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Preparing and Celebrating Puberty and Periods with your Child

How to support your children through puberty and menarche by Charlotte Pointeaux

How do you help your daughter love her period? You’ve been learning about your menstrual cycle and how to attune to its changing daily strengths, vulnerabilities, and self-care needs – and it’s been life changing to finally learn what you should have learnt as a child. So imagine how powerful it would be for our children to learn this knowledge and wisdom now – rather than having to figure it all out after many years of being disconnected to their body, their cycle and therefore, themselves. If you’d love to share what you now know with your child or any other child for that matter but aren’t sure of when or how to start, I’d love to give you some ideas to help you do that confidently in a way that feels gentle, age-appropriate, and empowering for you and your child.

Many mothers have traditionally thought that children aren’t ready to learn about their body, how it changes, what menstruation is, or anything else associated with puberty until they have their first period but when we leave “the talk” until this time, children already have a lot of feelings, thoughts and confusion about what’s been happening to their body and sense of selves for a while, and they question what these changes mean about them if they are left in the dark.

Children in the playground talk and share information that’s usually incomplete or inaccurate, leaving children to piece the story together themselves. Schools deliver education that’s most often squashed down in one or two hours total to combine information on what periods are and how to manage blood, anatomy and how reproduction works which sends children the message that having periods means that falling pregnant is something to fear, and that when they begin their periods, they’re ready to have sex, which is not the case at all from a developmental point of view.

When talking about periods is so uncomfortable, it continues the menstrual taboo that we have been victims of for millennia. So how do we cultivate a period positive culture?

The Cyclic Nature of Female ADHD

ADHD is becoming more and more understood as a neurodivergence, however the link between ADHD and the menstrual cycle is still misunderstood by many. Because ADHD presents differently in females to males, girls are often mis-diagnosed, because of the ways that female  hormones and the menstrual cycle affects ADHD. 

I’m so thankful to today’s guest Adele Wimsett, Hormone Health expert, for sharing her personal journey of discovering her ADHD, and for educating us so we can have more awareness for ourselves and people around us.

What age is best for girls to attend a First Moon Circle?

Did you know that on average, Australian females experience between 450-500 periods in her lifetime, with the average cycle spanning between 21-35 days, and the average bleed lasting between 2-7 days?

Once we begin menstruating (at menarche – pronounced “men-ar-kee”) which occurs anywhere these days between roughly the ages of 8-15, and commonly around ages 12-13, we begin our monthly bleed (menstrual cycle) until we reach menopause which occurs approximately at the age of 50 (although again, this can occur much earlier or later as it is do individual).

After menarche our periods will be irregular for most of our teen years until the rhythm is established and our hormones settle into their natural, beautiful cycle. You might notice that some months you bleed for longer, or more heavily than other times, or that your cycle isn’t the same length each time. This is all ok – everyone’s cycle is different.

How To Get Children Excited About Periods

Beth Moxon’s favourite topic is, you guessed it, PERIODS, which I am totally here for! Beth channels her inner fire to ensure that menstrual shame is a thing of the past. She is a powerhouse who is educating her own community through holding First Moon Circles, and is starting big conversations on TikTok where a huge proportion of children now receive their menstrual education.

Beth Moxon is a cyclical living guide in East Sussex, England, a qualified and highly experienced secondary school teacher who now trains teachers. She is a certified Cycle Coach and First Moon Circle facilitator and has extensive experience holding space for young people and adults. She is highly skilled and knowledgeable in all things menstruality related and loves to share her passion and knowledge by running local First Moon Circles. She has two little daughters who keep her busy during the times when she’s not thinking about periods!