What do you tell a child a girls bits are called?

Emma - posted on 08/05/2011 ( 303 moms have responded )

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As I have two boys I just call there bits there tail but when asked so what do little girls have If they don't have a tail I was at a loss of what to say :/

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I attended a seminar on keeping kids safe from predators, and the woman who spoke made a great point: we need to use the correct terms for private parts (penis and vagina). Kids who don't know what their private parts are called are more likely to be taken advantage of by predators who give these parts "cutesy names". When our kids are out without us (even at a birthday party), and if someone were to ever try to play a "game" with them that entailed touching their private parts, a child who says, "Hey! Stop touching my penis!" is MUCH, MUCH less likely to be molested than a child who doesn't know the terminology. A predator doesn't want the child he's molesting to be able to communicate to his parents that somebody was touching his penis, right? It's not rocket science. My mom is uncomfortable with the fact that my kids call their privates by the anatomically correct names, but I've pointed out to her that our bodies aren't dirty! Some of us just have a history of these words being used in a dirty way, and it has colored our perception of the words. Look into it...do research. Any child development specialist will tell you to call it what it is. An elbow is an elbow, a knee is a knee, and a vagina is a vagina. It's our own discomfort with these words that may make us wince, but I think we need to get over it. Penis and vagina are the correct, formal, medical, anatomical terms. Why lie about it? It felt a little strange to me at first, but the group of moms my kids and I hang out with all use the correct terminology, too, and it's no big deal.

[deleted account]

I have always used proper terminology-penis & vagina. I never thought nicknames are cutesy or something to call other than the actual name.

[deleted account]

Teresa, you're absolutely right when kids grow into adults and use proper terminology. But let's say a small preschooler/Kinder kid goes to the school nurse because his "bits" or "tail" hurts, what does that really mean? Their pinky toe, tummy, or something more extreme like a penis or vagina? If a 6 year old girls "bits" hurt, is it perhaps a medical issue, urinary tract infection, or god-forbid a possible sexual molestation? Yes, I fully agree that kids need to be kids in every way and embrace childhood. But I also firmly believe that parents may do a disservice to their children by calling private parts anything other than what they are- a penis and a vagina.

Jodi - posted on 08/05/2011

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Ah, but will the prosecuting lawyer be able to use a statement that does not include the correct terminology? It is really important that children learn the correct terminology. If he still wants to call it a peepee, then fine (although I cannot STOMACH people calling private parts by food names, cupcake, muffin, it's just WRONG on so many levels). BUT you also need to make sure he is comfortable with using the correct terminology.

[deleted account]

I'm saying there is a seminar program called "Safely Ever After" and yes, the logic is that if somebody were alone with my son, and was going to molest him and my son knew enough to say, "Stop touching my penis. I'm the boss of my body," the predator is much more likely to move on to a child who doesn't know his privates are private. There are wonderful resources out there (books such as "Those Are My Private Parts) that are age-appropriate resources for talking to our kids about being the bosses of their own bodies. A predator who thinks to himself, "Wow. This kid has a lot of self-awareness about his own body, knows what his privates are called and that they're not supposed to be touched by anyone," can go find an eaiser target. Check out Safely Ever After. I don't work for the company and am not getting a cut. I just think it's an excellent resource.

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Angie - posted on 10/07/2013

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Tell her what a penis is what sex is everything get the american girl puberty books

Kirsten - posted on 01/13/2013

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I am in the process of changing what my kids call their girls parts.

we have called them girls parts, front and butt, and boobs. My oldest is 9 and we are discussing puberty and her period, so we as a family are changing body parts to being called, Vagina and butt and breasts. We have not discussed what we call boy parts but when asked I will tell them they have penises instead of vaginas.

there is nothing to be ashamed about of your body, if there was a reason to be ashamed of the female or male bodies, then we wouldn't be born naked.

my kids understand that boys have boy parts that let them stand and pee, while as females we have to sit because our girl parts don't let us stand to pee.

