The first period is a significant stage in every girl’s life; it marks the transition into adulthood. While some girls are calm about this event, others are beside themselves with worry. A child’s reaction to their first menstrual cycle depends on how prepared they are for it. However, periods for kids aren’t always easy to discuss. Besides being uncomfortable with the subject, some parents are yet to accept their daughter’s fast growth. Your child might also be insecure about their body. According to a Bodyform UK study, 50% of girls hesitate to discuss menstruation with relatives and friends. Although periods for kids are nothing to be ashamed of, you should be careful with the conversation to avoid awkwardness. Because your kids will have many more menstrual cycles, what you tell them will determine how they handle future periods.
When Should You Have the Periods for Kids Conversation?
The periods for kids’ discussion aren’t a one-off conversation. Discussing periods for kids in one sitting might overwhelm the child and leave them more confused than informed. Instead, share your menstrual health knowledge throughout different sessions. Although most periods for kids start at 12 years, there’s no wrong age to talk about menstruation. Because some girls have their first periods early (even at 8), this discussion should be continuous. For instance, don’t dismiss your 5-year old daughter when they ask about the tampon on your dressing table.
You could start with the period meaning and explain how the tampons or pads control menstrual bleeding, a normal occurrence for older girls. However, the details you share depend on the child’s maturity and comprehension ability. Remember, discussing periods for kids isn’t only about the information. Answering your child’s questions makes them comfortable to discuss any issue with you.
But don’t wait for your child’s questions to discuss periods for kids. You can initiate the conversation when a tampon ad comes up on TV or when you walk through the sanitary towel aisle at the supermarket. Feel free to delve deeper into the periods for kids’ conversation at a more private place, for instance, on the car journey home. You could also buy a book to acquaint your daughter with menstruation.
Things to Discuss
Start by asking your kids about what they know about menstruation so you don’t omit important details. Chances are, your daughter has already heard about menstruation from her teachers and other kids at school. The next step is describing how periods occur, making sure to dispel any myths. For example, some kids think blood gushes out of the body continuously during menstruation. You can tell your child that period bleeding is far much less than the blood from cuts.
Additionally, clear the air about cramps. Assuming your kids ask you if periods are painful, tell them the pain varies from one person to another and only lasts several days. Remember to tell your kids how they can soothe the cramps. For instance, you can recommend exercise and anti-inflammatory foods for the pain.
Another area to cover is menstruation supplies. You can give your daughter some tampons and sanitary pads and explain how to use them. Furthermore, advise them to carry extra tampons in their purses in the event their periods occur unexpectedly. The periods for kids’ discussion should also involve men. Girls shouldn’t feel embarrassed about asking for tampon money from their dads. Likewise, creating menstrual awareness among sons increases compassion towards females, reducing period shame.
Because your child will ask questions about periods for kids, read on the topic before the discussion. You may have had countless periods but forgotten some basic information. Some topics like periods delay pills might also require additional research. Again, ensure your language is age-appropriate to avoid confusing your child further.
Although the child should be aware of the changes in puberty, dwelling on negative periods symptoms causes unnecessary anxiety. What’s more, don’t give scary names such as “the curse” to menstruation. Your child should understand periods for kids are natural. How do you explain periods to a child? It’s always a pleasure hearing from you in the comments.
Rachel H. is a reproductive health expert from California. She is also passionate about children and volunteers in local schools to teach kids about health. Outside work, Rachel loves motorcycles. You can find her traversing the world on her Harley with her husband she met on the best online dating sites.