It can get uncomfortable talking to your kids about menstruation. The good news is (like most things in life) that honesty and openness make things way more accessible for everybody. It's important to talk to your child about periods way before they start experiencing them. Age seven might be a good bet, but you are the best decision for your child.
If your child doesn't seem interested in talking about periods, try to bring it up in natural moments. It's essential to have multiple conversations about periods with your kids rather than just one big talk. This way, they can gradually build their understanding and learn more about their bodies.
Additionally, suppose kids are taught about menstruation early on. They may be more likely to feel comfortable asking questions or asking for help when they feel uncomfortable about other things in their lives and with their bodies.
What Should You Talk About Periods with your daughter?
We think there are a few key areas we should talk to our kids about.
- First, it is essential to discuss what periods are and how they work. This will help them understand what is happening to their bodies each month. There are many fun, age-appropriate videos on YouTube to understand the biology behind it.
- Second, you should talk about managing periods – both the physical aspects (like cramps and bleeding) and the emotional aspects (like mood swings). Telling them about your own experience or the experiences of other key adults in their life can help.
- Finally, showing them period products can help demystify them and make them comfortable with pads, cups, and tampons. You’ll also want to talk to them about the importance of changing their products and how you dispose of your period products or clean and reuse cups or cloth pads.
Talking about these things with your daughter can help her feel more comfortable and confident about dealing with her period when it comes!
What if I Have Trouble Talking to My Kids About Periods?
You're not alone if you're having trouble talking to your kids about periods. It can be tough to start the conversation, especially if you didn't have a great experience with menstruation yourself. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Keep it age-appropriate
How you talk about periods with a 6-year-old will be different from how you talk about it with a 16-year-old. Make sure you're using language and discussing appropriate topics for your child's age. You don’t need to shy away from anatomy. Teaching them the right words helps kids develop healthy relationships with their bodies.
Be open and honest
It's okay to admit that you're not always perfectly comfortable talking about periods, but try to be as open and honest as possible with your kids. This will help them feel more comfortable talking to you about their own experiences.
Avoiding judgment or shame
Periods are a natural and necessary part of life, so there's no need to judge or shame someone for having one. While you might influence a healthy no-shame environment at home, the reality is that schools and other friends can affect the way your child feels about it. Make sure you offer open channels to discuss what happens outside the house.
Being a good listener
It can be tempting to give your child all the answers, but it's more important to be a good listener. If they have questions, answer them as best you can. If they just want to vent about their period, let them do so without judgment.
Offering support and resources.
There are a lot of great resources out there for kids and teens who are dealing with periods. Share some of these with your child, or offer to help them find more information if they're interested. And always let them know that you're there to support them, no matter what.