For children approaching puberty, getting their period can be both discouraging and confusing.
However, new research shows that ‘period drama’ is affecting parents too, with many feeling ‘uncomfortable’ bringing up the topic with their children.
Almost half of moms and dads said they felt uncomfortable talking to their children about period parenting — as did over a third of teachers and students.
The pressure of having such an important conversation in a young person’s life means that 68 percent of teachers fear being perceived as insensitive if they say the wrong thing to their students.
Over a quarter of parents (26 percent) had the same concern for their own child.
The study of 1,000 parents of children aged 8 to 16 and 500 teachers of students aged 8 to 14 examined their knowledge and confidence in the subject.
The research was conducted by the manufacturer of menstrual products Always As part of puberty and period education in secondary schools, the company wants to launch a new content series.
It will star TV couple Zara McDermott and Sam Thompson to improve period education for everyone and get teens more involved to ensure those about to have their first period – and the People who support them – are better prepared and informed.
Love Island’s Zara said: “First periods can be a nerve-wracking experience when you don’t know what to expect.
“The content series is designed to provide advice on what changes to expect and what period products you need to feel protected no matter your flow.
“This will help so many people considering that currently only 58 percent of parents whose child is about to have their period put a pad in their child’s pocket.”
Sam, who appeared on Made in Chelsea between 2013 and 2021, added: “While creating the content series, I was ashamed of my lack of knowledge of periods.
“I realized that in order to be a better ally, I needed to be better educated on the subject of periods.
“It’s a way for us to further break the taboos surrounding periods, normalize the conversation, and support everyone who is about to have their first period so no one feels unprepared.”
More than a third (34 percent) of parents said their child asked them a question about parenting that they didn’t know the answer to.
Many teachers also felt their lack of knowledge, as 84 percent felt educating students about puberty was challenging and a quarter felt unable to do so.
Less than half of teachers (46 percent) feel the current curriculum adequately addresses the changes in puberty, although 83 percent welcome additional training to better discuss the topic with students.
The research, conducted via OnePoll, found that 40 percent of boys aged eight to 16 said they knew little or nothing about their periods.
And 48 percent of parents felt that boys were not sufficiently informed about periods, which was confirmed by four out of ten teachers.
Emma Gerrard, Always UK Brand Director, said: “Preparing for your first period can be a daunting experience for everyone involved, especially when you don’t know what to expect. It was important to us to design a content series that has everyone in view.
“Zara and Sam have been great in helping make periods a part of our everyday conversations.
“Parents, teachers and young people are looking for more information to help them feel more confident and informed.
“Those first period experiences stay with us and we want to make them as helpful and positive as possible.”