Whether you're a parent, a cool aunt, a fun uncle or anything in between if there is a young soon to be menstruator in your life there are a number of things you can help them prepare and feel more comfortable when the time comes.
It feels like kids now have so much more information than we ever did. Many of us millennials and older often experienced confusion, shame and embarrassment when it came to periods. Luckily the world is changing and people are starting to be much more open and are trying to reduce the shame and stigma that has surrounded them for centuries
Regardless of your gender there are a number of things that you can do to make any space around you feel like a safe space for anyone who menstruates.
Change Your Language
First and foremost: Not only women have periods. Changing your language to be “people who menstruate” includes everyone and is not hard to do! This is also not a negotiating point and you may run into some resistance, but staying firm and inclusive will ensure that the people in your life feel seen and understood and those people are the most important
Ditch The Slang
While saying terms like “Aunt Flo” or “Shark Week” can be humorous between people you're close with, if you're around younger audiences just use the proper terms: Period, Menstruation, Menstrual Cycle etc. Take the embarrassment out of these words by not hiding behind silly euphemisms and nicknames. This also can show young people that you know what you're talking about and can foster openness that allows for any questions
Always be Packing
Whether you menstruate or not keeping period products on hand in your home (or if you’re extra nice maybe even in your bag!) in a well-known location is so helpful. Some people may not want to bring attention to the fact they might bleed on your white sofa, so making sure they feel comfortable, secure and taken care of in your home is so important. By always having these products around the young people in your life will see this as normal and won’t feel as embarrassed when these products are officially introduced to them later. And on that note, keeping a garbage can with a lid in your bathrooms helps make disposal so much easier!
There are so many great books and other resources out there for young people to help explain what their bodies will go through and what to expect, by making sure they have access to these materials you can help those who might be more shy and not open to asking questions, or just not knowing what questions to ask! Download this "Your First Period Kit" PDF to help with education.
Make it a Celebration
When the time comes and if they are open with telling you about it make sure to celebrate! For many of us periods are a physically uncomfortable time but you can help them learn to take this time to honour and care for their bodies and celebrate what they can do. Mable do a spa day, a dinner out or get a cake! And what’s a celebration without a gift?! Check out our Happy First Period Box, curated with special goodies to help your young friends care for themselves and nourish their bodies. And as an added bonus for each box purchased we donate to organizations helping to end period poverty.
We’re curious to know! What is your best self care tip for when you have your period?!