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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?