When we think of our daughters getting their first periods we think of how the girl will go to her mother, and how the mother will smile, laugh, cry, hand her a pad and tell her what to do.
But what about the dads out there?
I don’t think my father has ever once said anything to me about periods, let alone acknowledged the fact that I got mine. And part of me wishes he had.
So, today I’m dedicating this post to all of the fathers out there. Because I’m sure there are quite a few who want to be involved, but probably don’t know how.
Why Dads Should Be a Part of This:
+ You probably know more about the menstrual cycle than you give yourself credit for.
+ Getting perspectives from both parents is beneficial.
+ Being able to talk to both parents will be a relief.
+ Seeing her father talk about it will help normalize periods for her.
+ Mom isn’t always going to be there.
How Dads Can Be Involved:
+ Give her a present on her first period, make her dinner, take her out for ice cream. Acknowledge this big change.
+ Talk to her about periods. Just being open about it means more than you know.
+ Girls are terrified of guys finding out they have their period. Talk to her about what boys at that age really think about periods. I was shocked when I learned that guys weren’t really that freaked out about periods.
+ Let her know she can ask you to buy pads/tampons and come talk to you whenever she needs.
+ Study up. Learn how to use a tampon/pad so you can offer help if she needs it.
How Dads Shouldn’t React:
+ Don’t stop her if she tries to talk to you, and tell her that she should talk to her mother about these sort of things.
+ Don’t be grossed out about tampons, pads and blood. And if you still cringe at the thought of any of these, get over it.
+ Don’t ignore the topic. Find a way to show her that you are there for her in your own way.
For the Single Fathers Out There:
+ Educate yourself on periods, menstrual cycles, pads, tampons before your daughter reaches puberty.
+ Don’t be afraid to ask women/other dads for advice.
+ When she starts going through puberty, go out and buy a box of pads.
+ Don’t be afraid of having a little chat with her about periods [She’ll probably be taught about it in middle school. This is the perfect time to ask her if she has any questions, tell her what you know, etc.]
+ Show her the box of pads, ask her if she wants to open one up to see what it’s all about. And let her know she can try putting one on in the bathroom just to test it out. Hell, grab one yourself and put it in your boxers/whitey tighties/ briefs and show her that it's no big deal.
+ Let her know that you are there for her when it comes to periods [along with everything else]. That you’re excited to celebrate her first period with her. And that you will always be willing to go buy her more pads/tampons when she needs them.
In the end I think the most important thing for fathers to do is to make sure your daughter knows that you are there to talk if she wants to. You are there to answer her questions. And you are there to make sure she has everything she needs for her period. You don’t have to constantly talk with her about periods. No, just her knowing that you are there if she needs it all that matters. And believe me, it will mean more than you know, and probably more than she’ll ever let you know.