Dad’s Guide to Periods & Puberty
Your child is growing up and you know that they soon will hit puberty and start their period. As a dad, while the whole topic can be a bit embarrassing to broach, make sure you do everything to make them feel comfortable. Given our society, fathers prefer to leave this conversation to their significant other, or perhaps another woman in the family. But we encourage you to have this talk with your child & create a safe space. There are a number of things that you as a father can do to boost your child’s confidence and make them feel normal.
Indulge in emotional conversations
Now it is not completely an out of bounds task to check with your child about their feelings. Just as you would ask them about their day at school, you may want to know about what they are thinking or making it easy for them to discuss about their emotions. This will eventually help you break walls between you and make room for an open discussion about everything with your child.
Keep it casual
Once they start opening up to you, gradually and in a very casual manner, talk about puberty while not getting overly personal or drowning them with overwhelming information. You could perhaps start the talk while watching TV or when out on a drive. This may help you avoid eye contact. When you have the period talk, help them understand the normalcy about menstruation.
Respect their privacy
As they are growing up, one thing they would need the most is their own space. Their emotional upheavals may get them to be angry, moody and irritated. You should not force them to talk, but be in a position to empathise with them and reason things out once they settle down.
While they are grappling with the bodily changes and dealing with the crazy emotional roller coaster that is targeting them during puberty, make sure they have your unwavering support. Whether it is talking to them or giving them the space, be a friend who understands what they are going through. All of this will help boost their confidence.
The Big day
When they actually get their first period, do not make a big deal of it, but let them know that you are around if they need anything. If required be ready to pick up period products for them, along with helping them with cramps, if any, or other PMS symptoms that they may be experiencing.
Finally, the most important part remains that even if they are growing into an individual, who has started their period, as dads you must make accept that they still remain your adorable little ones. If you create a distance with them owing to their puberty or menstruation, things may become awkward for your child, which will reflect in their behavior with others as well.