How to Tell Your Kids About Menopause
Parents often find talking to their kids about puberty a bit awkward or difficult. Likewise, talking to them about menopause can be even more off-putting. But, face it: Most parents want to “have a little talk” before the onset of puberty so that their child knows what’s happening when puberty begins. And wouldn’t it be nice if your kids knew what was happening to you when menopause began?
Quite frequently, your kids are approaching puberty at about the same time you’re starting to prepare for the onset of peri-menopause. And since there’s no way to know when either puberty or menopause will begin, it’s best to prepare for both of them well in advance. So, log before either one of them begins is the ideal time to have that “little talk.”
If you think about it, menopause is really just puberty in reverse. Puberty is when you begin your reproductive phase of life. Menopause is when you end your reproductive phase of life. And, believe it or not, the two have a lot in common.
So why not ‘have a little talk,” and kill two puberties with one little talk.
If you have a daughter, the “little talk” would go something like this:
“Barbie, Jr., you’re going to start noticing some changes in your body soon. But I’ll be having some changes of my own, too; so you won’t be alone. We’ll be like twins going in opposite directions. It’ll be fun!
“Here’s what’s going to happen:
“You’re going se blood coming out of your vagina. It will mark the beginning of your life as a woman who can get pregnant. At about the same time, blood is going to stop coming out of my vagina, and it’s going to mark the end of my life as a woman who can get pregnant.
“Your breasts are going to grow and move outward. My breasts are going to drop and move downward.
“You’re going to grow hair under your arms and in your crotch. I’m going to grow hair on my chest and chin.
“You’re going to start getting curves in your body. I’m going to start losing curves in my body.
“You’re going to start feeling really sexy and feminine. I’m going to start feeling completely unsexy and masculine.
“You’re going to start feeling moody and sassy, and want to shoot somebody; and so am I!
You’ll start argue with everybody and be really mean to people at times; and so will I!
“You and I may not even like each other for a while.
“And you might feel sad and miserable at times. But, honey, I’ll feel it with you.
“The most important thing is that it will all be temporary. After a while, we’ll both snap back to being ourselves, and we’ll live happily ever after.”
Of course, if your child is male, the conversation will be a little different.
You’ll say, “Ken, Jr., you’re going to start noticing some changes in your body soon. But don’t worry; I’ll be changing, too. So we’ll get through it together. We can even have a contest and see who wins.
“You’re going to have a growth spurt and get very tall. At the same time, I’m going to start shrinking.
“You’re going to feel like you can sleep all the time. I’m going to feel like I can’t sleep at all.
“Your voice is going to get deeper; and so is mine!
“You’re going to grow hair on your chin and chest; and so will I!
“Your skin will get dry and scaly. Mine, too!
“You’ll start gaining weight. But I’ll gain right along with you and then keep gaining long after you’ve stopped.
“You’re going to crave carbs. But I’ll crave carbs and alcohol.
“You’re going to get really ugly acne. Me, too!
“You’re going to get aggressive and feel like punching people out. I’m going to get aggressive and actually punch people out!
“You’re going to get erections all the time. I’m going to have orgasms none of the time. Your sex drive is going to skyrocket. Mine is going to plummet.
“But all this will be temporary. After a while, we’ll both snap back to being ourselves, and we’ll live happily ever after.”
Now, you can change the tenses as necessary to comport with the sequence of events and timing within your own family. Ideally, you’ll have these conversations before any of these changes take place. And hopefully, you won’t have all these events going on in your household at the same time. But, regardless of the timing, why not prepare everyone for it at the same time?
The point is to realize that everybody’s going to transition in one direction or the other. And if everybody knows what’s going on, your family life will be a lot smoother.
This article, was written by Dr. Barbara Taylor.