4 Ways to Talk To Your Kids About Periods Without Being Awkward

Talking about periods can be tricky but it doesn't have to be!
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Often, we find ourselves caught off guard when a curious child questions something that we might not have thought about explaining before.

When discussing certain topics with your kids, it’s important to be aware of the language you use. Especially when it comes to life experiences like sex, reproduction, periods and puberty.

Research confirms that one-in-three young people don’t feel prepared for their first period, leaving many to feel scared, confused and embarrassed when it does come.

Talking about periods isn’t just for mums and girls

But explaining periods shouldn’t just be limited to one gender. Family psychotherapist and international clinical director, Fiona Yassin says that part of the stigma around periods is because of the ‘girls-only’ approach of previous generations.

However, it’s important boys learn about girls’ bodies and how they work.

Fiona says, “Parents often worry that they don’t have all the facts to speak to their child about periods — that’s okay. Take time to do your own research and learn together.

Alongside this, Fiona explains that it’s important dads do not shy away from period talk: “Talking about periods can be even more difficult for dads, in part because they may have been taught that periods are a ‘women’s issue’ only.

“If we are to reduce the stigma and normalise periods, dads need to be involved, too.”

How can I tell my child about periods?

Kathleen Hema, who gives sex education advice to parents on TikTok has highlighted some key steps to take when discussing periods with your kids.

1. One way could be to bring up the topic if you’re menstruating yourself, and speak about it during your time of month. Kathleen says you can also take your child to the shops and show them the aisle with tampons and pads to start a conversation.

2. She also says it’s good to tell them it’s normal and healthy and that it’s never okay to make hurtful comments about someone who is menstruating.

Primary school teacher Kit also spoke about how he teaches children in his class about periods.

3. He said he tells children there’s nothing to be scared or worried about, even though it can be daunting and overwhelming.

4. Kit also advises parents to use online resources, for example on the Always website there are downloadable guides.

The aim of explaining periods to both girls and boys is to educate them about their bodies, in order to support others as well as themselves.

As a parent you can assess if your child is ready to understand, so whatever age your child is, one of the most important points is to ensure that they are ready to engage with you. Just because you want to deliver the information, does not mean that your child is ready to listen, explains Fiona.

“During the conversation, it is your role as a parent to look for clues and signals from your child - are they fidgeting, wriggling, or agitated? If you notice discomfort, it’s time to put the conversation on pause,” she says.

At the end of the day, talking about periods shouldn’t feel awkward, and if you’re armed with the knowledge and resources to tackle any questions it will go way smoother!