Should Dads Talk To Their Kids About Menstruation?

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About Robert Duffer

Robert Duffer ( is the editor of the Dads & Families section of The Good Men Project. Winner of the Chicago Public Library's writing contest, his work appears in the Chicago Tribune, MAKE Magazine, Chicago Reader, Curbside Splendor, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Public Radio, Annalemma, New City, and other coffee-table favorites like Canadian Builders Quarterly. He teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago and lives in the suburbs with his wife, two kids, and their minivan. Follow @DufferRobert, Google+, facebook.


  1. My dad was. the. best. at dealing with periods. When my mom left, I was living with my dad when it all started. When other dads I knew got squeamish and wanted to pretend that that stuff just didn’t happen, my dad went out, bought pads/tampons/pain relievers, listened to me moan and groan about pain, and answered any and all questions that I had, and if he didn’t know it, encouraged me to look it up (as he typically did with any subject). When some of my female family members, including some of my aunts, refused to talk to me about my ladyparts, my dad was there. Though we are no longer on speaking terms, I can remember some of the things he was great about.

  2. First off, growing up in the 60′s-early 70′s, I wasn’t told ANYTHING about menstruation! All I knew from having 2 younger sisters is that it was messy, involved some kind of small diaper like ‘pads’ and it made me glad I was a male and didn’t have to deal with it. It wasn’t until I got married and saw how it affected my wife (she had what she referred to as ‘heavy flowing’) that I paid attention as in what I could do to help. Many years ago, when my middle daughter was 12 or so (she beat her slightly older sister ‘to the start’) That my attention sort of ‘payed off’. The Wife was in the hospital for some ‘repair work’ from when my son was born. After visiting her, my daughter asked me to go to the store with her. Now, my mother , my mother in law, and both my sisters were also there, but she insisted that I had to take her. She wouldn’t say why until we got to the supermarket. The entire isle ,about 70 feet long, was different types of ‘Feminine’ pads! Thats when years of picking them up for my wife payed off. I noticed at one end were the ,band aids’, as I called them. At the other were the ‘airline pillows’. So I split the difference and found what she needed.

  3. trey1963 says:

    I was the first person my eldest daughter informed when her period first arrived. Her mom and I had made sure she had the appropriate supplies in her book bag by the start of 6th grade. It is just not a big deal, if you don’t treat it that way. Funny thing is when she need pads etc… She asks me to purchase them as I will get exactly the brand style she requests….. her mom just get whatever she feels would work.


  1. [...] other day this article about father-daughter menstruation talks popped up in my feed and it got a discussion going about what is appropriate for men to discuss [...]

  2. […] other day this article about father-daughter menstruation talks popped up in my feed, got a discussion going about what is appropriate for men to discuss with […]

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