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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Jodi - posted on 08/20/2011

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When the time comes, Tammy, how are you going to explain the birds and bees to your children without the embarrassment? I guess I don't understand how you can possibly do that competently, without passing your embarrassment onto your children, if you find simply using correct terminology to be embarrassing.

And nobody is trying to force you to change, just struggling to comprehend that level of embarrassment. After all, YOU are the one who commented "Have you people no shame?". Evidently you have criticism of our way of thinking, I guess we are just as baffled by yours.

Kacie - posted on 08/20/2011

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Its just sad that people think that way about something so NATURAL. Its nothing to be ashamed of.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/20/2011

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Tammy no one's forcing you to change. I'm just saying it's odd that someone finds using proper names to be adult language.

Tammy - posted on 08/20/2011

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I honestly don't understand why many of you are trying to force everyone to conform to your way of thinking! Some of us are just plain uncomfortable using certain terminology and we are not about to change because you want us to!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/20/2011

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Penis, vagina, uterus, scrotum, vulva. The last time I looked these were MEDICAL TERMS. And the last time I was looking was last year for a class I was taking.

Now I understand maybe some parents aren't comfortable with the words themselves. Maybe their children didn't ask where babies come from and you don't want them thinking that a baby will come popping out of your stomach. My kid knows exactly where her baby sister came from and thanks to the fact that she doesn't know how to knock she knows exactly how too. Get over your emberassment and teach your children

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/20/2011

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I'm not sure why it's shocking to hear a 6 year old use scientific terms. Penis and vagina aren't adult words or vulgar terms. My daughter's almost 7 and she knows about the reproductive system and the correct words for where the baby is. I'm not sure why using correct terms is so shocking to some parents.

KRISTEENA - posted on 08/20/2011

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My son is 6 yrs old and we still at this point call his privates a "pee-pee", and my daughter is 2 and hers is called a "coo-coo" When they are a bit older we will have a talk on their proper names. I think using the cutesy names help them identify their own idividuality. Besides for some it is quite shocking to hear the 7 y/o and younger crowd say the word penis or vagina,since those are such ADULT terminologies..I'm sure we as parents will figure out when the time/place is right for that transition of terms. Besides, can't we just enjoy our children being CHILDREN, they will be older before you know it and possibly using language you wish that they didn't.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/19/2011

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What can I say I was a bad kid LOL

I'm trying to get my 6 year old to actually say any part instead of just touching the part she means. For example today when she was watching my change my 5 month old (who is also a girl) she told me Lilli had a hair in her and then patted her crotch. I told her to use the proper words instead of touching herself so I knew where she meant.

Flora - posted on 08/19/2011

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I have always found with all my kids, that honesty and open conversations about our bodies was the only way to go.. Kids become curious and there is no avoiding the conversations at any particular age. From early ages when kids begin to discover their own genitles, you have to begin positive tactics with dealing with their personal growth. From the ages of 4 my kids would ask basic questions about their bodies. And I always kept it simple but used the correct words for all their parts. This satisfyed their curiosity and kept them happy for that time being.. Till the next time.

Jodi - posted on 08/17/2011

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Meh, my daughter went through a stage when she was about 3 where she would define people by whether they probably had a penis or vagina, it was hilarious. We'd go shopping and she would stand there saying "that's a lady, she has a 'gina, but that is a man, so he has a penis".



Admittedly she NEVER did it in church though :P

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/17/2011

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And try to make sure they don't announce them in Church. :) According to my mom I was pretty bad and announced I had something from my tooty twat once. To me that's more emberassing. Kinda like when my 6 year old told my neighbour our cat was losing his balls.

Jennifer - posted on 08/17/2011

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I have always used the proper terminology as well. I taught preschool for a long time and it was very confusing when children used other words because you did not know what they were telling you hurt. I have three girls and used vagina (gina is what my little one says because she can't say the full word yet) and penis.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/16/2011

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I'm saying that as parents we shouldn't leave it to the schools to teach our kids about sex and anatomy. My 6 year old wanted to know about how babies were made when I was pregnant with my 5 month old. So I told her what she'd understand. She walked in on her stepdad and I having sex we explained more. She started walking in on her stepdad while he was showering or on the toilet we explained more and told her it's rude to go into the washroom when people are using it.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/16/2011

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So, Tammy Broadley, I'm going to assume that you grew up in the middle ages, when it was "not done" to talk about bodies and parts.