Dove - posted on 01/09/2013

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Maybe my son could poke his penis at the thread... assuming he were home right now. That should kill it, right? lol

When my son was 2/3 we would wait outside his sister's school and he would tell me which of the adults had a penis and which one had a vagina. Granted, I kept him quiet, but I know at least a few people heard him. Not one single person gave him or me a 'look' cuz... well, they were all PARENTS, so I'm sure they had heard similar at one point or another in their lives.

People baffle me.

Shawnn - posted on 01/09/2013

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Oh, seriously?????????????????????????

So one should never teach their children proper terminology because it may be "embarrassing" to you????????????????????????

Gee, how about in addition to teaching them proper terminology, you teach them when/where it is appropriate to refer to personal body parts? It's all part of parenting...

DOVE, FIND THE CAN OF THREAD KILLER, WOULD YA???

Amber - posted on 01/06/2013

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Its good that you haven't told your boys the real name for their bits because if they knew the real name and their bits hurt, everyone would stare at you if your boys said 'Mommy, my penis hurts'.

Tell your boys that the girls bits is called a Va-JayJay :)

Dove - posted on 09/07/2012

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Karen K, I think that's got to be one of the saddest things I've ever read about in this topic. The human body is not nasty. I'm so disheartened to hear that you've passed your own misplaced hang ups on to your children.



I do have body issues and I was most likely molested as a young child (can't remember, but what I DO remember makes it seem quite likely). I was also uncomfortable using 'those' words, but I got over it REAL fast when I became a mom... there is no way on earth I want my kids to be as screwed up as I was/am. ;)



And someone needs to spray this post with a can of 'die thread' please. Can an admin or mod just lock it already? I think over a year means it should expire. lol

Chandra - posted on 09/07/2012

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okay so when by baby is 2 and i dont want her saying penis and va j j in public. lol call me a prude but she is one now and knows i tell her evertime i changer her that no one can touch her stuff stuff. when we are in the tub and she gets to close to my stuff stuff i day no baby no one touches my stuff stuff and she moves on. i tell the kids i babysit to keep their wee wee in the potty and they know. they say hey i put it in there, i say what and they say my wee wee. i knew what my body parts were called when i was very young due to being molested at an early age and my mom didnt teach me. maybe if me and her would have been open about good touch and bad touch i would have told someone. .

Shawnn - posted on 09/07/2012

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I'm amazed that this thread is still alive, and being debated, but I must comment:



Karen K: You are 50, and STILL embarrassed about the body you were born into?



You take other women to task for "knowing what their teenagers look like 'down there' because it is private???? LOL...you crack me up. Modesty has nothing to do with the proper reference to your anatomy. Oh, and I too know what my son's genitals look like, as he has had some very extensive medical procedures on his urethra, and we've always taught our kids to be honest and open with us when they're having medical problems or any questions. Do I FORCE my sons to show me their penises, scrotum, or any other part of their anatomy? No. But my sons know that, as their mother, I have no interest in their anatomy other than simple health concerns.



Get over it. Learn to use the proper terminology. A 50 year old woman whispering to her doctor "something's wrong 'down there', and i am concerned" is a little ridiculous, IMHO. But, at the very least, get off the backs of the rest of us who are NOT embarrassed about our bodies, and who have taught our kids the proper terminology for things.

Megan - posted on 09/07/2012

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I agree with teaching the correct terms for all of our body parts, however, I see nothing wrong with little names. It's bound to happen with school age kids anyway. My girls say vagina, breasts, peepee, privates, boobs, other names. My oldest son (14) says penis, junk, business, balls, nuts, sack... Sometimes the kids say my stomach hurts and sometimes they say belly, they may say collar bone or neck bone, and they never say patella when the fall on their knees. Knicknames are everywhere! Three of my children and my husband have knicknames, but if asked they would tell you their full names just like if asked the correct name for their private parts they would say vagina or penis. The most important thing is that our children learn who can and can't touch and what is appropriate touching for those who can. Also to tell an adult if something happens that shouldn't.

