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Parents and periods

So it’s pretty embarrassing to think about, but telling your parents you’ve started your period is going to have to happen... eventually. It’s not going to be the easiest thing in the world, but here are some of the ways we’ve done it.

The direct approach

Just come right out and say it: “Mum, I started my period today.” Or, “Dad, I need to buy some sanitary towels.” It might feel tough, but phew – once you’ve said those words, the hard part is over.

The write-it-down approach

Want to say it but can’t? Write it down. Something simple and to-the-point, like “I started my period today. Can we talk about it?” This opens the conversation and lets them make the next move.

The shopping approach

Offer to go grocery shopping with your parents (not just for more ice cream). While you’re there, pick up some sanitary towels and put them in the trolley. This should be enough of a hint, but it might help to say, “When’s my ‘Welcome to the Women’s Club’ party?”

If you’re at school

At school when it starts? The worst. But it doesn’t have to be. Head to the nurse for advice on pads. If you have sports or swimming that day, speak to one of your female gym teachers in private and let her know. Still want to do the class? Great! But if you’d rather not, that’s totally fine too. Just make sure you use a tampon if you go swimming to avoid surfing a crimson wave.

If you’re at a friend’s house

Not ideal, but not so bad. If your friend’s started already, she’ll be able to get you whatever you need. But if not, get together and come up with a plan. You might want to ask her parents for pads to use, or you might decide you want to go home. Whatever you feel like doing, just say so.


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