Talking to your Child about Periods
The beginning of menstruation, commonly called periods, is a crucial phase in a girl’s life. It’s her first step towards womanhood. For some girls, its arrival is a joyous and exciting event while for others it is rather amusing and an experience which leaves them anxious and bewildered. Regardless of the complex reactions, the first periods always remain a memory.
Usually, girls start menstruating when they’re 12 or 13 years old though some may begin menstruating at the age of nine or ten. If you want to wait for her first cycle to explain what it is, you’ll perhaps be too late. So, it’s better to explain what menstruation is when your daughter turns eight.
If your daughter has reached the age at which she would soon have her first menstrual cycle, its better you inform her about menstruation before she enters this significant phase of her life. Here is how you can introduce her to menstruation and its various aspects.
Talk about Female Anatomy— Instead of discussing about menstruation at length, try to divide the topic in smaller conversations. Begin with how the human body functions, particularly a woman’s body. Explain in simple terms the physical changes, such as increasing breast size or skin becoming prone to pimples a kid reaching puberty experiences.But remember that bombarding the little mind with complex process of menstruation, such as changes in the uterus during periods can be confusing for your daughter.
Read: Adolescence and Puberty
Pass on the right Information—In this age of internet and regular sex education classes being conducted at the school, children already are aware of sex and sexuality implying that your daughter might also be aware of puberty. Ask if she knows about puberty. If she does, handle her questions tactfully and clarify all her misconceptions related to periods. Ensure that she understands that it’s a natural process and that a woman cannot conceive without menstrual cycles.
Tell to her about Periods-Hygiene— Apart from explaining why a female menstruates, tell your daughter when it happens and how many days does it lasts. Besides, your puberty reaching girl needs to be familiar with periods-hygiene supplies, such sanitary pads, feminine cleansing washes and tampons. [Read: Grooming your Kid for Hygiene]
Talk about Discomforts— Make sure you also talk about the discomforts, such as stomach cramping or heavy bleeding a girl experiences during her periods. Tell her how she can deal with these discomforts.[Read: All About Menstrual Cramps]
Don’t be embarrassed while talking to your daughter about menstruation. If you find it awkward to talk about menstruation, try to be a little more frank with your daughter to make the discussion little easier and open . Tell her before she gets to know about periods from her friends.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Sep 21, 2012
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