Talking to daughters

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Being a parent, talking about periods with our children can be quite daunting. Lucy form The Pie Patch has nailed it with her girls. Have a read and see what she has to say n the matter:

 

 

“I have two daughters; the eldest is 11 and a half years old. So it’s fairly safe to say that at some point in the very near future, there’s going to be a whole lot of menstruating going on in our house. Thankfully, my thoroughly outnumbered husband is a total rock star in dealing with this stuff. It doesn’t phase him in the slightest. But how do you decide how much or how little to tell your children about puberty? How do you even begin to have that conversation?

For my girls, it started young. As anyone with children will know, there is very little that is private when you have inquisitive children around the house. As soon as they could walk, mine have always followed me to the loo. It’s safer than leaving them unattended for a couple of minutes and I figured it was a good way to introduce the idea of potty and toilet training.

Of course, a side effect of this is that they often catch a glimpse of my knickers while I’m on my period. My youngest is almost six now and aware of my pads. Despite being toilet trained at two, she has only very recently started being dry at night, so the idea of using cloth for toilet matters isn’t alien to her. She hasn’t really asked too many questions about it yet … except for that one loud conversation in a public toilet about why mummy has a “furry minny” … and the magnificent song she sang about loving her nipples in the changing rooms at the swimming pool. Even then, mid-cringe I try to answer her truthfully at a level she understands. If she is used to seeing and speaking about periods from a young age, by the time she needs to know this stuff it’ll be completely “normal” and not taboo.

My oldest girl takes a huge interest in my cloth pads. She gets just as excited about inspecting my fluffy post as I do. She knows what they are for and that I bleed at certain times of the month. She knows that it means there is no baby in my tummy and that when she is older, she will too. She knows that the different sizes of pad mean that sometimes there is more blood and sometimes less. She knows about menstrual cups. I have a couple put by for her but for now she finds the idea very daunting and isn’t interested in them at all. She knows that we use cloth because it is more comfortable than disposables and better for the environment, and she’s curious about starting her period but not overly concerned. I’m fairly sure that her menstrual cycle is imminent. We have noticed her body, skin and hair changing over the last couple of years. The hormonal surges and mood changes are particularly fun! She has her own cloth pantyliners, which she has been using occasionally for a year or so now, for when she feels “sticky” (which is how she words it). She also carries a little emergency wetbag in her school bag. It contains a cloth pantyliner, a heavy absorbency cloth pad, clean knickers, a cloth wipe, and a couple of intimate wetwipes. So if she starts her period at school, she is fully informed, fully equipped, and prepared to deal with it. She is astonishingly open and mature about the whole thing, which I hope is at least partly due to it being an open topic in our house.

I found puberty really hard. I had crushingly low self esteem and was excruciatingly self conscious of my changing body. EVERYTHING was embarrassing and it wasn’t really something we spoke about at home. I’d hate for my girls to feel that way. I want them to look forward to it and celebrate it when it happens. Part of that celebration will be handing over their very own stashes of pretty cloth pads. Because actually, as most cloth-lovers already know, periods can be fun!” 

-Lucy

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