Vagina (or vulva) and Penis

Jenni - posted on 03/16/2011 ( 124 moms have responded )

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I've seen two threads going on other forums asking what a child should call their privates (Attention!)
I'm kinda surprised at the number of people who have their children refer to their body parts by some cutsie name.
Are we really still that afraid of our genitals and sexuality?
I kinda think that teaching children to refer to their body parts as their "flowers" and "firehoses" as cute as it is; is teaching them to be ashamed of their genitals. Am I wrong?

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Jodi - posted on 03/20/2011

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"Oh and since you want them to be proper when they ask you what they are for at the age of 4 or 5 are you going to tell them everything?"

Well, my 6 year old knows that's where babies come out. She calls it her vagina. Before she could pronounce it properly, she called it a "gina". She has known that's where babies come out since she was about 4. It's just a fact of life, it doesn't bother her.

My son has also always known his is a penis. He also knew babies came out mummies vaginas back when I had his baby sister. He is now 13 and isn't out having sex with anything that moves. Actually, he isn't having sex with anyone.

Research suggests that education is actually the best way to DELAY sexual activity in teens. So I have no idea where anyone gets this notion that being truthful at an age appropriate level with your 4,5,6 year old equates to going out and having sex all over the place at 12, because evidence suggests quite the opposite.

Charlie - posted on 03/17/2011

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Sarah if a child goes to a teacher and says " that boy touches my cupcake at lunch" ( yes the food names PISS me off ) and the teacher shrugs and says " John stop touching her cupcake and doesnt know it is a ridiculous name for vagina then there is going to be a problem because not only did the little girl get the courage to confide in someone but now their concern has been dismissed .

People should stop being so uptight about the correct names , It isnt so bad if you teach the child the correct name and they choose to call it something else as long as they KNOW the correct name when it is neeed .

Jenn - posted on 03/20/2011

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I'm not sure what EHS is, but if your child has delayed speech, that has absolutely nothing to do with the words that you say to them. When a child says things like ba-ba for bottle or ma-ma or da-da - it isn't because you teach them that, it's their own way of trying to pronounce the word. So if your child isn't able to clearly pronounce the words penis or vagina and they call is a "enis" or "gina" big deal, at least they know what the real name of it is. It just makes no sense to think that because they can't pronounce a word, then you should teach them that it's called something else. Like in the example of a stethoscope - I would tell my child that's what it's called, but chances are they won't be able to say the word clearly - that doesn't mean that instead I will tell them it's called something else. And if there are kids that know more about sex than adults, first of all I feel really sorry for those adults that they are still clueless about their own body and sexuality, and a child like you are specifically referring to isn't the same as us giving our kids the facts of life. If a 5 year old knows all about positions and blow jobs and stuff like that, then either they saw something they shouldn't have, had something done to them, or their parent/s taught them things that weren't age appropriate. But to use that as a reason why we shouldn't teach our kids proper names or to answer their questions about sex is quite extreme. That's like saying "I know someone who gave their kids candy all the time and the kids was so unhealthy and fat so therefore you should never give your kid candy."

Kate CP - posted on 03/17/2011

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Yea, my daughter has never yelled about her vagina or her brother's penis in public. The girl has told strangers that her brother likes to drink milk from her mommy's breasts (word for word, there). I was a little embarrassed by that at first but it's no different then me saying that I nurse my son. Kids will be kids. They don't know what's socially appropriate and what's not. So if she WERE to start screaming about vaginas and penises in public I would use that instance to teach her about appropriate conversations in public. Tada.

Jenni - posted on 03/18/2011

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Veronica's right. It's not so much the alternative names where the shame comes from.

I just think in a lot of cases the alternative names are used because of the parents' own embarrassment and shame about sex. There are exceptions of course. But if the parents don't use the correct terminology because "teehee" it makes them giggle or go red. That's where the shame aspect comes in.



The cutsie names are often a blanket for the parents own reservations about sex. Which of course is something all of *our* generations have had or continue to struggle with.

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Lisa - posted on 02/16/2013

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My kids call the penis and vagina. Though my sons call their testicles balls -_-.

