0:00:02 – Speaker 1
Welcome to the nextTalk podcast, where we share real stories and practical advice for parenting the digital world.
0:00:09 – Speaker 2
We’re your hosts, Mandy and Kim. Mandy is an award-winning author and the founder of nextTalk, and I’m the director of nextTalk, a nonprofit organization created to strengthen families through open communication. You can check out all of our resources at NextTalkorg.
0:00:24 – Speaker 1
We’re your wives, moms and friends, tackling culturally relevant topics from a Christian perspective. We’re sharing what we’ve learned and where we’ve failed. We’re so glad you’re here for this conversation.
0:00:37 – Speaker 2
So today’s show is not me and Mandy. It is me, Kim, and my husband, Charles, which is super cool to have you on the show. Welcome.
0:00:47 – Speaker 3
Hey, thanks for letting me be here.
0:00:48 – Speaker 2
Yes, it’s always good to have the dad perspective, because you know, mandy and I will talk about a lot of things and then I’ll bring it up with you And you say something way out in left field in my brain and I’m like, oh, i never would have thought of it that way, which I think is great And it’s so good for parenting, because we can bring different perspectives to our kids, but it all points to the same thing, which is helping them be the best that they can be.
0:01:13 – Speaker 3
Yeah, it’s good to have another set of eyes on and ears maybe on some things, right?
0:01:16 – Speaker 2
Yes, Yeah, and so today’s show it’s kind of a funny title Last talking to their boys about girls, periods and menopause, yes, and we did that because it’s very literal. It came out of a story that happened in our vacation last year, this past year and well, this past summer, and we were in Colorado, you know, beautiful mountains, having family time, all the things. And one of the things we like to do as a family is watch movies and or like a special show that we’ll pick out together and watch. It was coming towards the end of our trip and we were kind of worn out from the hiking and the zip lining and all the things. And the kids were like, can we watch the show together? And it was a cartoon based on a movie that we had seen. That was perfectly fine. And here was my misstep. I said, yeah, you know, i’m sure it’s fine because it was a spin off of this movie. That was fine. Well, the very first episode, a character in the show walked into the bathroom. A male character walked into the bathroom with a female and she started talking about oh my gosh, i’m bleeding and all of these things to this male character And, thankfully, our oldest son.
You know he’s at that point where he can discern a lot on his own.
You know, we’ve walked through these phases of open communication where he tells us everything and now we’re at the point where he can process a lot on his own, which is a part of him growing up, that he’s where he’s supposed to be. But he knew right away like, okay, this is not appropriate for the littles That’s what we call our two younger kids And he turned it off real quick and ran in and let me know. And so in the process of all of that I said, hey, you know, do you have any questions? This isn’t something we’ve talked a lot about. You know what a period is, but do you have any questions? And he kind of sat there for a minute and he’s like I’m kind of confused A little bit about like the science of it and a little bit more like what actually happens. So we sat down and I was telling him kind of the details of the process which you know inside. I’m like this is weird, you know, talking to your kid about what happens to your body every month.
But you know he asked and I want to be honest with him and I want him to know from me and not Google it like we always say. So, as I’m talking about it, i had this moment. I was like wait a minute, charles is in the next room. My husband. He was a science teacher and he taught sex ed. Like why am I trying to handle this on my own? So I said let’s go talk to daddy. So we walk in the other room and I’m like hey, here’s what we’re talking about. I figured you had some info and some wisdom you could impart in this conversation Here. I’m thinking you’re going to be like here is the science behind menstruation. In that voice.
0:04:16 – Speaker 3
That’s exactly how you And that’s how I taught it. That’s how I taught the menstruation. The menstruation is how, like the Facebook Yes, the ovulation, then the menstruation, then the congregation.
0:04:34 – Speaker 2
Well, I really thought that’s how it was going to go And you took this whole different approach. You did explain some of the science better than I did, but then you shared some other things and since then I’ve shared that with a couple of people and they’ve been like this is so great, And so we wanted to talk about it on the show. So I want you to share what you told our oldest son about a period, about that time in a woman’s life.
0:05:04 – Speaker 3
Well, i don’t know, like I wasn’t really thinking about it And, quite honestly, i was relieved that you were there to kind of take the lead on that, and but it’s always important not to miss an opportunity to tell your kids and speak truth to them when they ask a really good question, because that’s when their minds are open, that’s when it’s ripe. And, like you said, don’t go to Google for it. Do we have this thing? I call it I don’t know exactly what it’s called, but I call it like a chronology bias, meaning like the first time you hear something, it often becomes your truth. So if you hear it chronologically first, even though if it’s not accurate, it becomes truth.
0:05:40 – Speaker 2
Right, and I don’t know what that’s called Scientifically speaking, i’m sure there’s something out there, well, and so many kids hear it first from their friends or Google instead of their parents, or like a trusted source.
