This article continues from the previous article: What it’s like to be a dad in 2020 when I interviewed 6 men to paint a picture of modern-day dads!
In a nutshell, the 2020 dad would probably be called Jean-Sebastien. He would be understanding, attentive, open, playful, and enjoy dinner conversations over a good steaming tofu curry.
He’d make lunches, listen to movies with his kids, sweep a few times a week. He wouldn’t be any worse than Mario Kart, and serving Frootloops for lunch only on Saturday mornings. So, going back to my interview, I asked them what message they would like to convey to single fathers, widowers, families with two dads, or those who just want to get involved in this aspect of their young daughter’s life!
I was therefore inspired by their response to write the little guide to Papa Rouge which reveals in a few points how to explain the rules to their 10-year-old daughter.
1) Inform yourself on the subject, be prepared to answer their questions!
The more you know, the less you feel lost or uncomfortable with the subject!
Ask your friends, your child’s mother, read books, attend Mme L’Ovary’s Red Table events.
Visit credible websites on the subject: Mme L’Ovary’s blog…for example!
“Menstruation is normal and beautiful!” says dad Michel. According to him, it is a good idea to talk about it, to demystify the subject and, if necessary, to admit that we do not know everything. ” We can even go get information together! You have to be humble about the subject”, he adds.
2) Lighten up your perception because menstruation is beautiful!
You know, periods are completely natural and oh so essential! We tend to forget that the menstrual cycle creates life. CREATES LIFE! It’s more than just an unpleasant time that stains panties once a month! It is necessary for humanity!
Michel adds: “Culturally, we are not comfortable with menstruation, but at the end of the day, it’s human. Like food, that’s how we’re made and there’s nothing embarrassing about it.” Your point of view of this occasion will undoubtedly influence how you talk about it. Make your positivity on the subject contagious!
3) Explain periods when your children (boys and girls) are young.
Therefore, they will be more curious than embarrassed and will understand that this subject is neither taboo nor a secret, like the golden key in the Caramilkbar.
4) Be present in everyday life!
You will thus develop a bond of trust and complicity that will facilitate discussion on this subject and many others…
5) Get your point across, but respect your child’s boundaries.
Her privacy must be respected. Be sensitive and listen. If your child starts to squirm with discomfort in her chair, this may not be the time to reveal the juiciest aspects of menstruation…
Just tell her that you are available and open to talking about it when she is ready. Then offer her, without making a fuss, an informative book on the subject that she can read at her own pace, in her own privacy.
Matthew believes that things should not be rushed. “It is important to try to understand your child, to give her space so that she feels comfortable. When it comes to puberty, everyone goes at their own pace. ”
According to Antonio, even if it sometimes takes a little push to approach the subject, it is important not to cross the line. ” It’s all about balance. If our daughter doesn’t feel respected or listened to, the message won’t get through. ”
6) Be empathetic! Remember your puberty…
This rocky road of uneasy situations, hairs, pimples, weight gain, mood swings, arms that are too long…
It will be important to talk about this step with sensitivity. Avoid commenting on her changing body to avoid getting your foot in your mouth! I take this opportunity to mention that the “my big girl” and “your menstruating again!” jokes are rarely well received. Thank you.
7) Prepare an emergency kit that she has in her school bag and when she goes for sleepovers.
All you need is a small bag with washable sanitary pads (why not) or, let’s be crazy, Mme L’Ovary panties! 😉
8) A small subtle celebration, the icing on the cake!
Celebrating this passage is always fun.
I’m not talking about a BBQ with the neighbours, calling her teachers or sending her a singing telegram at school, but something simple and sweet, like a little card or note, a flower, or an invitation to a restaurant…
Papa Xavier suggests seeing menstruation as a beautiful and important moment to celebrate. “You have to be positive with a young girl who sees her body changing and has trouble getting dressed,” he says.
Besides, I gave her a very special wink that melted my young girl’s heart. On the day his daughter had her first period, he simply placed a rose on her pillow to mark her transition to womanhood. Hats off to you!
Promise kept, there are wonderful dads that kept their word! We hope that this little guide will lead the way of parents who are a little helpless and that their young daughter’s first period will be without any collateral damage. Don’t hesitate to share this article and spread good news and joy to other families!
Once again, a warm thank you to the dads who took part in the game!