Jakki - posted on 10/26/2012

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I haven't read this whole thread but I am happy to see people using the word vulva instead of vagina, because I think that is what they mean.



Before I had kids myself I visited a friend who had a little girl. She was giving her a bath and I heard her say "and now we're going to wash your vagina". I was totally startled to hear it because to me it sounded like a gynacological proceedure and was horrified at the thought of what she was doing with her daughter. A second later I calmed down when I realised she just meant the vulva.



But I confess that with my daughters we've always referred to the vulva as the "fanny", which I think is pretty standard here in Australia.

Mona - posted on 10/25/2012

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My daughter is 14 and she still uses "vulva" and rarely uses vagina. I think more genuine and truthful

Jenn - posted on 03/24/2011

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@Cyndel - I would only call it the "gluteus maximus" if I was referring to the muscle. The skin part, or the part that we see is called the buttocks - hence the short-form "butt".

Cyndel - posted on 03/23/2011

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As a child we didn't have special names really, it was bottom (in our church it was a horrible thing to say butt, though perhaps we should be calling it the gluteus maximus) and privates. We use butt and penis for our son...he hasn't discovered the scrotum yet and I hadn't really even thought about teaching him the word yet.

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Teresa - thats why im glad i had a boy don't really have to worry about provocative clothing. all though if i did have a girl a simple "mum these clothes are too slutty can you make her some" would all i would need to do...mind you i think she'd teach me to sew anyway

Jane - posted on 03/21/2011

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Nopee, you're not wrong. I always had my kids call their "parts" by their proper names...vagina, penis, breasts, anus...you name it, it was the proper name!

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Yeah, I figured. It's just a sore spot w/ me cuz I WANT their skorts longer, but I think having them fall off would be worse.... ;)

Jenni - posted on 03/21/2011

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Don't worry Teresa, I think she was talking more about the mini-britney's or real life Bratz dolls running around.

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My girls have short skorts (NOT skirts, they have to wear shorts under all of those), but only cuz they have a size 6 waist w/ size 8 legs...... They always have underwear on though. Well, except IN the home...

Jenni - posted on 03/21/2011

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Well I don't think any of us are those kind of mums. :)

Parents who let their kids run around in short skirts with no undies are either unavailable parents or just don't care what message their underage daughters are putting out there. Again, I believe not having open discussions with their children about sex and sexuality can lead to promiscuity at early ages. They will learn from outside influences (and not the kind you want them to) like other teens and the media. The forbidden fruit, so to speak.

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Candace so are you saying that you grew up to discuss certain things in private and not announce them publicly when they are private matters? Or that you discuss private matters in public but quietly?

Laura lol we use willy when refering to our sons penis because that is a common slang name for a penis here. Funny of all the Wills (and we did call some of them Big Willy/ little Willy depending on their height etc) we always knew their name had nothing to do with their genitals lol, in fact I love William as a name (it is Ethan's middle name). Now Fanny on the otherhand is a rather crude term 'we' (I don't, I thing it sounds vile) use to describe a vagina and whenever we heard the name Fanny in a book or whatever it made us giggle because it meant vagina to us, There was a chip shop named Fat Fanny's - I could never buy chips there (the proprietor was actually named Fanny poor woman) - I always thought yuck who wants fish and chips from a shop with Fanny in the name?

Candace - posted on 03/21/2011

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Sorry, I grew up where as long as you weren't announcing it to the world in public then it isn't a big deal. Inside voices not outside voices. And I am completely old fashioned because I believe clothes should cover most your whole body too. No showing the stomach nothing above the knees etc. no dresses that show your whole back down. I grew up that way clothes where to make you look respectful not trashy. Clothes nowadays do the opposite. I know kids of all ages that wear short skirts with no underwear so sadly nowadays "privates" aren't so much that anymore.

Jenni - posted on 03/21/2011

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I think I'm going to go youtube the song and picture some of my exes skipping down a road, with large oak trees lining it on a warm summer day and a big satisfying grin on their face. With one hand down their pants. I think I might gain some self-satification from it. :P

Jenni - posted on 03/21/2011

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Sorry I just got a mental image of your ex (not that I know what he looks like) skipping down the road with his hand down his pants to the song "Your my best friend" by Queen.