0:05:49 – Speaker 3
Yeah, so it’s always great to take that opportunity to speak truth to your kids. My background has been in education a really long time. I’ve worked with a lot of middle school and high school students and even elementary students, and I work in a field that well, let’s face it is predominantly female. A lot of educators are female, or most of them are anyway. So I’ve seen, unfortunately, like a lot of girls have their first period or have their period at school And sometimes they’re not prepared And it can be like a really embarrassing, embarrassing thing.
I think I was just really honest with our boy and just kind of told him like look, everybody goes through changes during puberty, but girls have it Harder than boys. Yes, you’ll have growth spurts, you’ll have voice changing, you’ll have hair growth, you’ll have, you know, all these other things kind of happen spontaneous erections that are like really embarrassing, but that’s not as embarrassing as Having a period in a class with your peers or in a cafeteria in front of the whole school And some of those things that you know are outside of a woman’s control, and that doesn’t just end there. And so I was really you know. I think it’s really important for boys to hear this, that women do have it harder. And Just growing up is harder, not just childbearing. We know that childbearing is hard for women, But just being a woman is is really tough, you know. And I’ve seen girls little girls, like you know, elementary and middle school age girls in the clinics, you know, with like a warm bottle of water, like like a heating pad, like on their bellies because they’re cramping in class, you know, and they can’t even learn for that. You know, that’s not something a boy will ever experience, right.
So it’s important for our boys to know that.
They might not understand it at this age, but they need to know, and so I just wanted to make sure I took that opportunity to tell him those things.
And I had to be sensitive to those things because there could be a time where a close friend of yours has has a period in class and You might notice it. She might not even know it could be something that she might not even know what’s going on, because you never know What’s going on and people’s families, they don’t know, we don’t know like who’s talking to who and how much their parents are really sharing with them. And that’s an opportunity for you to really kind of be a friend in a way to understand what’s going on. You know, like if you have a hoodie or a jacket like you can, you know, offer it to her and kind of let her know, quietly and privately, like what just happened, and so she could tell the teacher to go to the nurse, or you know. However, those are some opportunities to, you know, really extend some kindness So that way they know what’s going on.
0:08:35 – Speaker 2
Yeah, i love that. I never thought to Share that part of the process. I mean you even said like you have a role With your friends and your peers in the season of life and I thought that was cool because it’s important. It’s important what you do and how you react, like you never embarrass your friend or a classmate who you know. You never want to yell across the room There’s blood on your pants, you know And kids, that sometimes they’re just so reactive and they just say what they see. And so Preparing our kid for that and letting him know that that’s probably gonna happen And here’s your role in that was just such great wisdom that never would have crossed my mind.
0:09:16 – Speaker 3
Yeah, i think it’s important for young boys to know like, hey, i mean, yeah, we talk a lot about being masculine, being protective of our, our female sisters, you know, and like our future spouses, girlfriends, moms, sisters, aunties, grandparents, you know that sort of thing. But you don’t just have to be physically protective, right, you can really protect their emotions and protect them socially from some big mishaps or not just mishaps But you know some things that maybe could be avoided. So, always just being aware of those opportunities to protect those that You know are vulnerable.
0:09:48 – Speaker 2
Yeah, yeah, going through especially Not every family is a next-tock family and I know we’ve had some of our like heads up mom, as we call them, some of our older team members who said Some of their daughter’s friends, their moms never talked to them about their period, didn’t give them products or explain What was gonna happen or when. I mean, i can’t even imagine how scary that would be to walk through that and then to be at school and feel So ashamed and embarrassed. Another thing you mentioned that I loved was you said You know you’re gonna start noticing Some of your, your friends, because our son go, our kids go to a small school, so it’s kind of like a little family in each of their grades. They’ve grown up with these kids since kindergarten, so it’s like having a bunch of sisters and he’s like you’re, there’s gonna be times when they’re gonna Act different. You’re gonna be like what? And I thought that was good too.
0:10:43 – Speaker 3
Oh, yeah, i think you know It’s okay to not have to understand everything that a woman is doing, yes, and so that’s. We need to be teaching and preaching just to love people anyway, right, and there are going to be some physical and emotional changes that women go through And it kind of it doesn’t just go, it’s like finish at puberty. It’s kind of one of these things that unfortunately, i feel bad for women because it happens so often And it changes like the severity of it and how it happens and like the nature of them manifests in a lot of different ways as they, as you age, as they age and get older. So, again, i think it’s just great to just appreciate it. The woman, the female body, is an amazing thing, so we don’t have to understand it, to appreciate it and to love our families.
