A Dad's Guide to Talking Puberty & Periods
Puberty can be an extremely daunting phase for your daughter. Her body is evolving, and she is undergoing immense physical and mental changes. If you have decided to talk and help your daughter go through this transition smoothly, you already deserve a bow.
But let’s be honest: starting a conversation about puberty and periods with your little girl can be intimidating. It is easier to leave the discussion to your partner or a significant woman in the family than broach it directly.
The key, therefore, is to make your daughter feel comfortable by just being available whenever she needs you. It will help her be at ease as well as boost her confidence throughout the phase. But being there for her still does come with its own set of challenges. She is going to be conscious about this conversation with anybody, let alone with her ‘pa’.
It’s okay to seek help, especially if it’s about such a critical phase of your daughter’s life.
So, here’s a quick dad’s guide to help you prepare for the father-daughter period talk:
Begin the Talk
The key is to just start. No matter how awkward it gets for you as a father, you have to start somewhere.
Here are some tips that can help you.
Present her with information
There is plenty of information available around you. However, you must ensure that the information she accesses is authentic. Leave her with all-inclusive books and reliable online resources and let her know that she can come to you when she is ready to talk.
Hesitating and going off-topic won’t help her. Instead, keep her informed about what’s to come and how this phase will be a step towards entering womanhood.
Address the fact about unwanted attention
Girls begin to attract unwanted attention as soon as they hit puberty. The change in physical appearance and emotional being will make her more susceptible to unwanted attention, especially at school and outside. Discussing this in a friendly manner and preparing her with the best ways to deal with it is expected from you.
Don’t force the topic on her if she isn’t ready
While you are gathering the courage to talk to your daughter about her periods, you may feel like you are losing confidence. It happens to the best of us and it is completely normal.
Girls may often be unprepared or feel awkward at the mention of puberty and menstruation. If it feels like she is hesitant to discuss, consider backing off. You can gently let her know that you will be available to discuss whenever she wants.
It’s completely normal if you:
Don’t be hard on yourself; instead, just go with the flow and give your best.
- Feel awkward or embarrassed to address the topic
- Talk about unwanted attention and protect her when needed
- Feel uncomfortable with your daughter’s changing physical appearance
- Find it hard to begin the conversation
- Are unable to cope with the idea of her getting sexually active someday
- Do not know what to say
The key here is to take inspiration from your partner and involve in her the discussions.
Make It an Easier Path
Apart from helping your girl understand about puberty and periods, you should also:
- Spend time with her and be present at events that matter to her. Try to be a significant part of her daily life and make it a point to ask her about her day. This way, she will warm up to you and know that you will always support her through life
- Tell her how proud she makes you feel
- Compliment her from time to time
- Carefully listen when she proactively speaks as this will help you understand what’s running through her mind
- Be affirmative in times when she stresses out about her physical and emotional changes
Don’t wait for her to come up to you. Sometimes, she may not ask for help. So, be there.
Help Her Stay Period-Proof
Menstruation is the most significant bodily function that affects a girl upon hitting puberty. Your daughter may feel very embarrassed about being on her period, and the sudden changes can also take a toll on her mentally.
As a father, it is also your duty to make sure that she is comfortable. A good way to do that is to provide her with essential feminine hygiene care products like sanitary pads, panty liners and tampons. ALWAYS sanitary pads are comfortable and well designed so she can stay well-protected throughout her period. Give her some time to adapt to this new change, and it won’t be long before you can sit back and relax and see her tackle the challenges on her own.
Knowing that her father understands the changes going through her body and truly cares for her is going to mean the world to your daughter. It may not be the easiest thing to do, and there is a lot of awkwardness that surrounds puberty. But now are a bit better off, right?