“When you’re young, you think your dad is Superman.” Rightly, so! As your daughter’s superhero, you may start to feel quite overwhelmed as she approaches puberty. While it is completely normal to feel awkward when you give her the ‘period talk’, you must understand that periods are an integral part of your little girl’s life and she is counting on you to be there for her.
With the introduction of a new family structure consisting of single and same-sex marriages, it has now become imperative for you to know how to start talking to your daughter about her period. With a whopping 78% of Indian men wanting to demystify the stigma around menstrual taboos and restrictions, the need to educate has become more important than ever!
So, read on to get started with simple ways that you can initiate a conversation about periods with your little one.
1. Have a Proactive Attitude
Your daughter’s period is a huge milestone in her life. One of the best ways to prepare her is by letting her know in advance what to expect. Talking to her and planning ahead will give her the confidence she needs to brave her first period when it does indeed arrive.
2. Be Prepared for Questions
Periods are confusing and your daughter will come to you with a lot of questions, so be prepared! Create easy-to-understand responses for questions like:
- Will it hurt?
- Can I take a shower?
- When will I get my period?
- Why do I get my period?
- What is PMS?
- How do I use menstrual products?
This will satisfy her curiosity and make her feel like it is okay to come to you with her questions. It is also a great way for both of you to bond!
3. Let Her Explore
Just like the captain of a ship is constantly on the lookout for land, your daughter, too, will begin her quest to find the right menstrual product for herself. You can show your support by accompanying her to the menstrual product aisle or by making a sample basket of sanitary pads, tampons, cups, etc. and letting her choose, this shows her that you support her choice no matter what!
With great menstrual products, comes great responsibility. The responsibility of maintaining good menstrual hygiene, of course! It is extremely crucial to develop these habits as early as possible. If you would like to know more, do give our Tips On Maintaining Menstrual Hygiene article a read.
4. You React, She Enacts
Being her superhero, your daughter will always look up to you for guidance. Your reaction will play a key role in how she views herself and reacts to her period. If you are panicking or disgusted, she will mimic that and end up feeling ashamed and embarrassed.
5. Give her some space
All girls are different and cope with change differently, so be sure to give her some space to figure out and process her emotions at her own pace. Make sure she knows that you are there for her at all times. You could either talk to her or write a note and leave it on her desk. Small gestures like these will make your daughter feel like she has a friend and confidant in you!
6. Stay Informed
With menstruation being a taboo subject within the larger society, ensuring that your daughter gets the right information is vital. It will enable her to make the right decisions when it comes to her menstrual health. Having regular chats about periods will help you learn more about how you can help her manage the pain better and even get a sense of any abnormalities that need to get checked.
7. Schedule that Appointment!
Getting timely check-ups from a gynac should be part and parcel of your daughter’s menstrual health. Take her to a gynac regularly and encourage her to ask questions. This is a great way to ensure that she is getting the correct information from a credible source. It also provides her with the assurance that there will always be a professional that can help her if she needs it.
8. Be her Dad
Continue to do the things you used to even before your daughter got her period like watching movies, playing catch, etc. this will restore some sense of normalcy in her life and make the transition to womanhood easier. In short, be her dad, nothing major has changed!
So there you have it! Our tips and tricks on how you can have more meaningful conversations with your daughter about menstruation. Share this with your other dad friends to make sure your daughters have a bloody good period. We are rooting for you!