My Child Could Be Shamed For Periods Even If I Empower Her

It takes a village – and even though this mom has tried to empower her daughter by talking to her about periods, she is worried about the world around her child. 

When my daughter was born two years after my son, I had promised myself that her wings will never be clipped. Like me she won’t suppress her true self to fit in a mould. ‘Reach for the sky’ was her favourite line growing up. Too much influence of the movie, I know. But still I loved it. To grow up as confident human beings with a good heart and kind nature is all I desire for my kids

But as the kids grew up, I realised the huge role society plays in bringing up future citizens. The friendly Auntie next door who actually yells at me for clipping their nails on a Thursday, the granny across the street who chastises me for not tying black strings on their wrist to ward of the evil eye etc etc etc. But recently I realised the mammoth battle ahead of me which I maybe won’t be able to fight alone. Yes, I’m talking about the menstrual cycle.

A few days back, there was a news item about a girl committing suicide after being shamed at school for having blood stains on her uniform. Terror gripped me after reading this. I had already educated my 10 year old on this topic. She carries a small kit consisting of everything she’ll need on the first day with her to school. I have instructed her to talk to the class teacher if she has her first period in school. But I never stopped to think, will the teacher be able to handle this?

All around me, I’m seeing women considering periods as something dirty. The taboo talks come from the most educated of them. This lead me to think. Shouldn’t schools introduce some sort of workshop for the teachers on sensitise them on this? Do you think it’s right to feed a little girl age old superstitions when she’s in such a vulnerable state of mind?

Here are points, I feel, that schools should train the teachers on, to ensure an easier journey for girls as they move through the initial years as adolescents and young women.

  1. Don’t discriminate between the boys and girls while educating them on this topic.
  2. Use the proper terminologies.
  3. Keep your religious views aside while teaching them. For once let’s just stick to science.
  4. Educate them on the hygiene aspect.
  5. Let them know, it’s ok to have accidents.
  6. Prepare them with the hard facts like the pain, the discomfort etc.
  7. Advise them on the proper nutritional habits during those days.
  8. And lastly and most importantly when a little girl comes to you and informs you she’s having her first period, recognise the huge impact you’ll have on her for the rest of her life. Comfort her and help her accept this new phase of her life.

Educating boys on this topic will ensure a generation where there will no longer be any hush hush about this. It’s one of the most natural things on the planet. Earlier, in the absence of proper pads and tampons, abstinence from daily activities was a necessity. But today’s woman armed with an array of pads, tampons, cups, etc, is well equipped to take on the world. And it is our duty to not let age old beliefs form shackles on her feet.

Image source: shutterstock

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