How on God's green earth is it considered "vulgar" to refer to body parts correctly? Oh my!

You are correct, I guess, I have no shame. I have no shame in the body that God gave me, that I used as a vessel to produce two more, wonderful people with their own bodies and parts!

I certainly hope that you can overcome your embarrassment by the time your kids are a little older, otherwise their embarrassment will be that they were never taught the correct terms for things, and will be caught saying "hoo haw" or whatever little name you gave it.

Oh, and as far as where I'm from? The US! perhaps being raised in a rural area, with the farm animals, etc, and having a nurse in the family helped, but I seriously did not know ANYONE growing up who was too "embarrassed" to use the proper terms for things

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/16/2011

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Ok, without reading all of the responses, I just have to say this. Since WHEN is it wrong to teach proper terminology for body parts? A man has a penis, and a woman has a vagina. The parts don't change as they grow, so the names really shouldn't either.

My boys both were taught proper terminology. Then, when they asked if there was any other way to refer to said parts, we told them that they could use "winkie" and "hoohaw". These "nicknames" are the most common in our area of the US, so confusion would be minimal. My oldest son (17) now calls his penis his "unit", but the docs seem to get it.

Now as far as the comments regarding the public school system "failing" to teach sex ed...well, personally, I handled that personally with both of my boys, my hubby and I sat down and had the talk. Actually, it's not one talk, it's ongoing education that really SHOULD be provided by parents or trusted adults. Personally, the "condoms in the bathrooms" attitude in our area is a bit offensive to me. So, I and my husband gave our boys OUR take on it, which is that abstinence is best, but when in doubt, use protection.

When they got to the "sex ed" portion of health class, they were both better informed than their peers, thank goodness!

Kacie - posted on 08/16/2011

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Sure blame it on someone else. Doesn matter what is taugh in school, its still YOUR responsibility AS A PARENT to teach YOUR child

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/16/2011

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Sharon, you are aware that during the Bush administration public schools were threatened with a loss of government funding if they didn't follow through with an abstinence only program when teaching sex education and that they were taught condom failure rates? High school kids in the States are less informed on sex than students in other countries including Canada.

Edna - posted on 08/16/2011

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my daughters were her bit bits, she choose the name and my sons are now his winky, as long as they understand it's whatever they are comfortable with, i think.

Kacie - posted on 08/16/2011

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nope, i dont have any shame! and i think its sad TO have shame in your body. we're a less than modest household, so my son has always known about our body and his own body from a very young age. he knows about privacy and good touch bad touch. its NOTHING to be ashamed of

[deleted account]

"we don't teach sex ed we teach abstinence We don't teach our kids how to use condoms, we teach them condoms don't work so kids figure why use them. "

Of course we teach sex ed....it's all part of the Health Curriculum! And of course, as kids grow older they pick up on the most vulgar words to describe their body parts. I teach high school....trust me, I know what they say! But there is nothing vulgar about a penis or a vagina! It's a parents duty and responsibility to teach proper terminology, and IMO if a parent fails to teach such words, then they haven't done their job as well as they could. Teaching nicknames is NOT teaching body parts. It's an avoidance tactic, plain and simple.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/15/2011

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To understand the "you have no shame" attitude you have to understand that the US while claiming that there is separation between church and state is still deeply rooted in religion. Thanks to the Bush administration we don't teach sex ed we teach abstinence We don't teach our kids how to use condoms, we teach them condoms don't work so kids figure why use them. And then we sit back and wonder why teen pregnancy and STDs run rampant. I don't want that to happen to either of my girls so I suck up my embarassment that will still sometimes pop up in the bedroom and discuss my daughter's questions in language that she'll understand.

I was raised in the States and I live in Canada now even though we share a boarder some of the differences are like night and day. My husband and I just had the touching your body talk with my 6 year old. He had to correct me about the whole touching yourself thing because I was telling her not to do it until she's older and he was saying that it was ok to do in her room by herself. I was never told that- of course I was never told I would go blind, but I wasn't told it was ok either. I'm honestly not 100% sure where some parts are half the time, but I blame that on the shifting after the 2nd baby. My health class went to the extent of teaching us how to use condoms and the effects of STDs. My husband had a teacher come in in his grade 9 class and spend 2 days discussing everything about sex.

I don't want my children to feel that their bodies are shamefull and dirty so I try my best to educate them.

