Fathers – How Menstruation Can Affect Your Relationship with Your Daughter
Believe it or not, as a father – you play a huge role in how comfortable your daughter is with her own femininity. Girls who have a loving, supportive, compassionate, and understanding father have been proven in numerous studies to have more self-confidence and perform better in school (and life!)
It’s easy as a father to sit back and allow mom, or another female role model to handle the particulars of periods – considering those things ‘woman’s stuff!” The problem is that if a girl in the midst of puberty sees her father avoiding the subject or throwing his hands over his ears every time someone mentions the word ‘period,’ the girl can often feel like her father is not accepting her transition to adulthood. And this can be a problem.
Remember that this transitionary time in your daughter’s life is confusing for HER too – and the last thing she needs is to feel unaccepted by those around her.
For young girls, who so often look up to their daddy’s and have spent years being daddy’s little girl – they often wonder how things will change when bras and pads enter the picture. Your daughter may wonder many things. For instance, ‘Will my dad still see them the same way?’ ‘Will dad be uncomfortable hugging me when I am wearing a bra?’ ‘Will he be disappointed, embarrassed or start pulling away?’ “Will I still be daddy’s little girl?’
Obviously, just because your daughter is growing up, doesn’t mean that you don’t love her. While you know that – you need to constantly reassure your daughter. When it comes to talking about issues such as periods or bras or shaving – it is important to follow your daughter’s lead and let her know that you will listen and try to help. Sure, you might not have all the answers – but lending a compassionate ear and helping her find the right answers is essential. And, she may not want to talk to you about it all.
Some girls become extremely embarrassed talking about these things with their dad. You might notice that your daughter will shrug away or pull away from hugs and intimacy (worried you might feel her bra straps) and overall prefer that you don’t mention things like tampons or pads. This is just one reason this site is here – so as a father, you can supply your daughter with what she needs without embarrassing her!
At some point, you SHOULD let your daughter in on the fact that you know what’s going on. Tell her that she will always be your little girl – no matter how big she gets!
One dad, in an attempt to break the silence and open the conversation up in his household, took an entire box of pads and stuck them all over his body and walked around the house with them stuck to his clothes. His daughters thought it was hysterical and realized instantly that their dad was ‘cool’ with things. (The next day – the same girls stuck an entire box of pads on his car) While it may seem like a complete waste of products – this family felt it was worth the expense! (Hopefully they were organic and eco-friendly pads!)
The change that girls go through may definitely change your relationship with your daughter. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Your daughter may require more privacy and autonomy around the house – and if you are sensitive to what she is going through the two of you can AND WILL become even closer.
And as a last bit of food for thought remember this. Childhood is fleeting. You will spend more time parenting your daughter as a woman, than you will while she is a child. So make the most of it.
Posted by The Be Prepared Period Team
Thursday, December 29th, 2011
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