embracing different types of parenting styles from early years
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Sex Positive Parenting & Periods

While there are many different types of parenting styles, sex positive parenting is about approaching things like your first period, sexuality, and gender in positive and shame-free ways. Here are our top green flags when it comes to being a sex positive parent. 
embracing different types of parenting styles from early years
Whether you’re trying to figure out how to talk to your children about periods or looking for ways to teach them about sex and sexuality in honest and positive ways, tools from sex positive parenting could be really helpful.  
Adopting a sex positive parenting model means keeping an ongoing dialogue with your kids as they grow up, experience and learn new things. It means using accurate and to-the-point language, resisting gender norms and stereotypes, and exemplifying for them how to be an advocate for inclusive and youth-oriented health care and sex education within your community. 

How To Embrace Sex Positive Parenting

1. Honest, Ongoing Dialogue
Skip “the talk” and opt instead for ongoing dialogue. And when new topics come up, answer their questions honestly and openly. Kids gather information all the time and as their parents, we hope to be able to help them understand and frame new ideas.
How This Works for Periods
If your child comes to you, saying their friend started their period early, you can explain menstruation to them in simple and accurate terms. Don’t shy away from their questions. Explain that it is a totally normal and healthy process that some bodies go through on a regular basis, and that there are ways we can offer support to these individuals.

What is sex positive parenting?

2. Use Accurate Language
Euphemisms for our body parts teach kids that these aren’t things they should talk about or that they should be embarrassed about them. But everyone has a body—and normalizing that can help them to take care of their bodies in open and proactive ways.
How This Works for Periods
Using the correct words can help reduce stigma associated with talking about periods. While this might seem small, helping them not shy away from expressing how they are feeling or what they are experiencing as a menstruator, can have long-term benefits for their health.  
Many people navigating irregular periods, and sometimes menstrual disorders go undiagnosed for years. Some have trouble seeking out proper care, which can affect their day-to-day health, sexual health and mental health. Because society has held such strict rules around discussing menstruation for so long, many of us still don’t know what is common, normal, or abnormal, and many of us don’t feel comfortable seeking treatment for our pain and discomfort.

3. Resist Gender Norms and Stereotypes
Gender isn’t binary and stereotypes are harmful. Teaching this to our children can help them explore gender in ways that are truthful to them and support their friends through the same process.
How This Works for Periods
Menstruation doesn’t have a gender, and there are ways that we can help our kids navigate periods in ways that won’t perpetuate gender binaries or contribute to gender dysphoria.  
It’s important when navigating gender and menstruation with your kids to help them be critical of societal stereotypes and adopt more inclusive perspectives, as well as be mindful of any gender dysphoria that these stereotypes might cause them.

4. Advocate for Inclusivity and Youth-Oriented Health Care
Being an advocate for inclusivity in your community shows your kids that you live the principles that you are teaching them. It brings other models of gender, sexuality, and families into their framework, letting them know that there are many different experiences.  
Advocating for open and honest sex education better prepares them for navigating sex, sexuality, gender, and reproduction, by not shrouding it in shame and stereotypes.  
How This Works for Periods
Advocate for period products and other youth-oriented and sexual health resources within your community and fight for free period products to be distributed in all washrooms. Speak openly in support of better sex education in their school and foster an open and honest relationship at home to mitigate any gaps.
Go a step further by working with them to craft a period product pantry, like a “little free library” that you can place outside your house. Decorate it and make it look fun, and make sure it’s well-labelled as “free period products for anyone who needs them” to both fight stigma and support anyone in the community who might be in need.

Try these tips and share them and more with fellow parents to help spread awareness of different types of parenting styles. Sex positive parenting ensures that our children grow up knowing that sexuality and gender are multi-faceted, our bodies don’t have to be mysterious to us, and that things like menstruation and sex are natural, normal, and healthy parts of life.


  • "10 Ways to Support Sex-Positive Kids." Thebodyisnotanapology.com, thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/10-ways-to-support-sex-positive-kids/.
  • Saady, Mckenna. "Sex-Positive Parenting: What You Need to Know." ParentsTogether, 11 Mar 2022, parent-together.org/sex-positive-parenting-what-you-need-to-know/.
  • "Sex Positive Parenting: Become a Sex Positive Parent in 12 Easy Steps! Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights." www.actioncanadashr.org, www.actioncanadashr.org/resources/old-hub-sub-pages/become-sex-positive-parent-12-easy-steps. Accessed 18 July 2023.
  • Yumi Stynes, et al. Welcome to Your Period! Somerville, Massachusetts, Walker Books, 2021.