Last night I was teaching my ‘Journey of a Thousand Women’ class. It’s based on a book I’ve written entitled ‘I Am Woman, Fully Empowered’ and it empowers women to truly embrace being Spirit in a female body, to own all the unique aspects we possess as women. Last night we were reclaiming the power of our menses (period) and I had each student look at their experience around their first menses. The experiences ranged from fear, to confusion, to embarrassment. We talked about how mothers, fathers and even grandparents handled this life changing moment all of which were mostly unsuccessful.
I’ve noticed that Caidin is starting to go through some changes. In fact, I had written a whole section about it, but realized, I should check with him before I publish it. He was comfortable with me talking about more hair on his legs, but that was about it and I respect that.
How we handle these moments is really important. We may have a degree of pride or excitement that our child is growing-up; or we may feel fear that we are losing our baby but whichever our feelings, it’s our kids that we need to be focused on. Making a big deal of this moment, for them, may actually be embarrassing. They don’t need Aunt Mary knowing that they now have to use deodorant, or that you bought your daughter her first training bra, any more than you’d appreciate your child using your tampon buying as his next show and tell topic.
We have to see our children as conscious beings and respect that the changes they are experiencing are theirs. We should follow their lead in how they want to have this experience and who they want to share it with.
Many women want to celebrate their daughter’s first period and where I agree that this is a moment to celebrate and not dread, hide or fear, if you don’t have that kind of relationship with your daughter, and menstruation is not something that YOU celebrate, she’s probably going to feel pretty awkward about putting her own menses in the center of attention.
Here are a few thoughts on handling your child’s puberty.
Talk Now – don’t wait until your child is going through puberty to talk about the changes their body will go through. Make it a habit to talk about these things without embarrassment. Whether you bring it up or child asks a question about your body or their own, answer questions and discuss openly.
Be Supportive – when changes start to happen, be supportive. Don’t behave in some out of the ordinary way, hooting and whooping that your child is growing up, and by all means, don’t call grandma and say ‘Bobby’s got hair growing on his chest.’ This is their body and their experience and it should be respected and honored. Share the information you have, tell them what they want to know and ask them if you can support them in any way.
First Periods – Follow your daughter’s lead. Tell her that this is a moment to celebrate and honor, but let her decide how she wants to do that. Give her some options, but don’t plan a big ‘you got your first period’ celebration and spring it on her. Your desire to honor this moment might end up being humiliating instead.
Honor and Respect – Most importantly, honor and respect that this is your child’s experience. Don’t be too intrusive, but don’t leave them to deal with these changes on their own. Be willing to buy different products they might need. Let them go to the store with you and discuss the options of what’s available.
In short, be present, be available and be conscious. Teach your child to honor their body and demonstrate that you respect them by the way you handle these very important life moments.
© 2012 Christine Agro
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Christine Agro is a Clairvoyant, Naturopath, Master Herbalist, Conscious Mom and Author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.