Talking to Your Teen About Periods 101
Written by: Sarah Caprye
Do you remember how you felt when you got your first period? Were you excited? Nervous? Embarrassed? Proud? If a child or teen in your life has their period (or will have a first period soon), do you hope their relationship with their period and their body will be similar to what you experienced, or do you hope for something different for them?
The way we talk about menstruation in our homes can help set the tone for how young people feel about their changing bodies. In a recent study, one third of parents said they feel uncomfortable talking to their children about periods. We hear you! Talking about periods can feel awkward, especially when those conversations are new. At Saalt, we help people make educated choices in period care and have open, honest, shame-free conversations about periods. These early discussions are vital for setting the tone that periods are a normal and healthy part of the human experience.
We created Saalt with the vision of making cleaner, more sustainable period care accessible to everyone. With the introduction of our Saalt Teen Cup, we’re excited to help serve the needs of younger people just learning about periods and deciding how to care for their menstruating bodies. We hope our new period cup for teens opens the door for more young people to discover and choose sustainable period care early in their menstruating life. Designed in collaboration with teens with the needs of young people in mind, the Saalt Teen period cup is a perfect menstrual cup for beginners.
Have a young person in your life you want to talk with about periods or reusable period care, but you’re not sure how to start? Consider this your period conversation starter kit.
Let's Talk Periods
First, think about your own experience and the way your mindset and expectations influence the way you talk about periods.
What was your own puberty and menarche experience like? Who did you talk to? What was helpful and what do you wish was different?
What are the assumptions you’re bringing to conversations about periods? What message will those assumptions send to your teen? If you don’t want to send that message, what might you need to change about your own mindset?
What things have you already talked about with your child or teen when it comes to periods? What do you expect they already know?
How have you responded to young people’s questions about periods in the past? Is that how you want to respond or is there something you want to change?
What do you do if someone asks a question about menstrual cycles or period care that you don’t know the answer to?
(Pro tip –Don’t know how to answer something? “I’m not sure. Let’s find out together!” is a great way to respond. Then check out The Bright Girl Guide to learn more about the menstrual cycle and period care options.)
A few conversation starters to get things going:
Thinking about getting my period makes me feel ___________.
Every period is different. What is your period like? Heavy or light? Crampy or not? Short or long?
What period care products do you use, and why did you choose them? Are there others you’ve tried or considered? What was it like when you tried something new?
How do you feel about the idea of using a Saalt Cup or having your teen use a Saalt Teen Cup?
Have you ever used a reusable period care product before? What are positive things you like about reusable alternatives? Check Saalt's sustainable period products.
Who are the friends or people you’ll talk to when you have questions about your period?
The conversation doesn’t end here, but we hope talking through these questions can help get you started or expand the conversations you’ve already begun. We want to hear how you talk about periods and reusable period care. Join the global conversation by posting on Instagram with the hashtag #SaaltTeen.