Lets be honest, your first period can be scary. This is especially true if youre caught unaware and dont understand in your body when you get it. Bracing your child for their first time can seem like an intimidating task, especially if you take into account how our society treats anything and everything related to our sexual and reproductive health as a taboo. For beauty consultant Aparrna Gupta, mum to a teenage girl Shreya*, it was a gradual process. We had gone out to lunch and my dress got stained. She coolly commented, Its fine, Mumma. Youre a woman, she explains. I think schools these days play a huge role in normalising this. They can be integral in making the process seamless and even interactive. If youre wondering how to get started on the process on introducing your child to periods, here are some tips.Encourage questionsRemember when it comes to this puberty body change, your child is walking into a completely new situation. Encourage them to ask questions and empower them with facts. For example, if theyre afraid of blood, explain to them that usually, people who menstruate bleed up to only three to four tablespoons when theyre on their period. Creating a period-friendly environment involves talking about it as it is just one part of life. It shouldnt be a hush-hush conversation that needs to happen behind closed doors. Let your child bring up anything that is on her mind related to periods and resist the urge to change the topic or tell them you will speak later, she adds.Be gentle and teach them the sameHaving heavy flow on certain days of your period is common and therefore, in the initial few times, children may experience mishaps and leaking. Teach them that this is normal and they can prepare for it by keeping a kit that contains a couple of pads or tampons and some underwear ready. For Shreya* I included a few panty liners, a soft towel, a pain relief roll-on, and a newpaper cut in squares along with some pads, explains Gupta.Looking out for fellow menstruators is a part of the process. Advise your child to be supportive if they see someone elses clothes stained. Do what they would want someone else to do for them like sharing their menstrual health supplies and having the other persons back.Lay out all the menstrual hygiene optionsIf your child is afraid of their pads or cups leaking, teach them how to use period supplies correctly, without any disgust or disdain. Help them to explore their options till they find the perfect fit for them. Make them read the instructions on the back of the box of whatever menstrual hygiene products theyre planning to use and ask them if theyd like you to be in the room while they figure out how to use it.Discourage taboosWeve all heard about the oppressive practices that women are made to follow when they get their periods. To make your child comfortable, we must break the cycle. Call out anyone who makes negative comments about menstruations and dispel myths as and when they come up. Look back and think of any and every toxic situation related to your chums that you had to deal with at a younger age and consider how you can make them more comfortable.Involve the people in their lifeEnd the culture of hiding or covering up sanitary pads and create an environment of acceptance. Talk to the men at home about periods so that your child feels comfortable reaching out to them for help in case they need any.