This blog post is guest written by Jeff Bogle from Out With The Kids.
Hey dad, you’re probably super busy staying 6-feet apart from your fellow shoppers at the grocery store or binge watching that old television series for the umpteenth time from the safety of your family room sofa, so I’m going to cut straight to the point: talking to your child about their period shouldn’t be weird, gross, or awkward for you.
Of course, it may be all of those things for them at first, but menstruation is nothing to be ashamed of – and your child deserves to feel that. Luckily, you’re the perfect candidate to help your child with this!
You can support your child’s periods during lockdown and every month afterwards by considering three easy things listed below. You’ll not only give your child the support that they need and deserve, but you’ll also help to shatter the lazy stereotype that men or fathers are uncomfortable discussing ‘that time of the month’.
1 – Communication
Being present and available for your child to talk about them about their menstrual cycle and any physical and emotional changes they may experience, or anything else on their mind is crucial. The importance of having this open dialogue with your child from a very young age can’t be stressed enough. Communication is even more critical today, as we all move further into a changed world, one that is more uncertain than ever. Our children need to rely on us for emotional and everyday support – especially when they aren’t in school or seeing friends. In short, a child will need their dad, parent or guardian to be there, present, and available, for every part of their life.
Here’s the thing though, dad: You probably won’t be needed to fix or solve anything — and I get it, the urge to do so is innate and powerful, but resist it!
Instead, simply keep your ears, mind, and heart open and unjudging to receive their story as it evolves over time. It will help them gain confidence speaking on the topic; preparing them to communicate to doctors during appointments and wherever else they may need to speak about their period. In doing so, your dad-child relationship will also evolve and grow into a bond that will be darn-near unbreakable.
2 – Shopping
Sometimes you will be called upon to pick up period products at the store. This is just the reality of the situation. And unless you do self-checkout, this means putting pads and tampons on the conveyer belt for the cashier to see and scan. You know it’s cool though. That there’s nothing at all to be embarrassed about. So, pick whichever checkout lane you’d like, pops!
Choose plastic free
3 – Laundry
Menstrual blood is going to get on stuff — that’s just another fact of life when you live with people who have periods. But you’ve got this! With some elbow grease and a little know-how, you’ll be able to remove period blood from just about anything. You have to treat the stain right away, putting some of the detergent straight onto it (try dish soap too, that stuff is magic in some stain situations) and thoroughly rubbing it in. Let that sit and marinate for a bit before washing, and check that the stain is sufficiently out before drying, because a dry cycle may set the stain in for good. If you need another go, grab a coarse sponge and scrub with everything you’ve got, then wash again. Voila! Their favorite underwear, pair of shorts, or duvet covers is as good as new!
By fully supporting your child’s periods, you are going to be amazed at how much your relationship grows and is strengthened by opening up your heart and mind to this critical part of their young lives. And those incredible children and teenagers are going to know that they’ve got the best #GirlDad in town!
How do you support your child through their menstrual cycle?