Boys need to be educated about periods too

Educating girls and boys about periods is essential to promoting self-esteem and healthy body images in both sexes.

If you want your boys to grow into men who respect women, then start by teaching them about periods.

The unsympathetic response

Every woman I know has at some point been at the receiving end of a barbed, disparaging comment about periods or PMS. It’s such a normal part of our culture that we don’t even realise it’s happening – and it happens because a lot of men have no idea about periods, and the menstrual cycle.

A sarcastic joke, a belittling jibe, an unsympathetic response to a completely normal (and often painful bodily function) does nothing to promote self-esteem, gender diversity or body positivity.

And, so periods continue to be shrouded by myths and stigma, and then we’re collectively surprised when girls are too ashamed to talk about periods and would rather use bunched up balls of toilet paper than tell a teacher they’ve started their period.

Change the conversation

Our culture tends to make girls and women feel bad or dramatic when we feel sad, depressed, or weepy before and during our periods, instead of being empathetic to the surge of hormones and physical changes our bodies – especially little bodies – are going through, we receive judgment. So, let’s change the conversation.

A warm smile, a hot cup of tea and an understanding ear go a long way to making girls feel comfortable about their periods.

Let’s break down the stigma and start talking about it. Not when girls start menstruating and it’s all a bit much and awkward. Start the conversation about periods and reproduction when children are young. The Europeans do it that way and their kids grown into self-actualised and successful adults.

Both teenage girls and boys have so many questions; they just may not know where to direct them. For advice, check out topics that you can discuss with your kids about periods.

LunaThis article was written by Kelly Gregor, Chief Lunatic at Luna.

Luna is an online community that supports girls through their first and subsequent periods and empowers them by normalising periods and promoting period positivity by busting myths and fighting taboos. Luna provides a monthly subscription service that offers girls choice and control – packs are categorised according to the stage and phase a girl is in.

 

Find Luna online at lunaperiods.co.nz, on Facebook and on Instagram.

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5 Comments

  1. kymmage 26/06/2018 at 9:12 pm

    I think this is a great idea also. I’m a mother to daughters. I often think of the conversations I have with my children and I hope that I would be as open and honest with a son as I am with my daughters. They have known from a young age about the cycle of egg maturity and release as well as how our bodies cleverly flush the egg out to make way for another. I talk about aspects of it, including the emotional/hormone ride and that it’s normal and okay.

  2. MuddledUpMolly 25/06/2018 at 9:07 pm

    I have never actually thought about sharing this kind of information with my son in the future but I think this article definitely makes some valid points and why not??!

  3. Mands1980 13/06/2018 at 12:47 pm

    This is a great article I had never actually thought about talking to our son about periods but I have talked openly to our 9 year old daughter about them and she quite often talks about them. I have not heard of Luna girls but will have a look at this for my daughter.

  4. Shorrty4life1 11/06/2018 at 5:33 pm

    This is a great idea. Girls go through enough without boys not understanding them. I reckon they should also include this in schools so that more understand and also so girls know what they’re in for. I remember at 16yrs crying when I got my first period because I never was told about it so freaked out as to what was going on. I think Luna is going to be a major hit and a great idea. I’ll definitely get my girl on this page when she starts to go through periods and the stress of it all. Very cool that you can subscribe too. Wish we had this when I was younger.

  5. Bevik1971 08/06/2018 at 4:04 pm

    Fantastic idea – I was 10 when I got my period at a friends house, I freaked out as my parents never talked about it to me 🙁 I have an adult son but when he was younger I explained what periods were and why we had them when he was old enough to understand. I now have a 5 year old daughter and she knows what pads and tampons are and what they are for. I tell her when I have my period and plan to have deeper discussions about it when she is a little older and can understand how it works a little better 🙂

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