Have you given any thought about how to talk to kids about periods? I grew up in a house with 3 older sisters. There was always being a well stocked shelf, full of white things we didn’t talk about. When I was around 11, we had a sex education class in school, and suddenly it all slotted into place. For whatever reason, my Mum never broached the subject of periods with me. I am determined to make sure it’s not taboo in my own house.
How should you talk to kids about periods?
Do you remember when you started your period, or when you first learnt about them? Personally, I was 15 and about to go to Ibiza for 2 weeks with my aunt, uncle and cousins – Wonderful timing, I’m sure you’ll agree! It can be a very confusing, yet anxious time for many. Luckily, Lil-Lets have a variety of products available, which are designed for those who are approaching puberty, and want to be prepared.
For me, this subject should be discussed with male and female children. My own son is Autistic and non verbal, but that won’t stop me including him in knowing what happens within a woman’s body.
Make sure your daughter knows what to expect in advance
My kids always follow me into the bathroom, and have seen me using products from “My drawer”. Questions have already been asked, and I have made sure my daughter knows that this happens to all women, and it’s fine for her to ask any questions she has. When she’s a little older, we’ll have a more in depth discussion too.
My first experience of periods was when in primary school. A friend went to the toilet at break time, and started screaming because she was bleeding. We all thought she was going to die! I don’t want my daughter’s first encounter to be anything like that, so I’ll ensure she knows what to expect.
She definitely knows that every so often, I become really tired, sore and grumpy. I don’t think she has put two and two together yet, but as soon as she asks me, I’ll tell her it’s all Mr Monthly’s fault.
When she’s older, I’ll go through the reasons why we have periods, and what it can mean if you don’t have one. We had this talk in school, and to be honest, a lot of it was completely alien to me – despite having 4 older girls / women in my house. I can kind of understand why so many parents find it hard to talk to kids about periods. I will definitely be talking through all aspects of her body and periods with my daughter, and making sure she knows what to expect long before it happens.
When I was a young teen, my biggest worry was starting my period away from home or in school. To help prevent this fear, it’s a good idea to pop some pads into your daughter’s school bag.
“Teen” ranges are sold in a variety of cosmetic stores across the UK. They contain a variety of all products, so that your daughter can try each of them. This will allow her to see which work best for her. These packages come in a discreet cosmetic bag, so that it can’t easily be identified by others.
I had a pair of socks rolled up in the bottom of my school bag with a couple of towels in for a good 3 years of school – just in case. I figured nobody else would have the urge to unroll a pair of socks.
Run through the products available
Once you’ve had “the talk”, I think it’s important to show your daughter a pad, how she should position it and how to dispose of it afterwards. This way she will know what to do, should her period start when you’re not around.
If you’d rather not talk to kids about periods, check out the the Lil-lets ‘Becoming a Teen’ YouTube channel. It features animated videos on how to use pads, so she can have a look in her own time. You can always use this within “your talk” though.
For me, I want my children to feel they can talk about anything with me. I want them to approach me for help when choosing contraceptives and staying safe when the time comes. I feel a parent who is too uncomfortable to talk to kids about periods would be easy to approach with any problem.
If you’ve got any hints or tips, feel free to share them in the comments below.
Finally: feel free to have a read of my disclosure policy.