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not just his alta ego...his best friend! apparently him and percy have formed a close relationship over the past 6 years

Jenni - posted on 03/21/2011

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I like that. Giving your penis it's own identity. That way if the guy cheats he can just blame it on his alter ego "Percy".

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lol! i might add something on topic about some of my ex's names for their penises my first boyfriend called his "percy" well his mother did cos percy is thomas the tank engine's best friend and his name was thomas i nearly died laughing at that. and my baby's father as a child called his "Jimmy" i have no idea why but from the day i found out (gotta love MILs) everytime i saw a suzuki jimmy i used to point to it and say to him "look its your jimmy" he never found it funny

Jenni - posted on 03/21/2011

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I'm a nature geek. When I was 6 I was studying encyclopedias on animals in my free time and bird watching with my grandmother. NERD ALERT. My sister is an RN and is astonished that she didn't know birds had sex until she was 23. Not something most people contemplate. I was like, you never seen birds doing it on a telephone wire?? She replied: "I thought they were just wrestling". :))

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Jennifer - i was only taught about swans...lol sounds like my ex the guy would literally jizz in his pants looking at himself in the mirror now whose a pretty boy :P

Jenni - posted on 03/21/2011

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All birds have penises lol We just can't see them because they're on the inside. I had a cockatiel who use to masturbate on his swing. He'd pant heavily and wave his tail from side to side. One time my friends were over and he started doing it. Inbetween pants he would say "pretty bird, pretty bird" (the only thing I managed to teach him) My friends were disgusted and asked "What the hell is he doing???" I explained to them that, well, he didn't have a girlfriend, they died laughing. Especially since he was chanting "pretty bird" while he was doing it. No word of a lie! LMAO

That bird was a chronic masturbater.

Jenni - posted on 03/21/2011

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He was an AMAZING teacher. Even the most stoned, burnt out kids were pie-eyed in his class and hanging on his every word. Students who typically received D's walked out of his class with Bs. Not because his classes were easy, hardly. His method of teaching held his students attention and awe. Even the students with the most indifference to their education walked away with having learned something from him.



One lunch, my friends and I were having a debate about whether or not whales had penises. hahah. We decided to bring the question to him.... giggling to ourselves. He answered the question with all seriousness. I remember him saying at the end: "And yes ladies, they are proportionate. They are also referred to as 'dorks'. lol

That gave us a whole new meaning to the insult dork. I think we called each other 'dorks' for the next month or two.

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Jennifer - we definitely need more teachers like that biology teachers..in fact we need more adults like that. i know sometimes im a little too open with something as "taboo" as sex but i cant help it if im comfortable with it and i find i get a lot of friends asking me really random questions about sex (some i have no idea about and refer them on to another source usually a doctor)

Jenni - posted on 03/21/2011

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Socially, they are private. As Teresa pointed out, we don't walk around naked in public. Socially, we as adults don't speak loudly about our vagina's in a grocery store. :) So I see it as private. Just like we don't speak loudly about how much money we make or how we have a giant cyst on our andrenal gland. There are certain TMI topics in public. Not that I would find it embarassing if my 3 year old said vagina or penis in public. They're 3! Get over it!



The point I'm trying to make in this discussion is; when a parent uses a cutsie name to cover up their own shame about their sexuality, it will be absorbed by their child. In my household; I call it a penis and vagina because I want my kids (as they grow) to be comfortable coming to me first about anything to do with sexuality. I want them to know I will provide them with truthful, honest, straight forward answers to serious questions. That they will not be giggled at or made to feel uncomfortable. That their bodies are to be taken pride in and to treat their bodies with pride.

For me, calling a penis a penis and a vagina a vagina is just the first small step in building body confidence and setting the stage for a relationship with them where they feel comfortable coming to me first with questions.



