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Periods for dads

Help for Dads To Talk Periods With Daughters

Fatherhood

A new campaign is encouraging dads to be "Part of the bloody conversation" by giving them the info to be able to talk to their daughters about 'time of the month' stuff.

Periods? Well, er, this is awkward, a men’s site raising the issue of periods. It’s not our world, is it? Best kind of pretend it’s not happening unless your partner makes you very much aware it is happening, sending you off to buy some pads from the corner shop, which you hide under the newspaper until the last minute.

But when you’re a dad with a daughter, well it really is your world then isn’t it?

Why is it so awkward for men to talk about periods? Mostly because we haven’t got a fucking clue about them. At our primary school the girls were taken off for a talk about something, while the boys were taken out for a game of football, kept blissfully unaware of ‘time of the month’ for many years until you gather enough information that you change blissfully unaware into wilfully ignorant.

With the welcome new changes in sex education in schools, there is hopefully going to be more information on the other genders to make periods not such an alien arena for boys. But this must also be the responsibility of parents, and when it comes to periods, well that is usually strictly for the mums. But what if you’re a single dad? Or part of a gay male couple? Or what if you’re a hetero dad with a wife but still feel like you should really be able to talk about this stuff to support your child properly? And your wife for that matter…

Well that’s the way a social enterprise called Hey Girls is viewing it. They are on a mission to tackle period poverty in the UK, and their new campaign is called ‘#Pads4Dads’ which aims to help dads feel more confident speaking to their daughters about periods. Their research found 1 in 3 dads feel unprepared to have conversations about periods with their kids, a third said they’d never bought sanitary products and 50% said they’ve never talked to their daughters about periods.

Hey Girls have therefore written a useful online guide, written by dads for dads, with everything you need to know about the subject. It includes key facts like:

  • Periods are different for everyone – they can be heavy or light, short or long, very painful or fairly easy. Every woman is different.
  • They last about 3-7 days and happen roughly once a month.
  • Most people only lose one or two shot-glasses full of blood, but the total ‘flow’ can be more like 100ml.
  • It can take a couple of years for periods to settle into a pattern, so many young teenagers have very irregular periods.
periods for dads

You can also buy a ‘Dads Kit’ which includes a physical booklet, as well as pads, tampons, a booklet for your daughter and two packs of hot chocolate (for use as a conversation starter – always thinking this lot, love it).

They’ve managed to get the actor and activist Micheal Sheen on board, who said, “It’s awkward for dads to have this chat because chances are they didn’t learn about periods in school. Believe me, we want to be supportive but there’s almost no information out there aimed at Dads. Let’s not lead Dads out of the bloody conversation!”

There are also a lot of other real dads talking about the issue on the site, all with positive messaging around periods being natural, not dirty and nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, for men there’s generations of playground thinking to get around, but it has to happen, so get involved.

As Celia Hodson, Founder of Hey Girls put it, “Education is so important to break down the myths and taboos that still surround periods…we wanted to create something empowering to give Dads a helping hand.”

Visit Hey Girls. 

periods for dads
Courtney Lawes

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