what do you call their private parts?

Amanda - posted on 06/22/2011 ( 204 moms have responded )

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Don't mean to sound rude..but I have a 3year boy and a 7month old girl...and my little boy asked why his little sister didn't have a tail (penis) so I explained she was a little girl...then got so very confused as what would be an acceptable 'name' for her parts to a little boy??? When I said it was a flower (as my mother used to call mine) his reply was no mummy that is not a flower...HELP!!

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Karen - posted on 06/22/2011

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i call them what they are, no cutesy names here - saves confusion as they're growing up and learning the proper names for them.

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2011

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"Hmmmm Kate sorry but you will never hear me say the proper words even as a full grown adult. I call it pee pee, boobies, and tuckus. Those work just wonderfully everyone knows what they are without them being so brash and uncomfortable. "



Well, you are the one with the issue, because the correct terms are not brash and uncomfortable. They are the correct terms. It IS a penis. Big deal. It's a goddamn body part. It IS a vagina or vulva.



How the HECK are you going to sit down with your kids and do "the talk" if you can't even discuss body parts by their correct names without feeling "brash and uncomfortable"?

Jenn - posted on 06/22/2011

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Regardless of what a parent teaches their child what to call their penis or vagina, children can and do still learn that no one is to touch them inappropriately. My best friend is a police officer and she knows what a boy or girl is referring to if they use a cutesy name in an investigation. Authorities aren't stupid or new to the world of genital nicknames. Who cares if a parent uses another word in place of the actual one?? Kids talk. They talk about their genitals to other kids at some point and regardless if that kid calls it a penis, a googie (my daughters friend calls his penis that) or a hooha, it induces giggles and then they move on. Obviously the children will someday learn the real words, but it is not dire that they know when they are 3 if the parents aren't comfortable doing so.

Krista - posted on 06/22/2011

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I don't use overly cutesy euphemisms either. It's too confusing for them. It's one thing to have a bit of a nickname, but they should know the proper terms. I've heard of a few cases where children were being sexually abused and tried to tell someone but nobody clued in because the kid hadn't been taught the right words.

If you're SUPER-uncomfortable with the words, then maybe just call them her "privates" for now. But you're going to have to figure out how to get over your discomfort so that you don't do a disservice to your kids by not giving them factual information.

Kate CP - posted on 06/23/2011

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Okay...are we ready for therapy? It's good and healthy! Say it with me! Loud and proud!


I HAVE A VAGINA! I DO *NOT* HAVE A COOKIE, A PIE, A MUFFIN, A TWINKIE (why are we giving it food names, exactly?), OR A RASPBERRY! IT IS NOT A VAJAYJAY, IT IS NOT A GASH, AN AX WOUND, A SLIT, A TWAT, A PUSSY, OR A FANNY!

*I*
*HAVE*
*A*
*VA-GI-NA!!!!!!!!*


See? It's good for you. Now, take that positive vaginal attitude and go out into the world and be a real woman who's not afraid of her genitals!

This conversation has been closed to further comments

204 Comments

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Emma - posted on 07/14/2011

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just stick with what the proper names are, ive only just recently told my 6yrold daughter that a baby actually comes out of mummys vagina, and she took it really well, i definitly shouldnt have beat around the bush(so to speak) and told her the docter just takes them out lol. so what im trying to say is, just stick to the truth instead of telling little stories or nameing them odd names. :)

Pam - posted on 07/14/2011

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I have always been very direct with my kids right from a young age. I just told my kids the medical names...Penis and Vagina. It is very simple and to the point and it doesnt confuse them.

Susan - posted on 07/13/2011

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wow I am surprised that how many children know the correct names my son who is 6 told me the other day that his pee pee is not called a pee pee but a penis I was floored I didnot handle it well at all I told him that I never wanted to hear that again I have no idea where her got that at when I asked he said one of his frineds I was liek great we call my son's a pee pee and my daughters a bum

Colleen - posted on 07/13/2011

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I have three sons; my oldest son was around 2.8 yrs when he started asking the same questions...wanting to know why my parts were different than his...I explained that boys and girls and men and women are created differently and that we have different parts; because they are used for different things (that part i didn't elaborate on much!). We've always called the "parts" their real names; why call it anything else, no need to add confusion in there. A penis at age three, is a penis at age 10 and so on....makes life simpler later on. We also talked about the right place to talk about these special and private parts...not at the grocery store, not in front of company etc!! good luck!