A side story: I had a biology teacher in HS. He was by FAR everyone's favourite teacher! The guy couldn't even leave his classroom at lunch. There was a constant stream of students coming in and out of his classroom. Just to talk! You know why? because he would talk to them openly and honestly about ANYTHING! No question was too taboo, he would never make students feel embarrassed or their questions were silly. The teens came to him with their questions, an adult who made them feel comfortable.



In a society where media teaches our kids about the birds and bees before we do. I'd like to get there first. I'd like to be the stronger voice than some rap video or James the 5 year old who knows every sexual position but doesn't understand sexuality.



I said earlier in the thread; it's ok to teach kids slang as long as they know the real word first.



@Candice, I think the point you're missing is that, yes it may be taboo to discuss sexuality loudly in a public place like a grocery store. It is also taboo to discuss medical issues or money loudly in a grocery store. It should not be taboo to discuss those topics at home or infront of a smaller audience. It is teaching our children appropriate social etiquette. It is not 'proper' to discuss certain topics in certain settings. BUT it's completely acceptable to discuss those matters in other social settings. IE: the home, with friends, with teachers etc.

I started a thread btw on the relationship between early sex ed and early sexual activity. You may be interested in what others are saying there if you want to take a look.



Laura and Sarah, I don't get it either! Why is a medical glossary term for a body part embarrasing or inappropriate?

I could understand if a 5 year old yelled out in a grocery store "Cock!" or "Pussy!" because those are adult bedroom terms.

Anyways, to me a word is just a word and I've never really got the whole inappropriateness or offensiveness of words. But I feel an obligation to my society to save certain words for certain audiences. If ya get me. :)

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laura - nothing would be more embarrassing than getting the sex low down on international tv if thats not an incentive to teach your kids proper names and sex then nothing is

Merry - posted on 03/20/2011

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That could be, but I do remember an episode with Laura where Oprah had a young girl on and she got the sex talk etc....

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Laura - i think it was dr oz that got the whole audience to say vulva like ten times then reverted to call it a vajayjay i actually got really upset and frustrated because he wouldn't say the correct term

Merry - posted on 03/20/2011

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Dr Phil, dr oz, the doctors, they all say real words! Heck even Tyra banks uses the real words!

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Laura - maybe she needs to see dr phil and get her embarrassment sorted...come one even dr phil says vagina

Merry - posted on 03/20/2011

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Yeah, Oprah and her vajayjay is an issue, she really needs to suck it up and use the big girl words! I remember one episode where dr Laura Birman made Oprah use the right words the while show! If only it stuck....

Oh and I hate it when people call their kids privates by food words or by proper names.
I mean a willy and a Jane is so rude, what if your son meets a boy named willy? Does he think the boy was named after his penis?
And cookies and muffins and wieners etc seriously you don't want them knowing about oral sex yet, but you use edible names for their genitalia?
Sorry to be graphic but if a child is being molested and they think their vulva is called a cookie, then maybe it's no big deal that this adult is 'eating' the cookie, I mean that's what we do with cookies right?
Makes me sick to think about :(

Jodi - posted on 03/20/2011

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I just question the embarrassment factor because for a lot of people who decide to call it a "cutesie" name, that is part of their resoning. They'll call a vagina a cupcake because it is embarrassing for their daughter to announce to the world that girls have vaginas. Heck, 2-3 year olds are fascinated with their respective privates, and those of others for that matter. It is all part of their self-identity. Filling them up with nonsense about how girls have cupcakes or muffins, I just can't see any benefit to doing that.

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Laura - what mouths chew food :O my mother never told me that! no honestly i believe that to be true the more its talked about the less the child is fascinated by it because it becomes something "normal" to speak about and there is no fun i screaming "i have a vagina" in public if your parents aren't going to react...trust me i tried



note to add i remember watching Oprah once and she had that doctor guy on (i have no idea who is) and he stated that it what we call a vagina is technically anatomically a vulva...then for the rest of the session he kept calling said vulva a vajayjay and i remember thinking "if you were my doctor and you said anything but vulva or vagina id walk out"

Merry - posted on 03/20/2011

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And if there's a possibility that some 5 year old will be announcing to my son what sex is then I'd rather Eric hear it from me first so he doesn't even care what the kids is saying, it's all old news! The only reason kids talk about sex so much is because it's a 'forbidden' topic and so that makes it fun and exciting to discuss.if every kids grew up with straight forward simple facts they wouldn't get so interested in it, they would say 'yeah, so what?'
Like no one is going around saying oh my gosh did you know that mouths chew food and swallow food? It's old news, not interesting cuz it's all out in the open.

