This week I wanted to bring back talking about periods, but this time focusing on how to talk to our daughters, sisters, or just any young person in our lives about their periods. This can be an uncomfortable topic for everyone involved, but it shouldn’t be. Talking about the things women’s bodies do can and should be empowering, educational, and honest. So where do we start?
Start early and keep it factual
First things first, young girls start their periods between 8-16 years old making it essential to start talking to our daughters about their bodies and how they work well before then. Not knowing the facts and what is going to happen to their bodies can be a scary and traumatic experience, especially at a young age. This only increases the stigma that periods are shameful and something to hide. All women and girls alike deserve and have the right to bodily autonomy and being informed. This is why starting these talks early and keeping those lines of communication open is needed and so important.
Starting the conversation
So now that we know the importance of starting this conversation, let’s talk about how to actually do it. As we discussed before, this can be an uncomfortable conversation, so it can be helpful to have starting points.
- Open it up to them, let them tell you what they know about puberty and periods, and answer any questions they may have.
- Be prepared. Get ready for this conversation and know what you want to say and how you want to say it.
- If you have had or currently have periods, bring your own experience into it. This can help alleviate some of the embarrassment or shame that can come along with this conversation.
- Keep the conversation fluid and see where your child leads you. Do this by encouraging questions and giving time for her to express her thoughts and feelings about these coming changes.
Hopefully, these conversation starters and tips will help you feel more comfortable and confident leading these conversations. But remember you don’t have to say or do everything perfectly for your child to learn and feel more confident as well!
Until next time,