0:11:33 – Speaker 2
Yeah, Yeah. And when their classmates are grouchy or are short with them, the girl that maybe they hung out with as a friend and was like easygoing, and then suddenly they’re super irritable once a month.
that you know, have some grace you know and and know that it’s not you that girls are just dealing with this new wave of emotions that are totally unexpected and can be overwhelming, And they feel very real, very real, And I know that’s hard for a guy to understand. You are absolutely right, You will not understand it, but being patient and loving through that process is so important.
0:12:14 – Speaker 3
Yeah, i don’t think it’s important to understand it. Just accept it for what it is and like look at, sometimes it’s not how that person is really well, they’re really feeling it, but they might not mean all those things that they say or you know, they’re still your friend. They’re just going through a really hard time and they’re just dealing with some things that they really can’t explain either. So even if they were to try to explain it, it would be incredibly difficult for them to explain.
0:12:37 – Speaker 2
So just love them through that time and just be there for them when they need it, you know, because they’ll appreciate it on the other side of it, because, yes, the emotional, emotional awareness of our young men is not something we usually talk about in this subject. Right, and that’s what was so surprising to me that I never thought to discuss that with my kid. And I think, expanding on that, i guess, about a year ago I began going through premenopause And I mean I would just be like super angry all of a sudden, or having a hot flash or whatever it was, and my inclination was just to deal with it. And the kids should just deal with it Like it, just is what it is And I don’t think culturally. I don’t remember, like you know, any of my friends or mom, their mom, sitting down and saying here’s what’s happening. And I might seem a little crazy and it’s a. You know, i will try to apologize or I’ll try to prepare you when I can.
0:13:36 – Speaker 3
Well sure, That was just not a thing.
0:13:38 – Speaker 2
That’s not how we talked.
0:13:39 – Speaker 3
Well, it doesn’t happen in your school age year, so it’s not communicated that way. So you learn sex ed in school because it’s happening during those times, right? So they don’t teach premenopause when you’re 13, because why would?
0:13:52 – Speaker 1
they right, And so that’s why it’s like this.
0:13:55 – Speaker 3
it’s like this, this lost arc of knowledge that people keep searching for. It’s like why did anybody tell me this?
0:14:00 – Speaker 2
Yes, so many things were happening. I was like what is going on with me And it’s just not talked about a lot, which is kind of bizarre because it really is a big change for a woman. And so you go through you know the period and all of that and all of those emotions and changes, and then you have this season of building a family and a life and then premenopause and menopause hits and it’s like going through it all over again, but with different things. And I made the decision to talk with our kids about it And they were, you know, pretty young, but I wanted them to know, like if I snapped at them or mom was like sweating profusely or whatever it was what was happening.
Because again, having a nextTalk family means open communication, talking about things that are awkward and weird, so that our kids aren’t left trying to figure it out on their own. And it’s been great because you know what’s going on And when I say something or do something, sometimes we can just laugh about it and that kind of lightens the mood, like the kids know what’s going on. You know what’s going on And so it’s not this big secret. Why is mom a weirdo?
0:15:05 – Speaker 3
Well, let’s go back, let’s not laugh at it at the time it’s happening. That’s not what we do.
0:15:14 – Speaker 2
No I mean we can laugh at it after the fact Or sometimes in the moment, like when I’m sweating. That one sometimes can be funny, sure that’s funny.
0:15:24 – Speaker 3
Yeah, no, none of this is funny. I don’t know. It’s just another one of those like don’t try to understand it, it is what it is. Unfortunately, it’s some something that’s just happening. Yeah, don’t try to laugh this one off. You gotta read the room here. guys Read the room there.
0:15:42 – Speaker 2
0:15:42 – Speaker 3
I don’t know if your wife is going to enjoy laughing when she’s at like this bottomless pit of crazy.
0:15:51 – Speaker 2
Okay. so when this first start happening the pre-menopausal changes one of the things that I did do that helped is I’d say I feel crazy right now and like angry at you and like I hate you and there’s no reason for it. So I know it’s hormones and I’m warning you And that was good.
0:16:11 – Speaker 1
That was helpful.
0:16:13 – Speaker 2
Because with menopause and pre-menopause and I tell the kids the same thing your hormones start to level out, But that initial phase is like what is happening And you do feel kind of crazy, And so for our family that was very helpful for me to have the freedom to say that, and you would a lot of times would just give me a hug and you’d be like okay, thanks for telling me, That was helpful. That’s kind of a tip I guess we can put out there is create that understanding, Like I’m going to be honest with you that I don’t know what’s happening but it’s happening and you’re just going to love me in that moment, yeah, and we hide the knives and we take away your keys and we just let it pass and then you get your keys back when it’s all safe And cheesecake.