Merry - posted on 03/20/2011

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I don't get the embarrassment in public either, I guess I just think kids say what they think without sensoring it for public or private so why is it my fault? I mean Eric has said mama vulva Eric penis as he points to me and himself in public. Out of the blue, idk what caused him to think of it. But honestly I just said yup you are right! I mean who cares? And if they do care- why? He is less interested in my vulva then he is in my nose or eyes or ears anyways so he obviously isn't dwelling on my private parts. It's mostly passing thoughts and when I make it seem like no big deal he moves on. If I were to get all hush hush with him trying to get him to not say that he would naturally respond by saying it more and louder etc!

And yeah he is two so he doesn't pronounce that well, vulva sounds like va va and penis like peeis but hey, belly button sounds like bee butnn and yet elbow sounds amazing!

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Jodi - the only people who get embarrassed by vagina and penis are complete prudes. I thought it was really funny when a kid the other day looked at me and said "wow you have boobs like my mummy do you have a gina too?" i was like "i sure do!" her mother was mortified the girl on the other hand proudly said "me too we all have ginas we all the same"

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Um.... they are referred to as 'privates' because they ARE private. You don't go walking around naked in public.... you do that in your own home. The parts of your body that you cover in public are covered because they are private and not for general viewing. My kids know this yet they are VERY comfortable w/ their own bodies (and they are still all nudists at home)....



I don't get the embarrassment factor either, Jodi. It's not like all those people out in public DON'T know that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina. Well.... maybe some of them don't. ;) lol

Jodi - posted on 03/20/2011

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I actually find it amusing that people get so embarrassed when their kids say the correct names in public. "Mummy, girls have a vagina and boys have a penis". yep in the queue at the store. No big deal. "That's right sweetheart, they do". What does everyone else do, do they try to hush them or something? I don't actually get why it is so embarrassing.

Candace - posted on 03/20/2011

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Wow, we talk about being proper and everyone uses "privates" that right there states that it is something that is taboo. They are genitals. In the end thank you for proving a small point. You think using something other than penis or vulva is supposedly taboo, do you not see that referring them to "privates" instead of genitals or male or female anatomy is pretty much taboo too. Acting ashamed of their classification. Parents are going to use what they want and that is their right but have the decency not to throw a fit about one proper thing and hide the other as if it is shameful. My point is in the end everyone has their own reasons and to assume that it is purely from shame or embarrassment is rather stupid. You shouldn't assume that everyone is uncomfortable with the topic because not everyone is yes a small portion is because back in the day for some it was like taboo and it carries on through those generations until someone breaks the chain. But again in the end a child isn't dumb if you think that child can't make associations because they are too little, you are degrading your children because they are quite capable of learning even if things are changed on them and they will make the association just like everyone before them. A lot of older generations of parents use wee wee or winky or privates or whatever and those kids learned vulva and penis and guess what those people I bet don't have a problem with the topic, you just assume that because their parents kept them behind closed doors and never used the correct terminology. That they are uncomfortable and stupid with the topic. Kids learn in their own way anyway not in your way. And as far as child molestation most professionals and most adults would know what I child means because sadly anyone who has ever been raped knows as a victim the trauma keeps you from really being able to talk about it. And guess what you can't talk a CHILD out of the shame. A child old enough while dealing with the trauma (which will need help) they will feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, hurt, etc. It is apart of the grieving process. What are you going to do talk them out of their emotions?! A psychologist would have nothing good to say to you. They would probably bluntly tell you to stop, to support them and be there for them but do not talk them out of their emotions because it is apart of the process and it is completely normal and should not be ridiculed. Those feelings need to be felt in order to deal with what happened to them so they can see the truth.

