Question from Zoe
How do I tell my male teacher that I am on my period when he won’t let me use the restroom?
You may want to tell a friendly female teacher about the problem and ask her to let the male teacher know that the girls in his classes require a little more sensitivity than he has been showing.
Teachers walk a fine line between allowing kids to responsibly take care of their own needs and letting kids roam the hallways while they are supposed to be in his class. Don’t forget that teachers have bosses that they report to and that they are trying to do their jobs and teach children under their care to the best of their ability.
Another factor is that when your period is new to you, accidents are more frequent and that can be especially embarrassing within your age group where teasing is a constant concern. So, there is a lot of emotional energy on the line here.
As the moon continues to rotate around us, you will grow increasingly comfortable with the arrival of your period and you will learn to understand your body and prepare for days when your flow is heavy.
You can accurately schedule bathroom trips between classes or during free periods. If you use pads, you can wear a second pair of underwear to keep things well situated. If you use a tampon, you can double protect with a pad on difficult days.
You just get better used to the whole routine.
But for now, please know that your male teacher would be fine with you telling him that at certain times of the month, you just may need a trip to the restroom. I know you may not feel comfortable saying that to him so you can either leave him a note, have your parents email him or ask a female teacher to speak with him about it.
The whole topic sounds absolutely horrifying, I know. But remember that half of the people on this Earth will menstruate or have menstruated. The other half are well aware of it.
There is nothing new under the sun. It’s just new to you and therefore, you need extra care and consideration, and you have a right to ask for it.
(Ingrid Nilsen video)
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Question from Ariana
Do you think getting into a relationship at a young age is healthy?
That depends upon what you mean by the two words, “young” and “relationship.” Anyone at any age can be in a relationship. But the relationship should always be age appropriate for the youngest person in the relationship. Two 6 year olds can call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. These are just titles, and if they make you feel connected to someone you love then that is fantastic.
What’s important is that you are not in too much of a hurry to grow up too quickly. You’ve got this one childhood. Use it for being a child. You get to be a grownup who dates and gets married and has sex for the whole rest of your life.
If you care for someone who is pressuring you into physical intimacy before you are old enough to handle that level of responsibility, then pump the breaks. Go at your speed, not the speed of the person you are dating.
Remember that your life would change instantly and dramatically if you were to become pregnant. Getting passionate with someone can escalate into sexual intercourse very quickly. Sex makes babies. You should visit a gynecologist before you have sex so that you can fully protect yourself and understand the risks involved with sexual intimacy.
I also recommend that you wait until you are 18 years old and in a loving and committed relationship.
Even before physical intimacy is on the table, there are responsibilities that come with an emotional commitment. Your partner should always celebrate who you are and what you aspire to do with your life. If the relationship is in any way limiting your potential or you are with someone who is attempting to control who you know and what you wear, etc. these are red flags.
Being in a relationship is fine. It’s all about making certain that your emotional health and development and your physical safety are a priority.
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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be answered in a subsequent column.
— Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She also co-hosts the podcast Media Path with Fritz Coleman, and teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.