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Five Things Every Mom Should Tell Her Daughter And Son About Periods

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The conversation around periods continues to be shrouded by long-held stigmas and stereotypes. Be it in classrooms, playgrounds or our very own home, it is still not easy for women to say “I am on my periods” out loud, let alone have a frank conversation about it. Tell son about periods

The inhibition also manages to penetrate probably one of the strongest bonds known to humanity, that of a mother and her child. Moms try to stall the conversation with their daughters about periods as long as they can. Unless the daughter begins her own menstrual journey, or accidentally chances upon a pad in the monthly kirana, mothers try their best to avoid this conversation.

It is only worse when moms are dealing with sons. What’s the need to have a period conversation with your son? Throw a hail mary and hope that he will figure it out on his own, find out from his friends, or will be educated about menstruation by his girlfriend or wife.

But guess what, period education is important for all. Especially teenagers in our country need to know what changes their own bodies, or that of the opposite gender are undergoing, thanks to puberty.

So here are five things every mom needs to tell her child, irrespective of their gender, about periods:

1.It doesn’t make you “unclean”: Think of it as a monthly clean up exercise of your uterus. Would you loath yourself for keeping your house clean? Then why must women and girls bear the stigma of being “unclean” for a natural monthly body function that merely resets their reproductive cycle? Telling children that periods do not make any person unclean or dirty could help us end the period-discrimination that every woman in this society experiences one way or another.

2.Menstrual health is as important as mental and physical health: It is heartening to see how the awareness around healthy living is on a rise in our society. Can we also add menstrual health to this tally? Women are raised to be sacrificial by nature, as a result of which they always put everyone’s needs above their own. This tendency also causes them to ignore health related issues which could have serious consequences on their mental and physical well-being in-turn.

From a very young age, children need to understand that menstruation-related problems could be a sign of a larger problem that a body may be dealing with, and thus should not be ignored. If your periods are irregular, if your period flow is unusually high or low, you must consult a gynaecologist. This is also why we need to include periods in school curriculum, so that girls and boys know what is normal and what is not, when it comes to periods, which will help them to care better for their own period health and that of their loved ones.

3.Changes in body are not a reason to be ashamed: Periods is just one of the many changes that puberty brings our way as we cross into adulthood. While other changes in the body- enlargement of breast, growth of pubic hair, surge in hormones, gives rise to curiosity among teens, often periods leave young girls feeling embarrassed about their developing bodies. Menstruation is a part of maturity that our bodies attain with age. No changes in body should make us feel awkward, because our body works full time to keep us running, dreaming and living our lives. Moms need to make their kids understand that periods are no reason to be ashamed, infact it is just a sign that a girl is growing up, and her life is gradually changing.

4.Periods do not limit your growth, society does: Periods were never meant to limit us. Periods don’t bound us physically to our chairs, or force us to drop out of school, not visit temple or “guard” our bodies better. These are all norms that are forced down on women by society. It is society that discriminates on basis of gender, on basis of marital status, virginity, motherhood status and menstruation. It is high time society stops using women’s uteruses, their reproductive systems to police them. Since men can play a crucial part here by questioning these regressive norms and encouraging sisters, moms, daughters and wives to never let periods be the reason for them limit their aspirations. Run a marathon if you want, or take a day off from work due to period cramps, women should have the choice to make these decisions for themselves, instead of society making these calls on their behalf.

5. No two periods are the same: Every girl who bleeds experiences periods differently. One size doesn’t fit all, which is why, it is misplaced to project stereotypes and information that you may have learned from one person’s experience with periods on another person. We should never assume that the level of pain or discomfort that periods may cause is same for every woman out there. In fact, it may be different for the same woman on a monthly basis. On some months she may experience heavy bleeding with mild cramps, then there may be months when she may experience just the opposite. There may come a time when her period cycle may get delayed for no reason or might go from a 30 day cycle to a 40 day one. Encourage her to see a doctor if she feels her periods are behaving strangely, but we must never tell a woman how she is supposed to feel during those five days of the month, or seven, or three.

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