How Should a Single Dad Handle His Daughter’s First Period?
A single dad took to Reddit asking how he should handle his daughter’s first period, and received some fantastic advice from fellow parents to help him as his eldest daughters enter puberty.
The dad writes:
“Hey I am dad of three girls. 10, 9, and 3. My wife, and the love of my life, died giving birth to our third daughter. So far after learning a bit about hair, girls have been easier then boys. Today my second oldest daughter Catherine got her first period. I haven’t had to deal with this with my oldest yet. I haven’t actually seen her yet I am about to leave work to get her. She had her period in the middle of class and sounded embarrassed on the phone. She is a lot like her mother smart but fairly shy. She is certainly not going to open up to me about this. What do I do? What do I say? If you were a young girl what would you need? I know these are childish questions but maybe I am a little scared and could use any advice. Ok I wrote this in a panic. Any advice appreciated. Wish me luck”
How tragic that his wife lost her life during childbirth! But it looks like she picked a good man who has so much love and concern for his daughters that he wants to be both a mum and a dad to them instead of palming off the duty to a female relative.
After his post, Redditors quickly jumped to his aid, replying with good, honest advice in spades.
This one covered some of the logistics of having your period while coaching the dad on his approach:
“You’ve got to do your best to be as blasé as possible, while simultaneously providing all the information, ‘equipment’ and support she needs. Approach it with an ‘Ok, cool’ attitude. And ‘here’s what you need to know, here’s what you need to do, and what sounds good for dinner?’ Make sure she has a place to privately dispose of used pads, make sure she has plenty of underwear (she may ruin some before her period becomes regular and she gets the gist of changing pads in time), and possibly teach her and her sisters to do some of their own laundry. That will help her maintain the illusion of you not really being aware of it. Have a place where you put new boxes of pads, make sure all the girls have access to them, and make sure the supply never dwindles. (While continuing to treat it as no biggie.)”
While this Redditor chimed in about irregular cycles in the beginning…
“One thing you can do is reassure her that it’s a good thing…means she growing up, and that she’s healthy. (And make sure she knows that it’s also completely normal for a girl who has just started to get it once, and then not again for a long time. Our bodies take awhile to settle into a regular cycle.)”
This lady had some sound advice (her emphasis in bold, not ours!):
“Whatever you do, don’t let her find out you posted about her first period on reddit.”
While this one reminded the dad to think of his eldest daughter, who had not yet begun her period.
“Make sure you explain to the two oldest girls is that everyone’s body is different. One or both of your daughters may feel insecure about the fact that it happened “out of order”. A short talk to both about that, whether one on one or together may be in order.”
The next comment made me giggle at the visual…
“My mother chased me around crying and screaming asking if I wanted her to insert my tampon.
do not do this.”
And finally, one of the best responses:
“Buy some of those flushable wet wipes in the toilet paper aisle, or the ones specified for lady parts if either of you aren’t too mortified. Periods can be messy, especially with pads.
Get her a fabric pouch or something to store pads in her bookbag. I started my period at 10 and hated being in grade school and cramming a giant pad in my pocket and going to the bathroom. Don’t go for the overly scented products! They smell like old ladies, don’t work, introduce chemicals into a very sensitive region, and reinforce the idea that her lady parts are dirty or bad. There is a natural odor though, but not bad or noticeable to anyone but her. I know that I was super paranoid about it when I was young. If she keeps hygienic and changes things frequently enough it won’t be a problem.
Don’t tell her this, but she WILL bleed through her clothes at some point. Just be ready for it. It happened to me in front of my entire 8th grade class, while wearing white jeans. Hell, I’m an adult and sometimes my period still sneaks up on me. It may help to have her track her periods on a calendar so she can get a feel for her body’s rhythm. It will most likely be irregular for a while, so she should always be prepared. If she knows when it’s coming, she may feel better about it.
Douches are BAD for your lady bits, and completely unnecessary. They’re a throwback to a time when female medical issues were treated like a dirty disease- LYSOL used to be sold as a douche. It strips the body of it’s natural bacteria that keep things clean and working. The vagina is like a self-cleaning oven- soap and water will be fine. I have a women’s studies degree and have zero problems talking about vaginas, so if you have any questions pm me. I did my thesis on the history of feminine products and how they were advertised. Being a chick can be hard. Don’t be afraid of menstruation- a healthy respect is good. It’s gross and weird and powerful all at the same time. Godspeed, Dad.”
What advice would you give to a single dad taking care of his daughter during her first period?
Images: Google Search and Reddit