Yes, but I think that’s important too, and Charles has been really good about. You know, when I’m really tired or he can see him at my end he will kind of step in and say, oh yeah, go ahead, go to bed or go whatever you need to do, and he handles the kids and is very helpful in answering their questions or whatever it is, and I think that’s part of the process too. It’s like a full circle thing. It’s that beginning stages where, if you are talking with your boys about their role in this change for a woman, it won’t be so hard and shocking when they’re married and as they go through those different phases of life, and then even here, where we’re ending, you know, that phase of reproduction and it’s another change that it’s not so surprising.
You’ve got the tools and that’s just another thing we can give to our kids is teaching them how they play a role in this part of growing up. So that’s kind of you know, the menopause and the period doesn’t have to be a long conversation. Moms, i encourage you to let dad do it his way. A lot of times we’re like that’s not how I would say it, but it’s different. You know, it’s different for moms and dads and invite them into the conversation, and I just think this is a part of it that I never thought of that was super helpful for our son, that your role is important in this season of life and these different seasons of life with the women in your life. I did also think it was cool. Some of the conversations you’ve had with our boys are very different about girls and what to look for Like the things.
I’m talking about are way different than things you’re talking about, and one of the things you talk about are these things you call red flags, and I think that’s helpful.
0:18:45 – Speaker 3
What’s what not to look for, right? Yeah, i know that you know you’ve said this on air many times like how, since our sons were born, like pray for this godly woman to be their spouse right At some point, right, and I guess maybe I’m a little spontaneous, i guess like as it’s happening. So here’s an example We were driving with myself and our oldest son and there was a woman walking, four pugs and each pug had a different dress on.
0:19:16 – Speaker 2
And it was pretty cute.
0:19:18 – Speaker 3
So I told my son, i was like you see that lady right?
there And he’s like yeah, that’s kind of extreme And I was like that’s a red flag In a relationship. Like if you find out that she dresses up her animals in matching outfits, you will always play second fiddle to her dogs and it’s just important to kind of pick up on those kind of cues, you know, and so you know we had a little laugh about it. I was like no, but really like these are some things that you need to kind of just stay away from. You can be kind, respectful, but when you’re choosing a mate we’re choosing a spouse or you want to think about asking somebody out, get to know them, try to find if there’s any of these major red flags, but also just be just like that.
We talked about awareness earlier, but like just on how they treat their parents, how they treat their siblings, how they treat their friends at school, their coaches, their teachers, you know you want someone that’s treating everybody else with respect and being kind. You know, because you want to, you want that genuine person right and you don’t want someone who’s going to be untrustworthy or unloyal Or is going to. You know, use i don’t know, maybe just use a fabrication of the truth to kind of get what they want right.
0:20:32 – Speaker 2
Manipulative yeah, so we really we talk about those kind of things a lot in examples of what to stay away from, so Yeah, it’s you know, and that’s that’s great, because i think a lot of times moms were talking about like what you’re looking for And that’s you know. Again, that other side, that other perspective of like. Here’s also what you don’t want to look for And i think that’s just really good and it’s cool that you make it fun and light and it’s not like a big Lecture, it’s just like, hey, look at that, that’s interesting. Here’s what i think about that and you guys talk about it. We just recently did a show about crushes, like how important is a crush? and then we did dating 2.0. And in both shows the things that we cover really encompass that.
It’s so important to be talking about expectations of a relationship and boundaries and You know how people treat other people and so listen to those shows to, and Maybe get your husband to listen to the show with you there 20 minutes and then it’s a great conversation And a way to start that conversation with your kids and, as we say in all of our shows, with age appropriate terms, you can start building these building blocks with your kids when they’re young. You know little comments that you make, like marriages between a man and a woman, like little things like that. You’re planting these seeds so that, when they’re older, these conversations aren’t like these huge, overwhelming topics. it’s just another part of the building block that’s creating the foundation that they stand on In their relationships yeah, never miss an opportunity, right, never miss an opportunity.
Thank you for being on the show. I always love you, having you here and having your perspective.
0:22:16 – Speaker 3
Well, it’s always great to be on the show.
0:22:18 – Speaker 2
Yes, and I am not feeling crazy right now, so no warnings needed, i know, it’s great, totally saying. Enjoy the moment.
0:22:29 – Speaker 1
Thank you so much for joining us, listening and sharing our podcast. Because of you, this show is in the top 5% of over 2.9 million.
0:22:41 – Speaker 2
We have lots of resources for you, from counseling to live events. Or if you have a show, idea or question for our team, visit our website at nextTalkorg. We’d love to hear from you.
0:22:52 – Speaker 1
At nextTalk. We’re more than cyber parenting. It’s conversations to connect.
0:22:57 – Speaker 3
This podcast is not intended to replace the advice of a trained health care or legal professional, or to diagnose, treat or otherwise render expert advice regarding any type of medical, psychological or legal problem. Listeners are advised to consult a qualified expert for treatment.
Transcribed by https://podium.page