Your Baby & Toddler - - LETTERS -

As par­ents, we can’t leave cer­tain re­spon­si­bil­i­ties – and con­ver­sa­tions – to teach­ers and other peo­ple out there.

We need to open up and start talk­ing to our teenage girls about men­stru­a­tion.

Our chil­dren are all alone, yet their par­ents are alive. They have no one to talk to, not just about school, but about ev­ery­thing in gen­eral. They specif­i­cally need to have real con­ver­sa­tions about the changes they’re go­ing through, emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally.

Many teenage girls still don’t know how to han­dle their pe­ri­ods.

In this day and age, men­stru­a­tion is taken as a dirty lit­tle se­cret that should be hid­den.

Ev­ery time a girl sees a stain on her sheet or un­der­wear, she be­comes ashamed. Car­ry­ing or even go­ing to buy san­i­tary pads is still a shame­ful thing to them.

What should be shame­ful is ac­tu­ally the ig­no­rance of par­ents (both moth­ers and fathers).

Why are we not em­pow­er­ing our daugh­ters with knowl­edge and mak­ing them un­der­stand that pe­ri­ods are a sign of good health? They mean life.

It is time that we as par­ents open up to our chil­dren. We need to ask about their chal­lenges around pe­ri­ods. Is she hav­ing cramps, mood swings, headaches? As a par­ent do you even know? Do you care?

Let’s help our daugh­ters learn to love their bod­ies and take pride in the bleed­ing, be­cause they are bleed­ing for life. Body sham­ing comes in many shapes and in­ter­sects with ev­ery so­cial sys­tem and in­jus­tice you can think of. MARIA MAKALA, HEILBRON, FREE STATE

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