that her menstrual cycle has begun. Obviously she will not use these exact terms if she doesn't already know about it. If you are a parent of a boy, it is your responsibility to let them know about the changes that take place in a boy’s and girl’s body when they hit puberty. It is also very important to sensitise boys on such issues so that they do not make fun of the girls in their peer groups and school.
Also read: 7 Causes Of Delayed Periods And What You Should Do About It
Usually, periods in girls start after the age of 10. If they do start before 9 years of age, it should be discussed with a paediatrician to rule out any medical condition. It is seen that the menstrual cycle begins about two years after a girl’s breasts start to develop. If a girl has not had her period till the age of 16, then it should be immediately discussed with a doctor.
How to talk to your kids about periods
#1. Get relevant books
There are many books that you get which help in introducing your body and all about menstruation in a creative and understanding manner. Books like Menstrupedia’s comic- the friendly guide to periods for girls and Cycling to Grandma’s house are an interesting take on periods and in a very subtle way introduce periods to your child. Here's how to talk to your kids about periods.
#2. Start a conversation
You can see the changes your daughter's body is going through. You need to sit down, be calm and start a conversation regarding her body. You need to make her understand how her body is changing, her breasts are developing and how internally every month she will experience something called menstruation. It is very important for you to portray menstruation as a positive thing- because it is very important to have periods every month otherwise the body will signal that there is something wrong. You need to make your child see menstruation as a healing and healthy process that the body undergoes every month.
#3. Focus on the importance of menstruation
When making a conversation, you need to focus on the importance of menstruation and why it happens to every woman. Tell them the facts about menstruation and why it is essential. What are the important things to keep in mind, what is ovulation, why are eggs produced by the body, all about ovaries and uterus. These things are important because a healthy menstruation cycle means a healthy body and life.
Also read: Does Gaining Weight Cause Irregular Periods?
#4. Show them what is what
Sometimes it can be your son too that sees a box pads in your almirah or sees an advertisement on television. Children do question because they are inquisitive and it is their right to get to know everything. Show them pads, tampons and introduce to them the facts about periods. Show your daughter how to wear a pad or tampon and how to wear her underwear during the period days. Keep an extra pair of underwear and a pad in their bag for emergency situations in school.
#5. Share your own experience
Share your experience about your first period with your daughter. Do not sugar coat stuff but give them the truth as to how scared you were or were not. Did you know about it from your mom or were you ignorant? No woman can forget the day her periods started and telling your tale with your daughter will make her a bit relaxed and ease her thoughts.
#6. Reassure your child
It is a bit scary for a girl to even think about blood coming from her genitals. But it is your duty to make her comfortable and reassure her of the fact that she is still a kid and can go about doing all her daily chores like swimming, cycling, playing even during the period days. But sometimes he might feel discomfort which can be healed through medicines or home remedies and these are quite common.
Females have been menstruating since the time life evolved on earth. There is nothing to be ashamed of as this is a natural process. Teach that to your child and everything else will fall in its place.
Also read: 7 Home Remedies To Treat Irregular Periods
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