Do excuse me if my article seems to offend your sentiments. Something that most women prefer to keep hidden or do not wish to openly discuss about, even though it is a universal phenomenon is menstruation. I am going to write about talking to boys about periods, as most of us women seem to know it as.
So, should our children be prepared for this? I am sure that most of you will reply in the affirmative because it is something that growing children must know. I remember my mother telling me about ‘periods’ just a year before it happened. So, when I suddenly discovered a stain I was not exactly horrified although I do remember shedding a few tears because I had been told that my height might take a beating after that unique phenomenon. Just imagine! At a time when there could be greater dangers lurking for a girl whose body was almost ready for womanhood, I was worried about being short!
Well, coming back to the point of informing our kids, I am sure as parents, we get to let them know about it depending upon the circumstances and anything else that might aid us in gauging the appropriate time in preparing our kids. So, we let our daughters know when we think the time is ripe. Right? But, what if we don’t have daughters and have sons instead? Will you tell? Shouldn’t a boy know?
When my son was using Huggies, he was naturally too small to be aware of anything. When he outgrew his hugging pads he was too busy discovering life with a few lessons of etiquette thrown in here and there. Basically, he was too busy to notice anything. When he did notice a sanitary pad one fine day (he was bound to notice Someday!) he was still in single digits, so I explained that all mummies used it. Not fully convinced why and not too bothered why, he continued with life with the occasional ads on television reminding him that his mother was using a product shown on television!!
But, I still hadn’t explained anything to him. When he was a year or two away from becoming a teenager, I decided it was time to let him know. After all, he was going to face a menstruating woman some day in his life as his wife!
So, I explained about the 5 crucial days, about the discomfort, about Nature’s plan. He took it all casually like some general knowledge class. I let it be. A year later, when he uttered his first bad word in school and came home asking for its meaning, my husband and I sat down and explained to him about the birds and the bees and, I connected the ‘periods’ bit with this.
That was it! Now, he knows that seeing his dad shave every day may not appear as strenuous a task when compared to those 5 days every month for a girl/woman. Maybe, it might make him take girls/women seriously and teach him not to underestimate them or disrespect them ever in his life.
What do you think? Would love to know.
Shail Raghuvanshi is a freelance journalist, content writer, editor, book reviewer and poet. She has 15 years of writing experience in newspaper, magazine, radio and television. She has worked as a Spoken English Teacher too. She runs a blog for writers called Write Space and blogs at her personal blog Muse N’ Motivation. A daughter, wife, mother and friend, she believes that there is no situation that can’t be made better. Faith, Friendship and Family are what makes her life complete.