Talking To Your Teen About Menstruation and Consent

Explaining Menstruation

The first period can be very scary if your teen doesn’t know what it is upon its first arrival. There is a lot to learn about periods, and it’s a good idea to have this chat sooner rather than later – seeing as most girls get their period between the ages of 10 and 15.

Explain what a period is and why it happens. It generally happens on a monthly basis, but in the first two to three years after the first period, they can be fairly irregular. Periods usually last around five days and can come with cramps and discomfort. Explain how to use pads, tampons, a cup or period panties (whichever they prefer), and give them pain killers or a heat pack if they are experiencing pain.

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The Importance of Consent

When your teen starts to show interest in relationships, talking to them about consent is not just important but necessary. It may not seem it, but there are many vital reasons as to why it’s so important.

Bring up the topic in a casual setting, such as when you are cooking dinner or driving together. Explain to your teen that they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do in a relationship setting, whether that be kissing or being intimate, if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. Everyone has a choice in whether or not they’d like to engage, and they have every right to say no.

Reiterate with your teen that consent is a two-way street, and it may not always be in the form of saying “no”. Tell them to pay attention to non-verbal signs as well, such as when their partner backs off, tenses up or is too intoxicated to give consent. Be open and ready to answer questions.

For Foxes’ Sake by Row Murray

Everyone needs a sex fairy godmother – that person you can ask all the embarrassing questions. For Foxes’ Sake provides practical advice and guidance on topics as diverse as consent, body confidence and sexuality for secondary school-aged girls. It’s warm, honest, funny and accurate. Row understands what girls of today are facing and aims to arm them with self-confidence, digital smarts and self-respect. Available for sale on Amazon or www.booktopia.com.au

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*Please note that this book covers very diverse topics that may not be suitable for younger readers.