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to be a bit ambivalent about the Pads4Dads campaign..

(187 Posts)
BertrandRussell Fri 15-Mar-19 08:51:57

[https://www.heygirls.co.uk/pads-for-dads/ here]

On the one hand, obviously it’s great for fathers to be more involved and understanding, and obviously some girls don’t have a mum or an aunt or anyone. But I can’t help thinking that it’s all a bit cosmetic-a bit “hey look what a cool dad I am buying tampax” Ticking the “good dad” box. And what’s wrong with some things being women only anyway?

Ihuntmonsters Fri 15-Mar-19 19:41:53

My dh has always been great about periods. He was amazed back when we were at university how many guys didn't even know when their girlfriends had their periods, forget how to be supportive about pain etc. He has never been bothered about buying pads etc and often was the one running a bath for me or for dd. We both grew up in female heavy families but his sisters talked about periods where in my family my mother made us hide any evidence just in case my father became aware that we had our periods.

There are aspects of this campaign I don't liike, but the central premise of providing targeted information to fathers is a good one. Personally I'd have quite liked something for mums of boys as while I chatted with my ds about the generic and emotional side of growing up I didn't feel prepared enough to talk about his more intimate body changes (ie I chatted to him about hair growth, voice dropping etc but not penis changes) and for some reason dh pretty much refused to.

PlatypusPie Fri 15-Mar-19 19:07:55

I think this initiative sounds like a great idea . I had a father who approached the matter with 11 yr old me calmly and kindly when my mother was away for an extended time ( in the 70s) and my DH was equally matter of fact and sympathetic to me and our DDs but I can appreciate that that isn’t case at all for many girls and women.

SleepingSloth Fri 15-Mar-19 18:57:12

The stuff about emotional needs and mental health and consent are not specific to boys or specific to puberty.

They are not but boys/men are stereotypically told to be strong, not show emotion, not talk about feelings. For girls being emotional, letting your feelings out and talking are encouraged.

BarbarianMum Fri 15-Mar-19 18:57:02

Believe me, I would love dh to take the lead with puberty stuff with our boys. Unfortunately he comes from a family where this stuff (bodies/puberty/sex/relationships) is simply not discussed. At all. Ever.

This has led to some interesting discussions- like which parent was better equipped to show them how to pee standing up (age 3). hmm In more recent years we've argued about who should bring up the 'cleaning under the foreskin' thing. Neither of us has a foreskin mind you, but I did - everntually-- convince him that it might be best coming from him.

Dh is exactly the sort of man padsfordads is aimed at. Or would be if we had a dd.

SleepingSloth Fri 15-Mar-19 18:53:37

I still think that if possible the “lead person” should be of the same sex.

But why? That's exactly what we need to stop, this huge divide between boys and girls, men and women that then transfers into a divide between husband and wife, father and daughter and mother and son. By saying mum has to do the chat with daughters and dad has to do the chat with sons if possible, you just confirm that it's something that should be kept private to the same sex.

CheshireChat Fri 15-Mar-19 18:50:15

TBF DP is perfectly aware I have periods and will happily buy me stuff, but he wouldn't have a clue how often they need changing, types etc. He was surprised headaches can be a symptom quite recently.

JustDanceAddict Fri 15-Mar-19 18:46:50

My dh has bought me tampons but gets confused re the variety!! He has to WhatsApp the box. He’s sympathetic to teen DD when she’s on too, as my dad was with me.

OddCat Fri 15-Mar-19 18:39:39

Anything to educate men about this sort of stuff is a good thing I guess . But Shouldn't a father of girls know about periods anyway ?
Presumably the woman that he produced the girls with had periods and used sanitary protection?

BertrandRussell Fri 15-Mar-19 18:34:22

The stuff about emotional needs and mental health and consent are not specific to boys or specific to puberty. They are part of the daily discourse of functional families.

TheGoalIsToStayOutOfTheHole Fri 15-Mar-19 18:26:39

But on the other hand I can imagine some men strutting into a shop and thinking they are the dogs bollocks for buying tampons and being all "look at me checkout ladies, buying Tampax for my daughter"

Haha, I can seriously see this kind of thing happening grin

Weetabixandshreddies Fri 15-Mar-19 18:24:03

I asked because I wondered what other people were discussing with their 9 year old boys that I waan’t.
Well you can see above. Obviously a bit more than your "growing and body changes".

TheGoalIsToStayOutOfTheHole Fri 15-Mar-19 18:23:22

I mentioned it to DH and he was amazed something like this would be necessary.

Same. He said he found it quite patronizing tbh, and said the kind of dad who would need stuff like this was never realistically going to talk to their daughter about it anyway.

BertrandRussell Fri 15-Mar-19 18:21:15

I asked because I wondered what other people were discussing with their 9 year old boys that I waan’t.