Jacqueline - posted on 08/15/2011

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Hmmm, I found this conversation rather amusing, to say the least. In today's society is really is advisable to teach ur children the right terminology and other chose words that have been used to discribe these private body parts, so if the situation should arise, your child will be able to address his body parts appropriately, without the fear of being punished or be made fun of by their peers. I think its a comfort level that begins with the parent. I have made it a point to talk openly to my kids, 17, 14, 6, & 5, regardless of the subject. We do joke around and call a vagina/vulva the netherlands region and the penis and scrotum the tree and berries, its humor, which allows children to feel comfortable with there parents to discuss things that can be embarrassing. So, teach your kids both, when they hit school age, they'll be able to tell the teacher they got kicked in the penis and then nonchalantly turn around to the kid that did it and say, "dude, why'd you kick me in my balls?"

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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That's probably why I don't get this "you have no shame" attitude. I'm not in the US.....I am surprised at this level of embarrassment and shame in this day and age. I find it sad. And I think, by conveying this embarrassment and shame to our kids, we will only pass those feelings on to them. It's not the way I feel it should be, and studies have shown, can also carry over into our bedrooms (that's not to say it DOES, just that it CAN).

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/15/2011

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Jodi I don't know, my husband gets a kick out of the woofer, tweeter, and tooty twat references my mom used when I was a kid to talk about my bum and my vulva and other girl parts.

Some parents were just taught that their private parts are shameful and shouldn't be talked about. It's also not that uncommon for grown women not to know the scientific terms for their genitalia. I was reading in the September issue of Glamour that a majority of American women have less than a base knowledge of their body parts. So it's not that uncommon for a woman to be emberassed or ashamed of saying penis or vagina or vulva ect ect. It's a sad fact of life in a puritanical society such as the US that many women were taught that their bodies are shameful and dirty and shouldn't be talked about. Hell I'm 30 married and in health care and I still get giggly when my husband starts talking about sex. I clean naked people for God sake, but I was raised Catholic and we just didn't talk about sex that much in my house.

Tammy I hope at least when your kids get older you'll educate them about their anatomy properly. My 6 year old daughter was just getting very curious especially when I was pregnant with my 5 month old and wanted to know where her sister comes from and how she got there. Sadly my husband told her it was a special game and she had to ask what kind of game. But then she walked in on us a few weeks ago and found out for herself.

We're the parents and we should be the ones educating our children. If the names bother you, then suck it up because you're an adult and you'll have to get over it sooner or later. But I would advise telling your kid not to tell her friends about everything. I'm pretty sure my neighbour wasn't too psyched about her 2 year old knowing that our cat was losing his balls next month.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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"Those kind of words"? What, like penis and vagina? Shame? Why should we be ashamed of the real names of our body parts? What planet do YOU live on that you feel such shame and embarrassment about the facts of life?

Tammy - posted on 08/15/2011

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Gosh, you people have no shame! I don't know where you all come from, but those kinds of words are not used in the crowd that I travel in; they are considered vulgar!

[deleted account]

Get over the emabarrasment. Seriously-it's not funny and as an adult, and a parent, your actions will make your children embarased to use the words "penis" or "vagina". Besides, there's plenty of other embarassing opportunities in the future when you catch your teenage kid with their significant other!

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2011

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"I was raised that way, I guess. It is embarrassing to me."

So why perpetuate that embarrassment in your children?

Jeanne - posted on 08/15/2011

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I've always used the proper term with our daughter. Not to scare anyone, but I also learned in class about sexual predators, that children who know the proper terms are less likely to become victims because the predator knows that the parent's are involved.

Angel - posted on 08/15/2011

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Vagina, that is what it is called. Proper names for everything, arm, leg, stomach, throat, and so on.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/15/2011

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Oh man, my 6 year old daughter just got intersted in guy parts vs girls parts. She's started peeking on her stepdad when he showers so we had to start. We gave her the techinical terms and kind of understans what they're for. She also knows her kitten will be loosing his balls next month when he gets nuetered.

She's seen me breastfeeding my 5 month old and the 1st time she called my breasts my hangy thingies! That was funny, but she does know what they're called now.

Tammy, I did call my dad's penis a tail once. I believe I was about 3 and I was in my parents' room with my mom when he came out of the shower. From what my mom says I told my dad, You have a tail like Sandy's (our dog at the time) can you wag your tail like she does too?

