26 May 5 Tips on how to have ‘the period talk’ with your daughter
Kristy Chong talks about how to have ‘the period talk’ with your daughter
If you cast your mind back to the day you got your first period, what do you remember? Were you scared of this new experience and did you know what it was? Did a parent (or carer) give you ‘the period talk’ before it began?
When I first got my period, I was 12. I wasn’t the first of my friends, so I knew it was coming. When I told my mum, she handed me a Tampax box and told me to read the instructions on how to use it. After several clumsy attempts, I got it. No further discussion occurred, and I remember thinking ‘I suppose that means I’m a woman now.’
I have suffered from irregular periods throughout my life and after the birth of my second child I developed a weaker pelvic floor. This is what inspired me to create a product to support people of all ages and genders with their period, sweat or bladder leaks.
All our stories are unique and whatever the age, preparing your daughter to learn to embrace her period, without shame, should be a priority for every parent (or carer).
Here are my five tips for approaching periods with your daughter:
Break down taboos
It’s never too early to talk about personal subjects with your daughter, like menstruation and her body. And while you’re at it, talk to your sons about periods too! Being a role model means embodying a positive outlook from the get-go.
It’s also important to allow your daughter to set her own boundaries. Our survey* found that, on average, almost one in three of young girls are afraid of talking about periods. Your daughter may not want you to be involved in this experience, and that’s okay. Talk to her and respect her privacy if she wants to do it on her own. This is something you will both figure out as you go!
Having a pair of RED by Modibodi undies tucked away in her backpack or locker means she can go on with her day at school stress-free, without having to worry about what to do if her period starts unexpectedly. She can feel comfortable turning to her period-proof underwear rather than having to navigate the potentially frightening frontier of pads or tampons.
Bust those myths
The internet plays host to a wealth of information, but not all of it is true! Address all the scary internet rumours around hormones, sore boobs, PMS and period pain. Provide your daughter with comfort by sharing your experience, to let her know that she isn’t alone. Every body is different, and her friends or Dr Google isn’t always correct.
Up hygiene habits
Explain to your daughter the importance of personal hygiene when she’s on her period. She might prefer to have a quick shower in the morning and another at night to keep her feeling fresh and confident.
Give her options
In 2020, we are lucky to have more than just disposable options to choose from for managing periods than ever before. Be sure to inform your daughter that she can choose what works best for her.
When just 100,000 young girls use Modibodi* alone from the start of their menstrual cycle, this would prevent 11 billion disposable hygiene products from ending up in landfill or 1.5 million garbage bags of waste. The next generation of Australians are environmentally conscious in all aspects their lives. It’s important that as parents, we embrace that!
Kristy Chong is the Founder and CEO of RED by Modibodi*, a teen range of underwear and swimwear for first period and teen years. I believe that we shouldn’t be afraid of our period, or ever miss out on education, being active or doing the things we love when “Aunty Flow” comes to town.