Take a moment to think back to when Aunty Flow paid her first visit. Did you know what was happening to your body? Did a parent (or carer) speak to you about your new found womanhood before it began?
My name is Kristy Chong and I am the Founder and CEO of RED by Modibodi, a teen range of undies and swimwear for first period and teen years. I believe that girls and women should not be afraid of their period, or ever miss out on education, being active or doing the things they love because of it.
Thankfully, I got my first period when I was at home. I was 12, so I knew it was coming, and when I told my mum, she handed me a Tampax box and told me to read the instructions on how to use it. After several clumsy attempts, I got it. No further discussion occurred, and I remember thinking ‘I suppose that means I’m a woman now.’
I have suffered from irregular periods throughout my life and after the birth of my second child I developed a weaker pelvic floor. This is what inspired me to create a product to support both girls and women with their period, sweat or bladder leaks.
All our stories are unique and whatever the age, preparing your daughter to learn to embrace her period, without shame, should be a priority for every parent (or carer).
Here are my five tips for approaching periods with your daughter:
Break down taboos
As a role model for your daughter, it’s essential to foster a positive outlook on menstruation from day one. It’s never too early to talk about personal subjects, like menstruation. Just be sure to remember to do it honestly and without fear. And while you’re at it, talk to your sons about periods too!
It’s also important to set boundaries. As much as you may want to be involved in this new chapter in your daughter’s life, she may want to be independent and deal with it by herself. A RED by Modibodi survey found that, on average, almost one in three of young girls are afraid of talking about periods. Talk to her and respect her privacy if she wants to do it on her own. This is something you will both figure out as you go!
Having a pair of RED by Modibodi undies tucked away in her backpack or locker means she can go on with her day at school stress-free, without having to worry about what to do if her period starts unexpectedly. She can feel comfortable turning to her period-proof underwear rather than having to navigate the potentially frightening frontier of tampons.
Bust those myths
The internet plays host to a weath of information, but not all of it is true! Address all the scary internet rumours around hormones, sore boobs, PMS and period pain. Let her know she isn’t alone by talking about what you have experienced and let her know that while her experiences may be similar, they may differ as well. Every girl’s body is different, and Dr Google isn’t always correct.
Up hygiene habits
Explain to your daughter the importance of her personal hygiene when she is on her period. She might prefer to have a quick shower in the morning and another at night to keep her feeling fresh and confident.
Give her options
In 2020, we are lucky to have more options to choose from for managing periods than ever before; it’s not just disposable options. Be sure to inform your daughter that she can choose what works best for her. A RED by Modibodi survey found that for almost 80 percent of our customers (young girls), the primary reason for using the product is to replace disposable period products.
When just 100,000 young girls use Modibodi alone from the start of their menstrual cycle, this would prevent 11 billion disposable hygiene products from ending up in landfill or 1.5 million garbage bags of waste. The next generation of Australian women are environmentally conscious in all aspects their lives, it’s important that as parents, we respect that!