|Talking about topics that are deemed uncomfortable is always a challenge. However, broaching the topic of menstruation or first period with your daughter is inescapable with good reason. It is a parent’s utmost duty and responsibility to make their child aware of the bodily changes that her body will go through during puberty and especially during menses. |
It can be a difficult time for a young girl but with the love and support of her parents, this pubescent hurdle can be embraced successfully. We are sharing a few helpful tips that may come in handy when you cross it as a parent. An important thing to consider is that regardless of your gender as a parent you must be willing to talk to your daughter about menses. If you are her father you must first educate yourself about period related information if you already are not aware. A child must be able to seek comfort in both parents equally.
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1. Take time out and plan ahead to talk to her about the physical symptoms that may accompany her period – Most girls start menstruating between ages 12 and 14. Some may start even earlier. It may be a good idea to mention in casual conversation that you wish to speak with them about bodily changes due to puberty ahead of time. Since the nature of this conversation will be delicate, painting a positive picture of the events to come is crucial. It is also critical that you don’t beat around the bush too much and approach the subject with honest information.
2. Be patient and answer all of her questions and concerns – No matter how embarrassing or impertinent your daughter’s questions may sound, sensitively answering them is the key to developing a healthy and safe environment for an open talk regarding
3. Take tips and learn from experiences of friends and parents who have already had this talk with their daughters – there is no shame in reaching out to a friend in this situation. In fact, you might learn a new and interesting way to talk about first period with your daughter.
4. Sensitize your daughter’s sibling(s)- It is essential that your daughter’s sibling whether older or younger be made a part of this situation. If She or he is too young to understand the biology behind it, make sure you teach them to empathize with whatever their sister is going through. Keep this free from gender biases and make sure that the sibling
5. Have several informal conversations over an extended period of time- Having one big conversation might come as an unpleasant surprise to your daughter and she may feel overwhelmed at first. Therefore, instead of offloading all the information at once, make sure that you bring this topic up several times and try to have a dialogue instead of a monologue.
6. Introduce sanitary products and teach them how to use it- use audio-visual aids to explain things if necessary as something simply painting a word picture is not enough especially in this era of digital technology.
Let us now look at the second part of this conversation which may ensue after she’s started.
1. Comfort her and celebrate with her – Your daughter’s first period can be a daunting experience for her and a great deal of moral support should be given. Take her out for things that make her happy. Make sure she eats healthy but also tasty foods. Try to not push her to study too hard during those days. In fact, help her achieve a mental balance of sorts.
2. Explain the link between periods and pregnancy and answer all related questions if you can.
3. Make time for your daughter no matter how busy your schedule is – This is a rite of passage event for her and you shouldn’t miss it. Make this all about her and her cycle.