Kris - posted on 09/06/2012

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With all due respect, penis is what I tell my son to call his private parts. That name will never change. Vagina or va-j-j. It works for now and later. Good luck!

Sara - posted on 09/06/2012

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modesty is fine and good, but I don't see what that has to do with using the proper names for body parts. should I begin to call my hands my grabbers? or my legs my stilts?

Sara - posted on 09/06/2012

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Breasts and vagina...forever and always. These are anatomical terms, not dirty words. It is strange to me that there is any question here. Why so many hang ups?



Penis--Vagina--Breasts! Go Anatomy!

[deleted account]

OH dear Lord- this thread is STILL an issue after almost a year?!

Get over it already! We do our kids a huge disservice by giving nicknames to gentials. Honestly- why is it acceptable to call an eye or a knee properly but vagina, penis, or boobs are an issue and taboo?

Would it be preferable to teach your small children the vulgar and crude nicknames for such parts instead?! Is cock & pussy better? Get over it- it's a penis and a vagina.

Prude parents create insecure prude children. Prude parents teach their children that penis & vagina are vulgar, crude words. Really?! Penis and vagina are bad words to hear? Perhaps the above examples are preferential.

Modesty is different- being modest is covering up, not showing too much skin. Being modest is not refusal to use the words penis or vagina. That's simply being prude.

When a little girl proclaims "My butterfly hurts." Or, a little boy goes to the school nurse becasue "his worm hurts". WTF?

Chandra - posted on 06/30/2012

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boobs are called boobies and between her legs is her stuffs. i always tell her cant no one but mommy clean her stuff or see her stuff. she is only 15 months so that all we understand but when she gets older ill use the right words

Blessed - posted on 06/25/2012

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I think that we as parents must be comfortable with our own private parts,and in my opinion most people are not,every private part has a name,why is it so hard to say the word penis or vagina?
I have a three year old son and I don't hide from him we just need to explain to our kids what is appropriate and what isn;'t,so if you feel that by telling him about your vagina is gouing to make him point at every woman's vagina,just wait and if he does it yes it's a vagina,but you don;t have to let everyone know that,trust me children have more sense that we may realise.

Sarah - posted on 06/05/2012

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well Karen, i have no problm in admitting i have seen my son and it it like 'down there'. On the subject of what to call things, women have vaginas and men have peniss etc. What is the problem with those names. What do you call your breasts? Upper things?

Karen - posted on 06/05/2012

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At age 50...I'm still not ready to be real about those parts. I'm a firm believer in modesty. I can still remember when my kids were young and we bought a family membership to the YMCA. The 1st time we found out that people walk around naked in the locker rooms and showers, was the last time we went. We were all so grossed out, we couldn't even force ourselves to go back again. NASTY!

Karen - posted on 06/05/2012

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Sarah...don't believe you should have any idea what your son looks like in that area when he was 15. Certainly, you shouldn't admit to it. To give him a nickname because of that area, wow, strange, to say the least. Poor guy!

Karen - posted on 06/05/2012

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I am an adult who STILL can't say the proper words for those parts. Personally, I don't give the parts "names". I simply say, female area, boy parts, or just "down there". No doctor or nurse has ever not known what I was talking about. Everything in life doesn't have to be so politically correct. Some topics just aren't for mixed company.

Sarah - posted on 05/17/2012

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my eldest son is 23 but when he was 15, i was amazed at his size and teased him by calling him Donald Key. Don Key for short lol

[deleted account]

I have two boys ages 6 and 9 and we have always called private parts, exactly what they are, penis, vaginas and breasts and butts, my pediatrician said this was the correct thing to do. We have also told our kids that their private parts are exactly that..private, the only reason someone else should be looking or touching them is if we are at the doctors and mommy or daddy are in the room and the child says it is okay and if anyone asks to look or tries to touch this is not right, you say no and tell an adult immediatly. Both of my kids have seen myself and my husband nude but as they have gotten older they are more interested in their own privacy. Nudity is not taboo in our house but we would like them to use the correct terms for their privates.

