Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years

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Fathers, Brothers and Menstruation

Interviews with girls suggest that there are important roles for fathers and brothers regarding a young woman in the house starting menstruation. When a girl starts menstruation, she may want, at first, only her mother to know. When she is ready to share this with the rest of the family, there are ways that fathers and brothers can support her.

The most important issue for girls is that no one in the family makes a "big deal" about menstruation. Girls hope that they can receive support, and when requested, straight forward information from their fathers and brothers.

At times girls may not want to talk to the men in the family directly, but may want them to understand the process, so to deflate the sense of it being a "big deal". Parents may need to explain to boys in the family the mechanics of menstruation . Misinformation can lead to negative attitudes that be long lasting.

ln general, it is best that boys hear about girls' development from sensitive and caring parents. Girls need to hear about boys' development as well. Less awkwardness and embarrassment in the home regarding changes in adolescents will buffer potential teasing or painful experiences that may occur outside the home to your children.

A great organization that supports fathers in raising healthy young women is DADS (Dads and Daughters).

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