Jenni - posted on 03/20/2011

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I don't know. I feel it's important to answer children's questions, age appropriately... but at the same time with honesty.
For me, If my 5 year old came up to me and asked "Where do babies come from." I wouldn't go into a full disclosure coversation about how the penis goes into the vagina and the woman's egg becomes fertilized by the sperm. I would probably just say "A woman makes them in her tummy in a special place called a uterius." The thing is that for most 5 year olds that answer would be sufficient. Babies are made in a mommy's tummy.

As far as sexual abuse the reason others have pointed out that knowing the correct words would be beneficial because: a) parents who use correct terms are generally more open and honest with their children when it comes to sexuality. If a child sees their parents shying away from body parts than they will see those body parts as being something not to be talked about. So if someone were to touch them inappropriately. Those children who feel their body parts are inappropriate will be less likely to speak up about anything to do with those body parts.
b) If the body part is given a name like "flower, muffin, etc" if they were to tell another adult about inappropriate touching the adult might now understand what they are saying and dismiss them. The child is left to feel like their confession is unimportant. It would probably deter them from talking about it in the future.

Using correct terms is not a prevention against making the molestation less tramatic. It helps to get the intervention needed to stop the molestation. So it doesn't continue. And a child is not dismissed for saying (as some poster wrote similarly): "Jeff touched my muffin at recess" by a teacher.

I don't believe it's that difficult to get over your own reservations with correct terminology. Just repeat the words out loud to yourself a few times a day. Va-gi-na. Pe-nis.
As we talked about earlier in the thread: Kids say things to embarrass you no matter what. If my kids had a few isolated incidents of saying "vagina" or "penis" in public. I'd use the opportunity to explain to them that those private discussions for a private forum. If others were offended by my children knowing the correct names for their body parts. Well, that's their problem... it certainly isn't mine.

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I have no issues teaching my kids the proper terms when they ask but my son is three and if for whatever reason I do have to refer to his penis I use the term privates, or winky, and have been known to say bud if you're going to pull on your thinger go to your room okay, and he does lol. I dunno no shame or anything about it and when he asks mommy whats this called I will tell him "the proper term is penis" and leave it up to him what he chooses to call it. I'm the same way for my own body I don't say breasts I have boobies or chest so yeah I tend to cutsie it up but not just for him just in general. I'm not ashamed of my body or anything like that and I know the proper terms and will explain them when asked it's just the habitual cutsie terms are generally the first ones out of my mouth. I do feel though that there is something to be said for keeping it age appropriate I mean my three year old just needs a term to call his penis that isn't going to trigger stares or anything while we're out and of course how to express his need to use the washroom so we use the terms winky and bum, pee and poo. It will change as he gets older as I'm sure he isn't always going to want to refer to his penis as a winky and of course even later on there's sex talk and whatnot to keep in mind. So yeah my son pees from his winky for now but that doesn't mean I'll have a problem educating him about the purpose of his penis with regard to sex when he's older. I had my friend's son come up to me and ask me if Aiden's daddy put his penis in my vagina to make me have another baby in my uterus....yes it was awkward and yes my friend was mortified and to be honest that kind of irritates me just because he is far too little (4) to be having that kind of discussion and using those terms imo but I still just answered with a polite yes and she thanked me for that. I've had a little girl ask if Aiden's daddy put a baby in my belly because we are a family and my answer again was just simply yes but either way I'm not going to 'correct' how another parent chooses to educate their child regardless of their method be it the medical terms or some silly variation. I understand a lot of parents are using medical terms now and thats fine I'm not going to disturb their teaching method by adding my own words to their child's vocabulary but I do kind of wish people wouldn't make it so difficult for others to keep their kids innocent that little bit longer. I can understand to an extent teaching the proper words for their anatomy but to use them on a regular basis with a very young child doesn't really make sense to me. I'd rather not have to explain intercourse to my gradeschooler when he shouldn't even be thinking about it until highschool or prefferably college but with the way things are now grade two my son is probably going to come home horrified because little suzie was talking about her vagina at school today and he thought girls had 'lady parts' or that little jimmy said he caught mommy giving daddy felatio last night lol like seriously I don't want to have to explain that type of stuff but everyone has a right to parent and educate in their own way so I'll handle that one accordingly. I personally don't see how de-personalizing it that way will do any good. My grandmother was a nurse so of course I got all the medical terms growing up and I personally feel it was the wrong approach it made the sex talk I got seem very cold and just seem very sharp to me, being told where babies come from was handled with the same tone words and attitude used by a doctor to describe an illness when a sugar-coated simple explanation would have sufficed for my 11 year old mind. My mom was so set on removing the shame and moral stronghold over sex/body parts that I personally feel it had a negative effect. I would have rathered the cabbage patch story my friend got. Of course I was also informed that just like with santa not being real it wasn't my place to educate other kids so if they brought up a different version of things to just keep what I knew to myself...made me feel very alone with the information and to be honest the medical terms always sounded messed up to me yet weiner etc really didn't sound like a bad word even though I was told it was. So I chose to handle it with a little more lighthearted attitude and yes it may come across to other parents as silly but I feel it's my job to make sex a light topic where my kids can get the moral side of it (like being married first etc.) and to keep it age appropriate/need to know basis and for the cold hard facts I mean I'll answer if they ask but I will also tell them they have a doctor they can get these facts from as well. I dunno if you're set on keeping everything else age appropriate then why is anatomy becoming such a blanket talk where people have to use terms they're not comfortable with. Again no shame as for the terminology its just explaining the gory details of intercourse just seems like a little too much for a little one whats wrong with when a man and woman get married they choose to have babies. I get that knees are called knees so a penis should be called penis but lets be honest here how many adult men go around referring to their penis as such or ladies are you honestly going to tell your son when he asks why youre buying those tampons that they are to go into your vagina during your menstral cycle, call me silly but in the middle of the grocery store I'm going to have to go with they're for my time of the month, I'll explain later. Yeah maybe he'll think I'm a werewolf for a short space of time until I can explain at home but I'm okay with that because well until he needs to learn about the whole mechanics of baby making how is the menstral cycle information going to benefit him?