Elisa - posted on 05/06/2012

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My kids nick name is terrible and I'm trying to break it.
They call the girl a pikachu...
Horrible I know.
Also coochie. Whoha.....
Our friends boy referes to his boy parts as his deedle and narbles.
I think it's whatever they may pick up from school.

Stephanie - posted on 05/05/2012

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My girl's call their vagina's their flowers and their breasts chi chis..it's less embarrassing and their school doesn't allow such talk since it can be misconstrued

Cameo - posted on 05/01/2012

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Are you talking about their private parts? Children need to be talked to like they have some sense. How old are they? As infants they are called no no parts. About 7 I would be real about what they are because they will find out.

Jessica - posted on 04/30/2012

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girl bits are called "vagina" and boy bits are called "penis" and "testicles". If you wanna go cutesy my daughter calls her bits "nunu" I have no idea where she got that from. I always used "peepee" when I was young. But they should definitely know the proper names!!

Jovan - posted on 04/23/2012

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Cookuh that's what my sisters and I call it even with my niece and she now knows as I am starting the same with my baby girl it's never to early to teach them.

Liz - posted on 04/22/2012

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Well i use the term TuTu with my daughter i dont mind using nicknames with my daughter she knows the real terms of the female and male genitals i dont see anything wrong with nicknames as long as your child does know the real term.

Ellie - posted on 04/20/2012

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From a woman who was sexually abused and also a mom whose child was sexually assaulted, I give this piece of advise with love and respect.I believe there is not an age appropriateness to body part names. Body parts are not sexual.

When I was dealing with my own abuse the shame and humiliation that came from trying to explain the improper names given to my body parts to a stranger was terribly uncomfortable. I decided to give the proper names to my children from the day they were born just as I called their elbow an elbow their nose their nose. I wanted them to have proper names so if heaven forbid something happened to them they could convey it with accuracy and not more humiliation and shame.

When my child was sexually assaulted at the age of 3, she was able to convey to me, the doctor, the detectives, and councilors what had taken place with less humiliation and shame than I ever was able too. She also had a younger bother whom she had seen me change his diaper and ask what is that? We have also given proper names without to all body parts.

When my children blossomed from babies to preteens we already had open dialog about body parts and functions. This continues today as they are teenagers and adults. I believe this only happened as we were honest with them from the beginning.

Carlie - posted on 04/20/2012

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The truth. Never lie or create silly cute words for them. It's not a silly body part right? RIGHT. Body parts are serious business and they should be treated as such-just as your child is as well.



Teach your child how, when and why to refer to them by the given name-in a mature way. With all due respect to you and to other parents as well-



Your child is not a tadpole correct? Correct. Why then does he have a tail? Is it going to fall off and then he can swim for real? Does that mean that he is a frog too then? I'm confused. Yeah, imagine his confusion later. Or how about this one: "Taliwacker". Is this thing so I can wack it on something else? Can I wack someone with it? Let me hold it and see if I can. Here's another one: "Hoo-ha". Does my vagina actually SAY THAT? Or this one too: Did you wipe your hands after you peed? No? Ok well when you touch your "PETER" you have to watch your hands afterwards." Mama.....who is Peter? Honey, "Peter" is that thing between your legs." It is? But mama, I thought my name was MICHAEL! Ya see? Opening up MANY cans of worms. When you finally tell them the truth, they are gonna wonder why you teach them not to lie....when you do it all the time!



