Why do I need to communicate with my child about periods?
As a parent, you have a very high responsibility to guide your children through different stages of life. In the journey of parenting, discussion of various sensitive topics like the menstruation period with children plays an important part in their healthy development. This will also help them to promote a positive attitude toward body changes and to face puberty, periods with confidence.
When do I need to talk with our children about periods?
It can vary depending on the maturity level and readiness of every individual child. It is recommended by many experts that the perfect time to initiate a conversation about puberty and period must be around the age of 8-10 years. Maybe girls begin to experience physical changes to their bodies such as the development of breasts and the growth of pubic hair. It will be an ideal time to introduce the concept of periods so that they would be prepared before time.
How should I start this conversation with my child?
Period discussion with a child can be a sensitive topic but it is also a very important task. As a parent, it should not be difficult for you to deliver this type of conversation, all you need to keep these things in mind before starting are the following:
- Choosing the right place:
First of all, choose a quiet and private space that should be free of distraction or interruption so that you can talk in a relaxed setting. Secondly, make sure you are both at ease and feel comfortable.
- Choosing the right time:
Talking with children when you are both free and not rushed is very important. Make sure to avoid this type of conversation in stressful moments or when your child might be occupied by other things.
- Using the situation as a cue:
Using everyday situations would be great to initiate communication with them. Sometimes, these situations help you naturally to lead the conversation. For example, if you are watching a movie or certain show where puberty is a theme, you can take this chance to start the discussion.
- Share your experience:
Sharing your own experience can help normalize the topic and to create a friendly environment between you and your children.
- Be patient and listen to them:
It is possible that your child might be surprised. They may react with a series of emotions like curiosity and embarrassment. You need to remain patient while listening to them by validating their feelings and guiding them to the end of the discussion.
Remember that this is the start of their questions. You need to prepare to answer any questions and discussions as your child processes the information as they continue to grow. You will need to create an atmosphere of open communication and trust.
What should I need to include while talking about periods?
There are many things you should discuss regarding periods or puberty. Some of them are the following:
Start the conversation by explaining what menstruation is. Tell them this is a naturally occurring process in girls as they grow up by using simple and age-appropriate language.
What are the reasons behind the happening period?
Tell them about the biological reasons behind the menstruation period. Explain to them it is a normal part of the reproductive system in females that prepares the body for the possibility of pregnancy.
When does the period happen?
Explain the timing of periods varies from person to person but it usually starts between the ages of 8 to 16. Mention that it’s different for every individual.
About their signs:
Tell them about physical signs that show menstruation is approaching for example growth of pubic hair and the development of breast.
About their duration:
Explain to them how many days periods can last once every month. Mention them, it can vary from person to person.
Hygiene, pain, and discomfort:
Explain to them the importance of good hygiene such as maintaining cleanliness and changing products regularly. Tell them that pain, mood swings, and cramps are normal on period days. Mention the ways to deal with these problems.
Questions about periods:
Let them know that they can always come to you for any questions about periods. Show them you are always present for them to solve their concerns. You should always have to encourage them and have an open environment.
Discussing the period with your child plays a crucial role in understanding their body changes. You can help your children in their grown-up phase by providing accurate information, answering their questions, and concerns, and giving them an open environment to communicate. Provide them with every detail in a cool and supportive manner.
Writer, Child Development Specialist
Nutritional Needs for Growing Children
Picky Eater Strategies
Effective Communication Techniques
Inclusive Education Techniques
Preparing Kids for School Transitions
Founder and Head of Content Strategy for Parenting and Childcare with a specialized focus on nutritional needs for growing children and picky eater strategies.
Holds a Master’s degree in Child Development from Queens University.
Certified in Precision Nutrition, Child Development Associate, and New Parent Education.
Hannah Miller, M.Ed., combines academic insights with real-life parenting experience in her writing. Maria crafts articles on topics such as effective communication techniques, inclusive education, and preparing kids for school transitions that resonate deeply with parents and parents-to-be. She offers invaluable resources based on her extensive education, training, and firsthand experience as a parent. In her spare time, Maria enjoys hiking trails and experimenting in the kitchen with culinary delights.