Over the past 6 months, Hey Girls has been working on a campaign to help Dads chat to their kids about periods. We know that talking to young people about periods can be awkward for Dads. Our survey of 1500 men (including 753 Dads), found that one in three Dads feel unprepared to have conversations about periods with their kids, a third admit they’ve never purchased sanitary products and 50% said they’ve never chatted to their daughters about periods.
If you’re a Dad – don’t fear. Help is at hand! Head over to the #Pads4Dads page to check out the amazing resources created by Dads for Dads, and head over to the shop to get your hands on the Dads Kit – containing everything you need for “the chat”.
In this blog, we wanted to share some of the experiences of the amazing Dads we chatted to over the course of the project:
Kieran’s Story: When my daughter was about 10 years old some of her friends had started their periods. She asked me about periods one day sitting in the back of the car (I guess so she wouldn’t have to look at me). I explained the factual stuff, and the mechanics of it, but could see little grimaces from her as I spoke. Once I’d explained things I asked her if she had any questions – she said she’d learnt all that in school, but school friends sometimes said different things. I reassured her that she could always come to me with a question, I would never be embarrassed and if I didn’t know we could find out together. Then I tackled her next question. When would she start her periods. I only had a very vague answer, and I felt like I was letting her down a bit, but you just don’t know. A couple of years later, when she was older, she was worried because she hadn’t started yet. She was 14, and there was still no panic, but she seemed really hung up on it. We talked regularly about how she was feeling, and emphasised that it will happen when it happens. When she did start, she had her little starter kit in her bag, and she talked openly about it with me. Always talk to you children about sex, relationships, emotions and puberty, from an early age, then it won’t be as awkward when they are older. – Kieran, Dad of Dharma (19)
Ryan’s Story: My daughter Tazmin stays with me at the weekends. As chance would have it she started her periods when she was here staying with me. If my partner Tracy hadn’t been around I wouldn’t have had a clue where to start. I guess I would have gone down to the shops and just bought six of everything and hoped for the best! Tazmin is 16 now so she’s past all that, but Pads 4 Dads has really helped us have a chat – if only I’d had this 4 years ago! – Ryan, Dad of Tazmin (16)
Jonson’s Story: I have a young daughter who is still a fairly long way off from puberty but it’s good to know that this resource is available to dads. Periods are, without a doubt, an awkward subject for most fathers to broach with their daughters, all the more so in Asian cultures. Having this kit really helps to overcome not only the anxiety but especially the ignorance of most men about the subject matter. – Jonson, Dad of Gabrielle (8)
Luke’s Story: I always dreamed of being the sort of father that my daughter Layla could come to with any problem. But if truth be told, there are huge gaps in my knowledge about topics important to her – from periods to how to navigate female friendship groups. #Pads4Dads means there is one less thing for me to learn in order to be the father that I hope to be. – Luke, Dad of Layla (9)