This post is part of the Natural Living Series. Guest DeAnna is sharing how you can introduce menstruation to your children in a natural, non-shaming way. For more information about DeAnna, be sure to check out the bottom of this post and for more posts on Natural Wellness, check out our week of Natural Wellness posts.
“This is my Moon Flow,” I said to Ellah, who was about 4 at the time, when she saw me changing a pad. I never saw my Mom changing pads, and hence committed to not hiding my natural flow from my daughter. Without my flow, my girl would not have been born… How could this be anything but a source of joy in my ability to give birth? An ability she will one day share!
“All women flow with the moon,” I added, “and you, too, will flow when you become a woman.” Ellah smiled with the promise, and at four years of age this was enough. I didn’t refer to the flow as “blood” until much later, since I didn’t want Ellah to associate it with an “Ouwy.” The purpose with young children, both girls and boys, is to introduce, and talk about, this natural bodily function in the same neutral way as you do when talking about eating. Gradually, as the child matures, it is good to tie the flow to its purpose, which is a woman’s ability to give life.
If you find that you have some charge about your menstruation (such as physical or emotional pain) it is best not to introduce the subject to your child until you work through your difficulty and gain some balance for yourself.
Generally, it is best not to bombard children with information, but to wait for their questions. When Ellah was about seven, she asked me where does the Moon Flow come from? My answer was inspired by the Waldorf educational approach, and I explained that the Moon Flow is “Mom’s Nest.”
“Mommy’s Nest???” she asked in amazement.
“Yes,” I said. “When a Mama bird prepares for a baby bird to be born, she makes a nest. She flies in the forest and collects leaves, feathers, boughs, branches, and bits of fluff, and she weaves a nest for the baby bird to comfortably lie in.”
“Well…” I continued, “it’s the same with me. And with all women! Every month a woman’s body prepares a nest in her tummy, where a baby can grow. Her wise body gathers tissue and blood from inside her, and makes a warm and comfortable nest. Then, if no baby starts to grow, there is no need for the nest. So Mamma’s wise body sends the nest out in a big whoosh. That’s why the flow is red, because it’s made of all the good, nourishing blood that was ready to help the baby grow.”
“Every month,” I shared with my daughter, “I thank my body for being such a miracle, and for knowing how to make a baby grow inside… I also thank it for the wisdom of letting go of the nest, when I don’t need it…” Ellah was fully satisfied. She had a clear picture in her mind, and the Moon Flow made sense to her.
Telling your child a story of this nature doesn’t only encapsulate the physical facts associated with menstruation. It allows you to start instilling the awe, which our bodies deserve for their amazing abilities. Beyond that, you are actively bucking the cultural current of taboo and shame around menstruation. You are raising a girl or a boy who will have a different narrative with which to counter the cultural beliefs when they encounter them.
Julia here! If you want to learn more about how to prepare your daughter for becoming a woman, DeAnna offers a wonderful resource in Coming Of Age: How To Stop Worrying About “The Talk,” and Start Talking With Your Girl! (affiliate link) This audio recording will give you the tools you need to empower your daughter and put you at ease. For less than the price of this recording, you can get DeAnna’s audio recording plus 21 other eproducts all designed to help you parent more mindfully. This Mindful Parenting eBundle (affiliate link) is ONLY available until June 10 and then it’s gone forever. Don’t miss out!
DeAnna L’am, (B.A.) speaker, coach, and trainer, is author of ‘Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood’ and ‘A Diva’s guide to Getting Your Period’. She is founder of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women & Girls™ and of Red Tents In Every Neighborhood – Global Network. Her pioneering work has been transforming women’s & girls’ lives around the world, for over 20 years. DeAnna helps women & girls love themselves unconditionally! She teaches mothers how to model self-acceptance, self-care, and self-esteem to their daughters, welcome them into empowered womanhood, and lay a foundation for lifelong trust between them. Visit her at: www.deannalam.com Connect with DeAnna on her Facebook page: Red Tents in Every Neighborhood.
This post originally appeared on the Red Moon Blog.