Being a good father is one of the easiest and hardest things. In a society where we are peeling layer after layer of patriarchal oppressive ideas, that are being shoved down the throats of the masses, it can be difficult to rise above the noise. It takes awareness, unlearning, learning and compassion.
In all likelihood, you know the basics of menstruation. If you don’t, you need to educate yourself. Here’s some reading to start with.
It is always easier for children to talk to someone who can relate to what they’re going through. However, that doesn’t mean someone who hasn’t gone through the same thing cannot understand, be helpful and supportive. So, single dads, gay dads, or just enthusiastic dads who want to talk to their kids about their period, keep reading.
You may ask – how exactly should I speak to her about her period? It’s simple, the same way you would anything else.
Don’t plan a period party, or give a huge present commemorating her ‘womanhood’, she’s in her awkward, what is happening to my body stage, and making a fuss about it may not be the appropriate approach. Instead, buy her the pads she needs if she doesn’t have them, the pharmacist can be very helpful to explain all the variants to you too – brands, specifications, types.
Make sure she knows, and we mean truly knows, that she can talk to you about it. It may be awkward for her in the beginning, sure, but she shouldn’t ever feel like she has nobody to speak with.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you have a female friend or relative that is close to your daughter, ask her if she can help you with the first cycle or the first shopping trip. This doesn’t mean you take the backseat, just some support for both of you.
Find a good gynecologist. Periods can come with a lot of problems and pains of their own. Your best bet is to get in touch with an OBGYN your daughter is comfortable with so she always knows someone can help her out when things don’t seem just right. And also for general checkups.
Finally, make sure she’s hydrated, eating well, take her for tea if she has cramps or for chocolate if she’s feeling moody. All in all, just have her back.