Many people think that when we discuss puberty with our children, we should speak to each gender about the changes they’ll experience in their bodies only. That’s why some parents only speak to their daughters about periods and assume that boys will find out about them when they grow up.
However, it isn’t just their right, but it is also a right for those around them, that a boy entering puberty should understand what their mother and sisters go through every month. This will help nurture compassionate and understanding men who understand what the females in their lives are going through.
Our positive psychology and parenting coach, Rana Hany, explains how to tackle this sensitive topic with your son:
How do I explain ‘periods’ to my son?
- Start by discussing the topic gradually. This can be after seeing an advertisement on pads or seeing you drinking during Ramadan. It doesn’t have to be a serious conversation where you sit him down and explain, but you can be casual and comfortable so that your son can understand that what you’re explaining are natural facts and not something inappropriate.
- Just like you discussed male puberty with him and what changes to expect in his body, explain that female bodies undergo other changes. Explain that they are different because God created them with the ability to carry a child inside their bodies and at a certain age, the body starts getting ready for this process.
- Explain that this part is called the ‘uterus’ and that women have ‘ovaries’. Go on by saying that every month when a baby isn’t produced, the body needs to get rid of the preparations it made and that this is released in the form of bleeding.
- It’s important for them to understand that the blood isn’t released as a result of an injury or scar.
- While you can explain that the bleeding doesn’t cause pain, you should make them aware that a woman feels abdominal cramping and discomfort during the process. Emphasize that during this time, a woman is extra sensitive and emotional and can even feel angry or upset the few days before she gets her period. This will help him understand the nature of women’s emotions and what to expect when dealing with a woman during this time.
One of the most important things to ensure your son understands is that a woman’s menstrual cycle is a private matter, but is not something they should be disgusted or embarrassed by. However, because it is personal, it is not something that they can discuss with any girl or ask about her period.
Make them feel that if they have questions or inquires, that they can come to you and that they’ll find all the answers awaiting them.
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