Ways Dads can talk to their kids about periods
Ways Dads can talk to their kids
This article discusses how to support young individuals, especially fathers, when they experience their first menstruation. It highlights the positive shift in the conversation around periods and the ongoing work to destigmatize them. The article explores how Māori ancestors openly discussed periods and draws inspiration from their practices for approaching period conversations with children today. It suggests starting by increasing knowledge about periods, including understanding the entire menstrual cycle, and provides ways to support children and partners at home. It emphasizes the importance of recognizing the fluctuation of energy throughout the menstrual cycle. Lastly, the article offers suggestions such as engaging in conversations, planning special activities, sharing household responsibilities, purchasing menstrual products, and assisting with washing period underwear.
When young individuals experience their first menstruation, it can be challenging to know how to provide support, particularly for fathers. We have witnessed a positive shift in the conversation surrounding periods since the establishment of Beautikini, and we have made significant progress in destigmatizing them. However, the work to destigmatize periods is an ongoing process, and boys and men have a crucial role to play until this task is accomplished.
First and foremost, we want to acknowledge and appreciate your desire to be part of the conversation and to support your children and partner when it comes to their menstrual cycles.
For our Māori ancestors, periods were openly discussed, as highlighted by the remarkable research conducted by Dr. Ngahuia Murphy. Some examples of how periods were treated differently for our Māori ancestors include:
- Boys received open education alongside girls regarding period .
- Men assisted with women's duties while they were menstruating.
- When a girl experienced her first period, it was often celebrated with a community feast.
We draw inspiration from these indigenous practices when considering how we can approach discussions about periods with our children today.
Start with enhancing your own knowledge. Due to the often gendered nature of sex education in schools, many men have limited understanding of what a period entails. This is an excellent starting point!
- Cultivate curiosity and familiarize yourself with the nature of a period, such as its duration and the number of Beautikini pairs needed for a menstrual cycle.
- Familiarize yourself with all phases of the menstrual cycle, not solely the bleeding phase. This will help you develop a deeper connection with the menstruators in your life by understanding the ebb and flow of their cycles.
Here are some ways you can support your children/partner with their periods at home:
- Recognize that a period is a nurturing time, and model this behavior at home, including how you communicate with your partner about their period. Children are highly observant, and if they witness their father engaging in such behaviors, they will instinctively begin to view their own periods as a time when they should and will be cared for.
- Initiate or actively participate in conversations about periods at home and inquire about your partner's well-being.
- Plan a special meal for her.
- Take on some of the household responsibilities she typically manages.
- Prepare a relaxing bath for her.
- Participate in purchasing period products.
- Offer to wash her Beautikini period underwear.
Additionally, developing an awareness of the entire menstrual cycle will help you recognize the fluctuation of energy throughout the month, which can impact mood, energy levels, and productivity.
Having an idea of when your partner/kids' periods might be due allows you to be prepared and make arrangements to provide more support in the week leading up to it. It also fosters a deeper connection and understanding. With increased awareness, you will be attuned to periods of lower energy or heightened moods and have a better understanding of when and why they may occur.