When a 25-year-old man turned to the internet for advice in heartbreaking circumstances, the support came flooding in.
The Reddit user, who goes by the username Imlostandneedhelp, shared that his sister’s family had been involved in a fatal car crash and left behind their 11-year-old daughter, the user’s niece.
He stepped up and adopted the girl but now he sought guidance from fellow Redditors on how to deal with “daily female problems”.
The overwhelming reaction was firstly full of sympathy and praise for his actions.
Jilly_Bean16 wrote: “You are amazing for taking her in. You’re standing for her, and saving her from a broken system. I can’t express enough gratitude,” while Betweentheminds shared: “I have so much admiration for what you’re doing OP (original poster), particularly at 25 – I wish we’d had an aunt or uncle around when my mum passed.”
Then what followed was a touching string of support and suggestions, ranging from hair styling and bra fittings to contraception and periods. Many came from people who’ve found themselves in similar situations to either the uncle or the niece.
User heingericke_ 9776 offered the importance of reaching out to the girl’s friends and their mothers for help, which was seconded by patellabone, who wrote: “My sister and I lost our mother when we were 11 and 12.
“Our friend’s mother (who was also a close family friend) took us under her wing and gave us all of the uncomfortable talks. We have an amazing dad who worked hard to bring us up right, but I also have to give credit to our friend’s mother for stepping up in that way.”
Deafymirmir shared a touching approach taken by the uncle of someone else she knew: “My friend was in a similar situation when she was 12 years old. She had to live with grandparents but her uncle helped out a lot. Her uncle bought her a simplified sex education book specifically created for adolescents.
“He sat down with her and said ‘I won’t have all the answers when you become curious. The internet is resourceful but sometimes isn’t always reliable and safe. Here is this book from credible sources that should answer your questions. Keep it in your room and use it whenever a question comes up. But feel free to come to me and we’ll work together. Your aunts are a phone call away and so am I. When you want to go shopping for feminine needs then let me know and I’ll go with you. Do not be embarrassed to ask me questions or help.’”
NSA_Chatbot, who said he was 40 years old with a 13-year-old daughter, had a lot of practical tips to share: “Make sure you’re comfortable talking about bras, periods, pads, tampons, and condoms.
“‘Heaviness’ is about flow rate, and pads vs tampons is a personal preference. There’s going to be blood. Burgundy sheets are perfect. Get a heated back pad and make sure there’s ibuprofen in the house at all times.”
Another single dad, Allthekos, had a simple tip when it comes to fashion and styling: “Youtube is a godsend for learning how to do girls hair. I have always shaved my head so had no idea how to do it. Now I can do pony tails buns and plaits.”
And user Dwarvenchaos summed it all up nicely with some perspective: “Emotionally, just remember that you can’t (and won’t) be a perfect guardian or parent. Allow yourself to make mistakes and forgive yourself. You’re an awesome person.”