Teacher Urges Parents: Explain Periods Way Earlier Than You Think You'd Need To

Photographed by Ruby Woodhouse.
After an incident at school recently, an elementary school teacher is urging parents to teach their kids about periods — even if it seems like they're too young.
The teacher wrote in a Reddit post to the TwoXChromosomes page that she was supervising a group of third and fourth-graders before classes started one morning when a fourth-grade girl went to the bathroom and never returned.
"When I went to check on her she said she couldn't come out and something was wrong, that she had pooped her pants but in the front," the teacher wrote.
The little girl had started her period, but she had no idea what a period even was. So the teacher explained, gave her "a super long maxi pad because I had nothing else," and called her parents to take her home.
Having to have that kind of personal discussion with a student who really should have gotten the information from her parents made the teacher want to reach out and ask parents to explain periods even if they don't think it's time, yet. Because you can never know when your child will start menstruating.
A fourth-grader is usually only 9 or 10-years-old, which may seem like way too young to have a conversation about periods. But, according to the UK's National Health Service, some people start their periods as early as 8, even though the average is about 12-years-old. For those girls who do start menstruating early, it's important to be prepared and to know that what's happening to their body is totally normal.
"You cannot control when you get your period, but you can sure prepare your daughters for it," the teacher wrote. "Please do so."
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