What’s the best way for a dad to approach the subject of ‘periods’ with your daughter?
Research carried out by Hey Girls UK in 2019 found that only 41% of dads feel comfortable talking to their children about periods, and around 50% haven’t spoken to their daughters about periods.
Often, it is the mum who prepares her daughter for her first period. But what if the mum is unable to and dad has to take the lead? Or, what if dad would like to prepare his daughter alongside his partner? Or if single dad parent?
It can also be difficult and embarrassing for a young woman to approach her dad about starting her periods. So what’s the best way for a dad to approach the subject of ‘periods’ with his daughter and how can a daughter tell her dad she’s having her first period?
Girls can begin their period from the age of 9, so it’s a good idea to start talking to them about periods around this time. Starting the conversation early and making it a normal topic to chat about can reduce some of the anxieties for both you and them.
You may both find it easier to talk about periods whilst doing an activity or whilst driving as this can relieve the pressure of having a face-to-face conversation.
It’s totally understandable if you feel you need to brush up on your knowledge of the menstrual cycle. After all, you will not have experienced having a period. There are resources online that can help with this. Perhaps you have a female friend or relative that can help by either talking with you or your daughter. There are some great books on period. Some of our favourites are Maisie Hill's Period Power and Robyn Stewards's The Autism friendly Guide to Period. Both available in Amazon.
Your daughter may feel embarrassed and struggle to talk to you about her period. She may come out with comments such as, ‘oh my gosh dad, do we have to talk about this’, or ‘yes dad I know’, or even the dreaded eye roll. Bare with her and push through these comments, try to keep the conversation relaxed and inject some humour into the situation.
Buying period pads and tampons can be confusing as there are various absorbancies, designs, sizes, and brands. There is also the consideration of buying products that contain harmful chemicals that may have a negative impact on your daughter’s health and the environment.
There are a range of reusable period products that are available to buy, both in shops and online. These products can be cost-effective, free from chemicals, good for the environment, and reduce the stress of having to worry about which period products to buy each time you go shopping.
WUKA sell teen period pants, designed for younger girls and teenagers. They are ideal to use especially whilst adjusting to having periods. The pants are worn like any other pants and absorb her menstrual flow. They are washed after each use, dried, and then ready to wear again.
Deciding which period products to use is an important conversation to have, so allow your daughter to choose a few products and she can tell you which work for her.
Your daughter’s first period and subsequent periods could start anywhere, perhaps at school, whilst out shopping, or during the night. It’s a good idea to prepare a ‘period kit’ for her that she can keep with her. The ‘period kit’ could contain a couple of period pads and a pair of pants,/reusable period pants, and pain relief treatments such as paracetamol.
It’s helpful to keep a bin in the loo (the ones with the lids are the best) so if your daughter needs to change a pad or tampon she has a secure and discreet way of disposing of them.
How to Tell Your Dad You’ve Started Your Periods
So, you’ve just started your period and you need to tell your dad, but you’re scared to. Perhaps you’re embarrassed or you’re worried how he’ll react.
If you don’t feel as though you can tell your dad, perhaps write him a note or send a text message. Let him know that you’ve started your period and ask him for anything you may need.
If there is another relative, perhaps an older sister, an aunt, or a teacher you could speak to, then you may prefer to do this. They can make sure that you have the supplies that you need and, with your permission, tell your dad on your behalf.
Wrapping It Up
We understand that talking to your daughter about her period is not always going to be easy. It’s such an important part of her life and it’s better that she gets her information from you rather than receiving the wrong advice from friends or misinterpreting content online.
Take the time to educate yourself so you can guide your daughter through this stage in her life. Remember you don’t have to do this alone. Seek advice from other relatives or friends if you need to.
Starting your period is normal and is nothing to feel embarrassed about. Your dad will want to help you and make sure you have the right products to use and are comfortable, so make sure you let him know as soon as possible.