When Should I Talk to My Kids About Periods?
Talking to your kids about periods shouldn’t be a one-time conversation at a specific age. It should be spread out in multiple conversations to slowly build on your child’s understanding. Over the years, you can provide more information as your child is ready.
Most children can understand the basics of periods by the time they are 6 or 7 years old. If your child is not asking questions about periods, try to bring it up in natural moments, such as:
- When a child asks about puberty or changing bodies.
- If your child asks where babies come from.
- If you are buying pads or tampons.
For example, if your younger child sees a tampon and asks what it’s for, you can explain it in basic terms they will understand. You can say, “Most women have a period every month, meaning they bleed from their vagina a little. It’s how the body gets ready for a baby one day, and the tampon catches the blood so it doesn’t go into the underwear.”
Kids should know what’s going to happen to their bodies before reaching puberty. If you are unsure if your child knows about periods, ask them. You can see what information they do know and how to proceed further with additional information. Answer any questions simply and directly.
What Should I Talk About?
Deciding what to talk about depends on your child’s age and level of development. Discover what they already know and address any misinformation or questions that they have.
Sharing your own experiences can help break the ice, and make your child feel more comfortable asking questions. If they are having sex education lessons in school, try to talk about what they are learning and if they have any questions about what they have seen so far.
While discussing the process of menstruation, explain what a period is, how long periods last, period symptoms, signs of PMS and choosing between pads and tampons. When discussing these topics, it might be helpful to have a diagram to refer to.