This topic is probably a nightmare for parents, the not knowing what to say, wondering if it’ll be awkward, how to approach it, and all the rest. But you can both leave the conversation relaxed, trusted, comfortable, and informed. WIN. WIN.
First, if she is stressed or anxious, calm her and make her feel understood.
Ask her if she needs anything. Whatever she wants. Oblige her. She is probably confused, emotional, tired from worrying, and everything else.
Ask her if she would be more comfortable talking to you about it or offer her a visual anatomic display with the basic information about what’s happening. Let her know there are no wrong questions, that she can ask anything, and that you are going to listen. Tell her either way you will make sure all her questions are going to be answered honestly. If she prefers to speak to another family member be respectful of her decision.
Give her options for her period needs and educate yourself on the options ahead of time so she knows she can come to you in the future with her needs. There are some new options for periods than the last generation had and are way more hygenic and safe to use. Please be open minded and allow her to choose whatever makes her more comfortable and put any judgements you may have right in the garbage can.
Here are some links I use when shopping for my own products. Use these as a jump off point to find out what is best for her! (and maybe a healthy switch for you!)
- Period underwear with support build in.
- Pads and liners
- Discs or diva cups
My Dad gave me the period talk when I started it at 11, and I give him an A for effort. So if you are a Dad, and you have to do this, just know you can do it and she will thank you for it. If you are a mom, don’t forget or assume that her journey is going to be the same as yours. If she asks a question you don’t have an answer to do not make something up or just go with it. If you don’t have a good answer for her tell her you will find out or offer to look it up or ask a professional together.
In school we learn more about the makeup of an atom and how to measure angles than we do about our own reproductive systems. The fact that a survey done in 2020 showed that only 1 in 4 women could correctly label their VAGINA is disturbing. Women cannot feel confident and empowered when we are failing to educate each other and ourselves about the bodies we live in every day. Don’t worry, I’ll include the link to the article below so you can be as in awe of our ignorance as I am.
I’ve always thought I was educated, but the more I know that there’s so much I don’t know and wanting to know why is making me want to know everything. Please don’t let your daughters go through life with more questions than answers. Now is also a good time to educate yourself with so much false information being spread in our world. Empower yourself so you can empower her.
Tell her that she is normal, that nobody’s parts are the same and that we are all built unique. Tell her to never compare her experiences with others. Tell her that every woman on the planet has had “situations” with their periods and that it’s normal and not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Teach your sons to be generous and graceful if he encounters a girl or woman who may need him to get her supplies or a cover for her in class. Give her the knowledge about her body early so that she can always have a good relationship with it.
BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO MAKE A POWERPOINT OF WHAT IS A PERIOD, HERE ARE LINKS THAT DO THAT FOR YOU!
(this one has a 3D reproductive system visual! So cool!)
8 Vulva Illustrations Every Woman Should See
Facts everyone should know
FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM RESOURCES
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