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Mastering the Menopause Conversation: Your guide to speaking with your children about Menopause.

Black and white image showing a mum and daughter from the 1940s

I'm passionate about raising awareness of menopause at work because this is one arena where women* can find themselves struggling with their menopause symptoms and often have little to no support.

To the point that they end up, like me, quitting their jobs. I'm working to create a world where that doesn't happen again.

And while the conversation around menopause at work is definitely improving, we often don't talk about the effect menopause can have on the people we live with, especially our children.. They are the ones who generally live with us, and can see the difference in the way that their parent is feeling and acting.

The conversation at work is getting better, yet our attitude to talking about menopause with our family often seems to be stuck in the 1950's. Something to be dealt with quietly, with no fuss.

That approach didn't serve our mothers and grandmothers then, and it definitely doesn't serve us now.

While menopause can be challenging, confusing, and uncomfortable, it can also be liberating and wonderful. However you experience it, menopause is definitely a journey and it is one that we share with those we live with most directly.

So there should be no reason to not let them know what is going on, surely?

Instead, we tend to keep our menopause to ourselves, only hinting at what is happening.

A woman holding some glamours shades in her hands. She is wearing a teal shirt.

If your children are younger, they might not be old enough to realise that menopause is affecting you. However, teenage children can be very observant, and will likely have noticed that 'something' is going on.

They may have questions and concerns about any changes they've noticed. They may even feel that they are the reason for the emotions they see in you and might feel responsible for your emotional well-being.

So, how can you speak to your teenage children about menopause? Should you even talk to them about it?

To this question, I say a hearty 'yes'.

Menopause affects everyone, and the more open we are, the better we can understand our own experience and learn from each other.

Here are five tips to help you speak with ease about menopause with your teenage children.

1. Be Honest and Open

The first and most important tip is to be honest and open with your teenage children. Nothing bad is going on - this is a natural process and there is nothing wrong with you.

Explain to them what menopause is, why it happens, and how it affects your body. Don't be afraid to use straight forward language and be clear about your experiences. This will help your children understand what you're going through and be more sympathetic.

Gentle humour often helps bridge any embarrassment that teenagers (and you) might feel.

2. Encourage (or at least, be open to) Questions

Teenagers are naturally curious, so encourage them to ask questions about menopause in general, and your experience of it. Let them know that it's okay to ask, and that you'll do your best to answer their questions honestly and openly. This will help them feel more comfortable and less anxious about menopause.

It also means that they won't harbour any fears around what might feel like a rough journey sometimes.

An egg box with three eggs in it - the two front ones have sad and angry faces drawn on them in black

3. Talk About Your Menopause Symptoms

Menopause can cause a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia. It's useful to talk to your teenage children about the symptoms you are experiencing so they can understand why you may be feeling uncomfortable or irritable. It helps to remind them that they aren't the reason for any low days.

Encourage them to be patient and understanding, and let them know that you're doing your best to manage your symptoms. It also helps to remind them that this doesn't last forever, and that feeling supported now can make a big difference to how you feel going forward.

4. Discuss Lifestyle Changes

Menopause can also be a time when we feel called to make lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier, exercising more, and reducing stress. Some of these changes can sometimes leave family members feeling a little out of sorts if they affect them in a negative (or even positive) way.

Remind them that while they aren't required to make those changes too, putting in time and effort to look after ourselves is always a good investment.

5. Seek Support

Finally, it's important to find the right support during menopause – from your doctor and from your family and friends. You might even consider a Menopause Coach if you are finding that your menopause is affecting your relationships, particularly with your children.

Reassure your teenage children that you're not going through menopause alone, and that you have people who are helping you manage your symptoms and cope with the changes. Encourage them to seek support when they need it, too.

A Positive Experience

Speaking to your teenage children about menopause can be a really positive experience if you approach it with an attitude of honesty, openness, and patience. Allowing those questions, talking about your own symptoms and even planning lifestyle changes together will help them feel part of your journey.

Your relationships will develop and grow as you find ways to discuss this stage of life so do try to enjoy helping them understand what is going on.

Do you find it easy to speak with your children and other people about menopause?

If you discover that you enjoy helping your children, your family or colleagues to understand menopause, then I encourage you to explore the possibility of developing your skills. We have a number of options for you to consider: from my Become a Menopause Coach Diploma course, to my Become a Menopause Champion Certificate course or even my free Menopause The Basics course -

Do get in touch if you'd like to explore the options available to help you develop your knowledge and skills around menopause. I look forward to hearing from you!

*Menopause may be experienced by anyone assigned female at birth including some non-binary, transgender and gender questioning people.

Photo credits:

Photo by Nik on Unsplash

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