Talking first time about periods 🔴 to first timers can be daunting😬, especially if you never had this conversation with your parents openly. We are talking about mums, dads and all guardian with young kids who are reaching puberty👫. But what is the right age to talk to your child about menstruation?
Personally, I was never taught about it but I saw my mum staying away from the kitchen or daily house chores which is social and cultural tradition in Nepal during menstruation, so that when I knew my mum is having her time of the month. Many people have told us that they weren't 🤔 ever taught by their family but came to know about it from their friends.
But how can we change this and talk more openly about period to the first timers 👫?
👍🏽The average age to start menstruation in the UK is 12 and a half, but it could be any age from 8 to 20. Menstruation often starts around the same age as their mothers.🙎🏼 We went through more than 500 conversations in local chat group and the verdict was that the best time to talk to your child about period or menstruation is at 8 or 9 years old as most of their children started at the age of 10.
At the same time I also came across plenty of mums who were very reluctant😬 to talk about their period 🔴to their children as they themselves were not talked to about it when they had their first time. Indeed, there were many parents determined to make sure they would talk to their child and prepare them for their menstruation.
I'm dreading this I was never open about this to my mum, I felt really embarrassed talking about this, I don't want me & my daughter to be like that. I don't have periods so she doesn't see me.
Mum of 9 years old girl
I think I am a bit of a prude, as I said my mum did not have the conversation with me, nor the school did, so I want to be the one to help now.
Mum of 10 years old
So, in this blog we will give you our best five tips on how you can talk to your child
Let's start with some obvious signs to look out when your child is about to have their first period;
1 Budding breasts: is often a sign a first period is one to two years away.
2 A whitish or yellowy discharge is a sign that menstruation is round the corner.
3 Some girls complain about tummy ache and show some sign of PMS.
Now let move on to the top 5 picks on how to talk about period or menstruation and its associated symptoms.
1) Open the conversation: Start the conversation as early as possible. Nothing is more embarrassing than a girl not knowing what to do when she has her first period. Pre-teen and teen periods can be unpredictable and heavy, so period underwear can help reduce your daughter's dread of embarrassing leaks. Always pack at least one period underwear in her bag whenever she's out, so she won't be caught out if her period starts unexpectedly.
2) Open bathroom policy: Leaving sanitary items out and visible can help start an awareness and opportunity for conversation.
3) Menstrual Education at school: It is always good to talk to class teacher if they can give some extra time to anyone who would like to learn more about menstruation (year 4, 5, 6 all students in one room) Particularly the types of sanitary product that they can use and information on proper menstrual hygiene and disposing techniques.
4) Informative visual information: We love this amazing webpage called kidshealth.org where they explain all menstrual issues. Do watch the video together (you and your child).
Find more about it here: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/menstrual-problems.html
5) Preparation and menstrual kit: Puberty and menstrual hormones are too much to handle at such a young age. Try and be kind and sensitive to young girls. Make sure they are looked after during their period. A hot water bottle for cramps, ibuprofen, some nice bath salts and herbal drinks are always good for relaxation. Every girl should have very positive start to menstruation!
We hope this blog has given you some ideas on when and how to talk to your child about period. It never too early to talk about what going in our body. If you start to notice the sign of puberty, its a sign to start the conversation. The more we talk about periods the more we break this silence and taboo.
Be Period Positive and let’s get the conversation started. As always please do share your thoughts with us via our social media platforms. We are in FB, Twitter and Instagram as @WUKAWear. We would love to hear from you❤️