Is your daughter approaching her first period?
The start of menstruation is a milestone in a girl’s life. Some girls revel, while others are bewildered and scared. Mostly it is the peer talk that makes them excited or threatened about the whole experience. How to prepare your daughter without embarrassing her or yourself in the process?
How important is holding a period talk?
Holding a period talk is imperative but can be intimidating. So how to start? That’s the first challenge. It need not be a big chunk of conversation or a lecture to the girl. It can evolve gradually and naturally. It can happen over a cup of coffee or a long walk, or while you have your periods, or over a television commercial on a sanitary pad.
You can make it humorous by recalling how you thought you were suffering from some terminal illness when you saw the bloodstain on your panty.
Encourage your daughter to ask questions. You can start with the basic information on how her first few period flows are likely to be. Light and not regular. How the texture and color of the blood can vary? How to wear a pad and when to change to a new one.
For Dads who live with Teenage daughters:
The single Dads who feel this talk is out of their comfort zone do not force yourselves to have uncomfortable conversations. Especially when you do not have first-hand experience, it is better to talk to friends who experienced such a scenario and then take the plunge.
The general Dos and Donts:
- Stick to facts and skip stereotypes
- Take the lead
- Let your conversation be natural and not forced.
- Do not underestimate your role. You are a role model for your child, and she will respect your opinion.
- Do not postpone till the last minute.
- Do not let your taboos or stigmas creep in your conversation.
Questions your daughter might throw: (Be equipped to expect the unexpected)
- How long will my period last?
- Will the acne disappear after a period?
- Can I use tampons?
- Will I get the period every month?
- Are the blood clots normal?
Remember they will ask only a few questions, while they have plenty more to ask, but they are not ready to ask them yet. The more you talk, the more they will open up. Do not expect they will pour their hearts out at your first talk. But, keep them coming, and they will open up when they trust you enough.