Period topics to discuss with your kids

You’d be surprised how many girls aren’t prepared for their first periods and how much misinformation about menstruation they retain. Both girls and boys have so many questions; they just may not know where to direct them. Here’s a selection of topics to consider discussing with your children:

1. Promote period positivity

Periods are normal and healthy, and if kids are told this from a young age, they will believe it. Getting your period is as important as having a healthy diet, going to the bathroom regularly, getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water. Let’s promote it as the healthy and normal bodily function that it is.

2. Promote facts, not myths

All girls get their periods. Periods are not gross, period blood is not different to normal blood, girls can exercise during their periods if they want to, hormonal side-effects are normal and, no sharks won’t attack you if you swim during your period!

3. Starting your period prepares your body for pregnancy

A lot of the misinformation about periods is because we as a society have an issue talking about sex and reproduction in a healthy manner. Boys and girls need to understand how pregnancy occurs – if nothing else than to help prevent unwanted pregnancies – but also because it’s essential to menstrual and sexual health. The menstrual cycle works on a (roughly) 28-day cycle. If an egg is not fertilised then the uterine lining comes away as period blood – not that dramatic after all.

4. Teach kids about anatomy

Many girls believe they urinate and menstruate from the same body part. This is basic 101 stuff, but many girls are not taught about how their own bodies work. If girls think this then imagine what boys think?

5. Promote menstrual products

Education is power and being informed empowers girls to take control of their periods and manage them with dignity. There are four types of products; pads, tampons, liners and menstrual cups. All come in different sizes and absorbencies / volumes. Have a chat about the different products and what they’re used for. A fun experiment for both boys and girls is to dunk tampons in a glass of water and watch them expand. It demonstrates the absorption properties and brings a bit of fun to the topic.

6. Promote menstrual hygiene

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is extremely rare but can be fatal. Girls need to be taught to:

    • Wash their hands before and after they insert tampons
    • Only use tampons when they have their periods
    • Use the correct tampon size to meet their flow; minis in the beginning, regular and super as the flow increases
    • Change tampons every four to eight hours
    • Shower daily, and wear clean, breathable (cotton) underwear during your period
    • Use clean towels – a high level of personal hygiene needs to be encouraged
    • Girls cannot lose their virginities from using tampons. This is a dangerous myth and one that confuses girls and boys. There is only one way for both girls and boys to lose their virginities and that’s through sexual intercourse.

What topic did you find was important to discuss with your children about menstruation? Join the chat in the comments below.

 

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.

Read more on Kidspot:

5 Comments

  1. kymmage 26/06/2018 at 9:16 pm

    When my mum was growing up, she wasn’t told anything. Her period started, she thought she was bleeding to death. She was sent home, a belt was supplied with a pad and that was all she knew. When she had me, she was determined to educate me. She didn’t want me to be taken by surprise. Bless her, but instead I spent from the age of 11 til almost 16 waiting for this dreaded thing to come. I checked behind myself all the time, terrified that I would bleed onto the seat at school and not know. When it did come it was spotting and not scary at all. With my eldest daughter I am slowly talking to her about her options – pads, washable cloths, and the like. She knows what will happen, but I have also started to talk about the rest of the cycle too. The various stages your body moves through and that it’s all normal.

  2. MuddledUpMolly 25/06/2018 at 9:09 pm

    I definitely agree with sharing information with children and parents, particularly, being a little more proactive and not just relying on schools to do this. I learnt about periods from a girl at school, was wildly misinformed and then was scared! My Mum failed to educate me in time so I need to make sure I don’t make the same mistake with my little girl.

  3. Mands1980 13/06/2018 at 12:52 pm

    I definitely agree with lots of education around this subject and what you can use and why we get them. All kids should be taught about these things at home especially by there parents it’s nice to be open about any questions as well they may have.

  4. Shorrty4life1 11/06/2018 at 5:36 pm

    I definitely agree with what you’re saying. Nothing like this should be sugar coated and all truth. Kids need to know more these days as it’s not a nice feeling when you have no idea then you’re bleeding and think it’s not normal. Most scary thing a kid can go through if they know nothing. More education is a must for boys and girls.

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

    I definitely agree that we need to be giving our kids, both boys and girls, informed information about menstrual cycles, why we get them and how they work. When I first got my period at 10 years old I didn’t even know what it was sadly and was pretty freaked out by it as I also got it first time at a friends house 🙁 I also had terribly painful periods which didn’t help. So yes we need to educated our kids

Leave A Comment