Kacie - posted on 08/15/2011

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you've never heard the word "vulva" before!? but you're a woman! LOL its what you have and what you see! the vagina is INSIDE and cannot be seen

Tammy - posted on 08/15/2011

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I was raised that way, I guess. It is embarrassing to me. I have never heard the word "vulva" before.
My daughter does refer to her chest as "mini boobs". LOL

Kacie - posted on 08/15/2011

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I never understood why the real names were "embarrassing" either. Penis and vulva ::shrug::

Tammy - posted on 08/15/2011

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I am laughing my head off here! I have never heard of a boys bits called a tail before! My daughter would find that so confusing since she knows that the tail goes on the rear! LOL

We just refer to any bits as plain PeePee, boy or girl. I don't see any reason to give it a name or use the embarrassing real name.

Jeni - posted on 08/14/2011

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I'm good friends with the teachers at my kids' school and all the preschool teachers say their biggest problem when school starts is trying to figure out what cutesy little nickname squeamish parents have given private parts. They all wish they could say, "just give it the proper name! It would reduce confusion and possibly save your child from a pair of wet pants." So in that spirit, penis and vagina- it's clear and proper and no one will tease your child for his or her nickname for their parts.

Gretchen - posted on 08/14/2011

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We use the proper terminology in our house (well, we use "vagina" instead of "vulva", so it's not totally correct, but close). The reason we do it is because I don't want our son to think that body parts are "dirty" or embarrassing, for several reasons (that I'm too lazy to type out!) But to the OP, I guess this would be an opportune time to tell your sons boys and girls don't have the same body parts, and that's what makes them different. It's up to you whether you also want to use the opportunity to start introducing the proper terminology to them, or if you just want to come up with a term for girls' parts. Good luck!

Louise - posted on 08/14/2011

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The question was put differently in my house. I have a 2 and a 5 year old. Both boys. They are fully aware of their willies and that that it where they pee from. But my 2 year old came into the toilet when I was there (I never lock the door so they always know where I am if they are looking for me) and ran out to the 5 year old saying were is mummy's Willie. I sat them down and I just said that girls wee from their front bums and don't have willies like boys. They may not be the official terms for them but I doubt that any other adult would misunderstand those terms if my kiss were to use them.

Angela - posted on 08/11/2011

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I have a 6 year old son and we call boy's privates a catapiller and girls a butterfly. Even though we use nicknames he still knows his parts are private. No matter if you use nicknames or not the important thing is to make sure they no that no one is allowed to touch them.

April - posted on 08/10/2011

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My gramma use to call it your possible.... At bathtime she would say "Im gonna wash as far down as possible and Im gonna wash as far up as possible, but you are gonna have to wash possible." Around my house we call it your Fancy, Want it to be special, kept Tidy, and ya dont break it out on a daily basis.

Linda - posted on 08/10/2011

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I spoke with a caseworker from the department of child services and she said they advise all parents to teach their children the proper terminology (penis, vagina) because it teaches them the correct wording plus it prevents any misunderstanding. For example: they had a case where the child was taught to call a girl's vagina "cake". When she complained about someone touching or eating her cake, everyone thought she meant an actual piece of cake. They later found out she was being abused and her abuser had taught her to call it "cake". That was a tragic situation. That's why they advise teaching children proper terminology. Plus, it helps as they get older and begin to learn about human sexuality to already know the names of their body parts. My own children had a great deal of fun saying the word "buttocks" but they pronounced it "butt-tocks". I hope this helps.

User - posted on 08/09/2011

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I do exactly the same. Never played around with the terminology of anatomy, or how parts work. I've heard lots of parents who won't say penis or vagina and I think it gives children the impression that these arebad or naughty words. Some might argue that you take away their innocence too young, but I say if they're old enough to ask the question they should be given the answer. ☺

Brandi - posted on 08/09/2011

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well regardless weather u wany ur child to call them the proper term or not...thats not what emma was asking...personally my son knows what its called to but he prefers winky...my daughters know what theirs is called as well but prefer to call it hoo-haw...actually when my oldest daughter was 1 yr she started calling it her "little butt" on her own but as she got older she faound a different word....anyway i know when my kids wanna tell me something about their private areas and there are people around they feel more comfortable using the "code" word so that only us parents know...and if they are at school and the nurse is a lil confused simply ask the child to point to where it hurts or call the parents...obviously as a child gets older theyre not gonna wanna use their "code" anymore...personally i dnt even use the proper terms myself so its really not that big a deal...call it whatever u want and dnt ridicule others for their choice

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