Tell your child the truth. Don't ever EVER lie-about anything you teach them. Amen. :)

Jammie - posted on 04/20/2012

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"politically correct" those people do make themselves seem rude to a lot I am happy i was raised down to earth and love people for being them and teaching there children the way they want to.

Brandi Slatton i do agree with what you said

Jammie - posted on 04/20/2012

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They are a kids private so if you use a word that no 1 knows thats a good idea. They will find out one day the real word anyways. And they will probably use the same name with there kids you have used. Like we have in my family for generations.

Jammie - posted on 04/20/2012

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privates i think it is good to have a little kid word for it like pooche. or for a boy i have no idea what some moms would call that because i dont have a boy. but yeah id rather my kids call it a pooche over vagina Lol. I still to this day call it a pooche Rofl

Karen - posted on 04/19/2012

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I've always called things by their proper names. It seemed best for me.
While I was potty training my son whose now 11. My mother told him when he told her he had to go to go put his "dingle" in the toliet. well needles to say that caused a big confusion cuz he didn't know what a dingle was. I had to spend the next hour calming him down.
Now as an 11 yr old.. he says thing like the family jewels or the privates.

Everyone is different but in this I really think proper names are best. MY opinion.

Jackie - posted on 04/19/2012

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That's TOO easy. Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina. When we act awkward about our private parts it teaches pour children that there's something "awkward' about private parts! Call a spade a spade and a vagina a vagina, I say. I'm a single mum, my first born, a boy has made me blush on numerous occasions. But when he stands naked in front of me, pulls his foreskin back, points to the head and says "Mum, what's this called again?" I have to hide my embarrassment (and laughter) and reply "That's your glans, honey". He's now got a 6 month old sister and at nappy change time the other day he asked me why her penis looked like that. "Well honey, because it's a vagina." I replied. "But how does she wee?"He asked, very innocently. There I was, face getting redder, heart rate increasing, couldn't get her nappy back on quick enough, and searching for the proverbial hole (no pun intended) to swallow me up! "From a little hole in her clitoris. Tell you what, we'll google it, and find out all about it for you, shall we?". He was more than happy with that answer and I didn't have to come up with any silly names or stories about "bits". Mind you, we haven't googled "vagina parts" yet!! I might leave that one alone until the dreaded day he remembers!! Good luck, but trust me, the hardest thing to handle in this situation is your own embarrassment on the topic. :-)

Kristie - posted on 04/18/2012

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Either way no one will see my girl vulva vagina pussy twat kittycat or whatever u want to call it.

Elaine - posted on 04/18/2012

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My 4-year-old calls his penis a "pee-pee" because that's what he does with it. If he were to ask me what a girl's bits are called, I would probably say that his pee-pee is called a Penis and her pee-pee is called a Vulva. He would then probably proceed to simply refer to both of them as pee-pees, LOL. What I would be confused about would be how to explain the difference between an animal's tail and an animal's "tail"? Does he think animals pee out of their tails? That could get interesting, LOL.

Kristie - posted on 04/18/2012

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My youngest calls it her privacy. I tell her it's her private area. Not sure if I ever called it a vagina, vulva or whatever. I don't think my girls ages 4 and 7 are quite up to knowing the actualnaem yet. My son(9) knows he has a penis balls or nuts. We also call his parts wiener(he thinks thats funny) dinky weewee dingdong whatever. They know dont let anyone touch them there except for mommy daddy and our doctor. They have walked in on me getting into/out of the shower or getting dressed, they know girls have breast/boobs. I was even asked why I have hair down there and they were told why.

Charity - posted on 04/18/2012

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I can't help but laugh as I read all of these responses. I don't think there is a right or wrong way when it comes to this issue.

You can call it a vagina or a butterfly. A penis or a tail. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that we teach our children what is right and what is wrong. It's wrong for someone to touch you there. It's wrong for you to touch someone else there. It's not polite to discuss private parts in public (or maybe it is for some of you. lol).