As for sexual abuse and such knowing the proper terms for body parts is not going to prevent your child from being molested by a sicko nor is it going to make the experience if it does happen any less traumatic, I really don't see how it relates as for molestation the main thing is to have open communication so yes if you're struggling to use all the proper terms they are going to read your discomfort with the topic and have trouble discussing it with you, if a cutsie terms makes it easier for you and your children to discuss then I think for open communication sake stick with winky and vajay jay if you need to. I know I'm the minority here and thats okay I'm not arguing with the other approach I just chose to go a different way with it. I would also like to add that as far as cutsie terms there are plenty that are frequently used (winky, weiner, front bum, vajay jay etc.) so I do agree making up random uncommon ones like muffin or broccoli is a little much.

Jenni - posted on 03/20/2011

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btw my son struggles with speech issues as well. I don't plan on having him assessed until he is 3. But outside my husband and myself he is very hard for others to understand. He has an extensive vocubulary but struggles with even the simpliest of words. It would never stop me from using correct terminology. He understands what I'm saying regardless of whether he can pronounce the word correctly. Most speech problems are easily corrected with special education training before kindergarten. Speech problems usually have little to do with comprehension. I don't provide him with words that are easier to pronounce like Jenn's example of "ba ba" for bottle. I'd say bottle and he said it I would repeat it back to him in a silly way (to make it a game) but with correct pronunciation. My strategy is to repeat back all of his sentences to him slowly and with clear pronunciation. Emphasizing letters or substituting incorrectly. I wouldn't give him the word "Sgetti" as a substition for "Spagetti" just because it's easier to pronounce. That would only be detrimental to his speech issue.

Jenni - posted on 03/20/2011

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I don't think we're talking about teaching our 4 and 5 year olds "how to have sex." That's a little extreme. We're talking about age appropriate answers to questions. Not teaching our 5 year olds about oral sex. To say that early sex education leads to children becoming sexually active earlier based on personal experiences and generalizations is a bit brash.