And yes of course women should know about their boys-just as men should know about their girls . I still think that if possible the “lead person” should be of the same sex.

Weetabixandshreddies Fri 15-Mar-19 18:10:01

Fair enough- I just assumed that everyone knows that stuff.
Hhmm. Is that why you asked what issues a 9 year old would face - because you already knew?

And dads won't have had periods (as you don't have a penis) yet we are all saying that men should know about this, talk about it openly etc. So surely we as women need to equally be able to talk to our sons?

BertrandRussell Fri 15-Mar-19 17:49:41

Fair enough- I just assumed that everyone knows that stuff.

I still think that a lot of this information comes best from someone the same sex as you. I know not all children have a suitable person. This isn’t saying there should be any shame or secrecy, but I’ve never had a penis - it’s much better to find out about them from somebody who has.

BarbarianMum Fri 15-Mar-19 16:59:43

Also how to deal w unexpected erections, ejaculation (when this will happen and what it is), wet dreams and cleaning under your foreskin. The normal size of a willy a) at rest b) when erect - and does it matter.

Then - body hair, where and when and how much is normal/desirable. Voice breaking. Contraception and reproductive choices and responsibilities.

Emotions - how to deal with them in a world where you are not allowed to show them (aggression accepted).

Keeping yourself safe - now you're taller you're fair game for any wanker w an attitude. Understanding that even though you feel like a kid inside, women and girls may now see you as a threat and you need to be careful about how you approach them, esp if they are alone, even for really innocuous things like asking directions. Not walking too close behind women at night.

Treating people with respect. Inherent male privilege -how to recognise it and counter it. Checking your behaviour.

lyralalala Fri 15-Mar-19 16:50:42

Is there anything that a mother specifically needs to prepare a boy for from the age of about 9 in the way you need to prepare girls?

Wet dreams, unexpected erections, body hair and voices changing would be the main ones I’d have thoughts.

Also with my DS1 I discovered that at 11 a boys testicles and scrotum grow, but the penis grows at a different rate so you can end up with an upset and scared 11yo who thinks his penis is shrinking.

Chouetted Fri 15-Mar-19 16:39:15

Well, I just read the guide, and embarrassingly, there was stuff in there that was new to me - and I've been having periods for 20 years blush

SleepingSloth Fri 15-Mar-19 16:28:40

Is there anything that a mother specifically needs to prepare a boy for from the age of about 9 in the way you need to prepare girls?

A couple of things.

I think talking to boys about the importance of not being scared to show their emotions past the age of 9 or 10. This doesn't seem to be as much of an issue for girls. We talk to girls about how it's normal to feel emotional around periods but in lots of cases boys just think they have to be strong once they get to 9 or 10 and never cry again. Boys hormones are all over the place too.

Also boys have to deal with their voice breaking. My nephew really struggled with this and found it very embarrassing when kids would laugh.

Periods are definitely hard to deal with but if we keep telling boys that girls have things much worse it just creates a bigger gap between boys and girls. Boys need to know that girls do often struggle with periods so that boys will grow up to be supportive fathers and partners. But periods shouldn't be used by women in order to win the who got the award for worst deal in life.

BertrandRussell Fri 15-Mar-19 16:22:49

Oh, come on. Tell the truth and shame the devil! grin

Weetabixandshreddies Fri 15-Mar-19 16:14:41

And i’m certainly not talking to a 9 year old about testicular cancer!

What age is the right age do you think?

Weetabixandshreddies Fri 15-Mar-19 16:13:49

It's not about the exact same thing happening to boys as girls is it? It's about stating that no campaign is needed for men because all of the information is out there, they should find out for themselves. So my question was how many mums find out for themselves about boys? And it would appear, not many.

BertrandRussell Fri 15-Mar-19 16:08:29

Forgive me if I say all this sounds a bit “what about the boys?” There is nothing equivalent to the possibility of being suddenly covered in blood in the middle of maths.

Of course boys experience puberty too. And they need to know about the emotional and physical changes they will experience and will need reassurance and someone to talk to about it. And I did make sure I knew as much as I could about it when ds was approaching the age. But i’m not sure what a pack for mums on the subject would include. And i’m certainly not talking to a 9 year old about testicular cancer!

Weetabixandshreddies Fri 15-Mar-19 15:57:55

BertrandRussell

Is that all that puberty is for boys then? Growing and body changes (which actually covers all of female puberty too "body changes" is quite a cover all phrase).

What else do you think you might need to discuss? And when would you talk about self examination?

BertrandRussell Fri 15-Mar-19 15:54:55

Is there anything that a mother specifically needs to prepare a boy for from the age of about 9 in the way you need to prepare girls? Obviously you talk about growing and body changes. But you wouldn’t presumably talk about self examination at 9? Or sexual health? You will, of course have been talking to boys and girls about consent from toddlerhood.

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