Over the past 6 months, Hey Girls has been working on a campaign to help Dads chat to their kids about periods. They know that talking to young people about periods can be awkward for Dads and they have undertaken a survey of 1500 men (including 753 Dads), which 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.
Hey Girls has created a specific website to both showcase these results abd also to acts as an information hub. Hey Girls has also teamed up with Hollywood actor, activist and father, Michael Sheen to launch the site and also to highlight the useful online guide, written by Dads for Dads, with all they need to know about the subject. .
Here at Hey Girls, we know that talking to young people about puberty can be awkward. Chatting about periods can be even harder, especially if you don’t experience them yourself. Obviously, every Dad is different – but many that we spoke to said they don’t know enough about periods to feel confident having ‘the chat’ with their kids. Chances are no one told them about periods when they were younger, or maybe they just feel a bit awkward and leave things to Mum.
We think it’s a bit nuts that around half the population has a period almost every month, but that they can still be seen as secret and shameful. We’re pushing for better education about periods in schools for all pupils so we can end the stigma around periods.
In the meantime, Dads have told us that they need a helping hand. So, we have created Pads 4 Dads – a quick overview by Dads for Dads – to help you have positive conversations with all your kids about periods.Hey Girls websit
As well as this site they have also released a blog which highlights some of the father’s stories, I have copies some of them below, Have a look at the site.
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)