The point I'm trying to make is every parent has to do what they feel is right. Just like everything else in parenting. My child has a temperature of 102. Should I take him to the ER or should I wait a few more hours? Should I wait 24 hours? My child refuses to eat. Should I force the food in her mouth or should I just let her be? My child is being defiant. Should I put them in time out or should I swat them on the bum? We all have these questions. I don't know if I'm teaching her that calling her vagina a "hoo hoo" is right or wrong. I don't even remember what my mom taught me to call it. I just know for some strange reason saying "vagina" just seems weird to me. Am I ashamed of my sexuality? Heck no! I spent 6 years in the Army. I had to take showers with females all through training and off and on throughout my career. I've had to stand in a room naked with other females. I've had to tell my male sergeants about my body issues because there weren't any females to tell. I have no problem stripping in front of people when I have to. Everyone has the same parts.

I call it a hoo hoo because that's what comes naturally. I call it a turtle (penis) because I think it's cute. Are my children going to grow up ashamed of who they are? NO. Because it doesn't matter what we call our vagina and penis. What matters is how we (the parents) carry ourselves. What we SHOW our children. How we ACT around our children. Yes, sex is natural. But that doesn't mean a child should watch it. Yes, a girl has a hoo hoo. But that doesn't mean she should let someone touch it. THESE are the issues people should be arguing about. You can teach your child to call it a vagina. You can teach her to call it whatever you want. But if you don't teach her and SHOW her to have respect for herself. If you don't teach her and SHOW her that it's not okay for someone to touch her there. Teaching her what the right name for her private parts isn't going to matter at all.

On a lighter note. . . isn't it fun having kids? They are so full of curiosity and questions. :-) They are seeing everything for the first time and so fascinated with all of it. I am LOVING being home with my babies so I can share these moments with them. My 3 year old daughter was in my room one morning when I had to get ready for church. I had just gotten out of the shower and she said, "Mommy's chee chee's?" I said, "Yes, Mommy has chee chees." She said, "Bee bee chee chees?" I said, "Yes, baby has chee chees too." And she did this with everyone in the house. Daddy has chee chees. Grandma has chee chees. And then she said, " I yike Mommy's chee chees." LOL It was so funny and caught me off guard. (Chee chees are breasts, by the way. :-)

Lisa - posted on 04/17/2012

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it's there sugar.
boys are made of snails and tails and other stuff. girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

Brandi - posted on 04/17/2012

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the problem with society today is everyone has to be "politically correct"...like i said educate your kids on their anatomy and if ya wanna use the slang terms in ur home its no big freakin deal...again stop ridiculing others on their terminology...as long as the kids are educated on proper terminologies i dnt see any harm....ugh! and yall talkin about bein adults...this girl was askin for advice not a debate or criticism...sheesh

Julie - posted on 04/16/2012

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Ahhhhhhhhh! It's a vulva! You don't "see" a vagina without being especially invasive (like some NeoCons these days).

Kristie - posted on 04/16/2012

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my 4 year old daughter calls that area her privacy and my 7 year old daughter I tell her it's her pee pee or girl parts once or twice called it her vagina. I also tell the girls it's their special area only for their husbands to see. It also goes that their brothers part is special only for his wife to see

Jacob - posted on 04/16/2012

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use the correct names there is nothing rude about the word Vagina or the word penis

it also saves a lot of embarrassment when they are older

kids are a lot smarter then we give them credit for

Cheri - posted on 04/16/2012

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Vagina. It's the medical term for her 'bits' (her private parts of her body). Teach them what it is, and your life will be much less confusing. Let them learn confusing and incorrect slang in school. Not just for privates, but for everything.

Heather - posted on 04/16/2012

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Ridiculous, if you start giving out wrong information at that age then you can expect them to be fully confused when the actually begin to realize your lying to them. Trust? Call the parts what they are Penis and Vagina! If they know from a early age the correct terms then that only makes them educated and who wouldn't want that for their children?

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