What Should Our Kids Call Their Private Parts?

  • Parents Only

By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist

Cha-cha, wee-wee, tutu, ding dong…. what about penis and vagina?

The issue of what to teach children to call their private parts is one that often sparks heated debate and passionate opinion. But it seems that paediatricians, sex educators, and even many mums and dads, are urging parents to teach their kids the correct anatomical names. I guess it makes sense- would you get your child to call a finger by any other name than finger?

Cutesy Names And The Questions They Raise

Many people can relate to having grown up calling their private parts cutesy, nonsensical pet names. Whilst they may highlight a child’s beautiful innocence and even provide a giggle or two when hearing what other families have come up with, it raises other, more serious questions.

Does labelling your child’s parts something other than their correct scientific names teach kids that there is something wrong or shameful about them?

Parents may feel better if their child yells out “My tutu is itchy” in a supermarket rather than “My Vagina is itchy” and yes, it may incur less glances from fellow shoppers, but does this not say more of our own discomfort when it comes to these parts? Should we really be ingraining this sense of awkwardness and secrecy in our children?

A Loss of Innocence?

A story posted in The Atlantic shares how an unnamed sex education worker was recently in a school where a mother pulled her daughter from class after hearing she had learned the word ‘penis’. “You’ve destroyed her innocence!” she apparently shouted at the school’s counsellor.

Empower Your Child

It is thought by many school sex educators and sexual abuse prevention workers that children knowing the correct names for their parts and feeling comfortable and un-ashamed doing so will avoid confusion, and help your child feel powerful in situations where their privates are involved- be it a doctor’s appointment, or discussion of a possible inappropriate behaviour.

Children knowing exactly what things are called and always feeling comfortable talking about their privates in an open way will not feel as if they have something to hide, nor should they.

“It’s important to use them (scientific names) so kids can talk more freely about medical problems and abuse”, Dr. Bob Sege from the Boston Medical Center told TODAY Moms. “Everything has a name and they should use the correct name.”

What do you teach your children to call their private parts? Comment below!

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