You really think early sex ed leads to early sexual activity and not hypersexualized media??? Children learning adult situations from music, tv, movies and lacking knowledge or maturity to comprehend consequences for that type of behaviour? Actually, I think I'm going to start a thread on this.



I really doubt it's because we teach them a vagina is a vagina and a penis is a penis.

Candace - posted on 03/20/2011

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Okay, I am sorry I am 22 and I have rode buses with kids that where in elementary school who that's all they talked about was sex. A 5 year old told younger kids everything he knew. Because mommy and daddy were that open about the topic. He could tell you about sex, the positions, the body parts, oral. All of it. As a human being hearing that from a 5 year old only broke my heart because it actually made me wonder where he would be in 10 years. My brother was the same way he knew as much as an adult sometimes more than some adults about sex. Granted it is just about what to call their genitalia, but you also take about being proper and telling them that, that they pee or urinate (in the end it means and refers to the same) out of their parts (penis or vulva depending on gender) is not all they are for. But I think telling kids things before they are 5 or 6 is just a little inappropriate. Yes, education is the best solution and in the end it all depends on a child's mental state and their morals, plus how close they are with their family if they feel loved and cared about. It comes down to how they truly feel not how you feel you have down as a loving parent. For some kids too much education leads to their curiosity. Yes, I said 10 year olds, they are in the news. I understand they have to have their period to get pregnant. I have two kids of my own and one on the way I know how children are conceived. There are girls that start puberty at 9 or 10 years old. I, myself, started at a young age. Two of my brothers were educated young and guess what they had kids young one was only 14 or 15 when his oldest was born. To act like it doesn't happen is denial. It is a lot more than education! Kids need more than just the education.

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Canadace - in order for a 10 year old to fall pregnant the 10 year old must have their period...in which case i think sex ed would be vital

Candace - posted on 03/20/2011

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My child is in EHS and actually is speech is a little delayed. He does not repeat words like he is supposed to. And I am far from ashamed of the topic of sex, I grew up in a very straightforward family. But I do find it a little ridiculous when you have 4 and 5 year olds that know anything and everything about sex. Where they know more than an adult that is ridiculous. No wonder 10 year olds are actually having sex and getting pregnant. They learn way to young because parents teach them what it is but forget to teach them when it is appropriate. I am sorry they have no problem relearning words ba-ba turns into bottle they get and understand it is the same thing. ma-ma and da-da turns into mommy and daddy or mom and dad they understand it means the same. You make your children out to be dumber than they are. And my word, you going to teach them every part to their genitals. It's more than just a penis (scrotum, testicles, foreskin {if not circ}, the shaft, the glans and etc.) and you know you teach a girl vagina NO. The vagina is a separate thing than the vulva. You don't pee through the vagina. And are you going to teach them vulva, labia, clitoris, the glans, the shaft, of course the vagina opening, the vagina, and etc. That would be completely proper. You going to teach them all that? That is proper names for their genitalia! It is more than a penis and vulva. Oh, so again we go with easier instead of proper... because it is easier to call it just a penis and just a vulva instead of teaching it all has names. Right?!

Jenni - posted on 03/20/2011

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I don't *dumb* any words down for my kids. If it is a difficult word for them to say they will shorten it on their own.

It came from when I was at Uni and one of my professors was walking through the lobby with her 3 year old daughter. She stopped for a chat with me and my friends. Her daughter asked her politely: "what's that?" and pointed to an art project on the ceiling. Her mother said very matter-of-factly: "It's a stethoscope, honey". Her daughter repeated the word back to her with accurate pronunciation.



That stuck with me and I too use the proper words with my children. I have never baby-talked them. If the word is too complicated for them to say now it's really inconsequencial because they still understand the meaning and eventually will be able to pronunce it. I think that's easier for them than having to relearn the real word for it later on.

Jenn - posted on 03/20/2011

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Candace - do you use alternative names for other things that are too difficult for a child to say? Would you call an elbow a bo-bo? No. So why use other names for penis and vagina? It seriously makes no sense to me unless it's because you find it embarrassing or shameful. And if my child asks about sex, of course I would tell them, is it supposed to be some sort of secret?

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