𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐌𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
Menstruation is a natural biological phenomenon. The ‘first period’ is the crossover from childhood to youth. You need to celebrate and cherish the transition of your princess. Preparing the young girl before hand is an important aspect of healthy parenting. All mothers should proactively get involved in educating their daughters about menstruation.
How to Initiate?
Schools, friends and cousins are also eminent information providers but it is more holistic that a mother has a ‘the’ conversation with her girl. It will strengthen the bond and encourage a two-way communication channel for everything and anything. The foundation of trust is laid when you have a good talk.
First and first, a mother needs to figure out when to have the conversation. Most, girls start their puberty at age of 8-9 years these days and periods can happen anytime. The most predictable age is when the mom first started her or if the child has reached a certain body weight and height.
Start the conversations over an Ad on Sanitary Napkin watching TV at home when only the mother and daughter are together. Generally, inquire if the child is familiar with sanitary napkins and why these are used.
The reaction or acknowledgment will help gauge the child’s knowledge on periods. Hence, smoothly direct the conversation towards menstruation, women hygiene and its importance in women fertility.
What to care about?
Make sure that conversation is open ended allowing the child to lead the conversation. It is okay if your daughter is shy and does not ask anything at the first interaction. Some maybe too curious to know-it-all. So go with the flow.
As a mother you need to remember that you are not responsible for downloading all the information on to your daughter in a day. Give her time to process. Gradually, have light conversations over duration of weeks over coffee, books, walks. You have to make her feel comfortable with the knowledge that women bodies change after a certain age, puberty is normal, what to expect during menstruation, cherish it and hygiene and precautions are necessary.
How to make it fun?
Make it fun by telling her about nick names for periods like ‘chums’ and ‘am down’. Sharing stories about how your early experiences of menstruation were, and watching videos on cross-over celebrations in certain communities in South India and South America will also help the child’s attitude towards women fertility, puberty onset and periods.
It is also a great thought to have a small consultation day with a familiar gynecologist known to the mother who can have the conversation with your daughter in your presence about what to expect during periods and taking necessary steps to prevent it from hurting.
Hoping this brief helps you to have that ‘talk’ with your daughter and allows a beautiful relationship with her forever.