Riding The Crimson Wave

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Here are some ideas to help you start that conversation.

Be open, honest and available – Don’t always wait for them to initiate the subject and if you don’t know the answer to something – learn together, look it up (in the appropriate places!) or talk to a doctor.

Start early – by 8 girls should be aware of the bodily changes that will come with puberty. Maybe talk about your experiences at that age too.

Be practical – give them the tools and autonomy over their own bodies from the start. Explain the practicalities of pads and later tampons and the nature of hormones, teach her to “manage” her period on a day to day level.

Reassure her – just as we are all different we all go through puberty differently too. Everyone goes through these changes but not all at the same pace. There is a big variation in the timing of these kinds of milestones.

Use proper language – Don’t talk in euphemisms or nicknames. Be frank and informed. There is lots of evidence supporting the use of real names of genitalia and body parts not only for assertiveness over one’s own body but in the prevention of abuse as well.

When talking to boys – tell them the same as you would girls – explain about hormones and day to day practicalities as well as the biology of periods. You can also tell them about the experience of having a period – the possible pain, discomfort and expense – that the women and girls they know go through.

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