Rachel - posted on 07/13/2011

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My son always called it his "pee" because thats where his pee comes from lol. So that has always been the name for both boy and girls private parts

Joey - posted on 07/13/2011

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i believe they need to first learn the actual name, and then a silly name. I taught my children penis and vagina, but said they can call the penis a wee-wee and a vagina la-la. funny, but they got the proper understanding of the actual name of the part, plus a funny name

Amy - posted on 07/12/2011

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We told our daughter she had a heeha and our son he had a dill-io. Now that they are older though, they know the names. My daughter is 8 now and my son 3. My husband also calls it their "business".

Renee - posted on 07/12/2011

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medical terminology is fine, I've read. We also use giblets and junk on occasion

Kyleigh - posted on 07/11/2011

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my kids have been saying Wenis they must of got that from BD s house!

Patricia - posted on 06/28/2011

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Amanda, as a mom and a teacher , my advice would be to start calling EVERY part of the body, genitals and perenial area included by their correct name from the baby's birth. This will cause less confusion later on, say in school when they start using these names, and when as a pre-teen you have to teach your son how to put a condom on as I had to when he started asking questions. Your children are older than the recommended birth stage but you can do it now. They might not grasp the concept now but you can say something like, "You know how your real name is Ray and Dad and I call you 'Bud', the real name of your 'tail' is penis and her flower is a 'vagina'!" as an example. Just a little damage control to pave the path for the future. Best of luck!

Mindi Jo - posted on 06/28/2011

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WOW!!! Some people are a little rude. My nephew calls his a "Wiggy" wich I think is funny(he is 4). I have always told my boy, who is also 4 that those are his "No No's". He knows its his wiener or balls, but I think even for a 4 year old that is uncomfortable to say, so I think his "No No's" will work just fine for the both of us!

Sabrina - posted on 06/27/2011

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my husband just started saying your boys to our sons and your girls to our daughters i am blunt but it has stuck with them and is working well...

Bree - posted on 06/27/2011

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My kids a boy 6 and a girl 4, know penis as a penis, testicles as testicles, scrotum as scrotum, boobies as boobies/breasts, and vagina as vulva/vagina. They also know these area are private areas only for them to touch or the Dr or mom/dad if necessary. They do call them other names some times when they are trying to be funny. I think knowing the real names and when and who to use them with is important. Although I am sure any adult could figure out if a girl came up to them saying their flower hurts or a boy saying their hangers been touched would know what they are talking about.

Debby - posted on 06/27/2011

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An elbow is an elbow! A penis is a penis and a vagina is a vagina--but I did tell my children that those were family and doctor words and to say privates in public!
Their Kindergarten teacher (and classmates parents) will thank you when your child is not the one coming out of the bathroom screaming "He looked at my penis!" which happens every year--in the first month!

Nicole - posted on 06/27/2011

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:) I actually call them "private parts" here's why. A child may learn to call them by their actual names, as most people today will tell you to teach them. However, I don't feel this gets the point across to it being "private" So, I have a 10 and a 3 year old. The 10 year old now knows what the actual names for those things are, because she has the concept that while they have a name they are private. My 3 year old does not have that concept yet, so we still refer to them as "private parts"

Sam - posted on 06/27/2011

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I have 2 girls 10 and 8 and they both have always known the correct terms penis and vagina. Although they refer to their vagina's as their peach! Which is fine because they know the proper names for everything!

Amanda - posted on 06/27/2011

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We've told our 3 year old that it's called a penis but he tends to refer to it as his pee-pee (which i'm ok with as long as he eventually recognizes the proper terms - don't want him going into 6th grade calling it a "pee-pee", lol!). I think it's whatever you're comfortable with and what you think your child will understand.

Amanda - posted on 06/27/2011

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We've told our 3 year old that it's called a penis but he tends to refer to it as his pee-pee (which i'm ok with as long as he eventually recognizes the proper terms - don't want him going into 6th grade calling it a "pee-pee", lol!). I think it's whatever you're comfortable with and what you think your child will understand.

Amanda - posted on 06/27/2011

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We've told our 3 year old that it's called a penis but he tends to refer to it as his pee-pee (which i'm ok with as long as he eventually recognizes the proper terms - don't want him going into 6th grade calling it a "pee-pee", lol!). I think it's whatever you're comfortable with and what you think your child will understand.

Cori - posted on 06/26/2011

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I've always been completely open with my children (two girls and a boy). When I told them what those parts were called, I also told them that was their "private area" and that it was okay to talk about it at home with Mama and Daddy, but not with anyone else - only because it's private...I didn't want to freak them out about strangers or anything (they were all very young when this came up) so I just said that. They understood what private means and I made sure they knew they could talk about it whenever they wanted to within our family (Mama, Daddy and each other - we don't have other caregivers). As they've grown older, we've talked about where babies come from, and I've talked about sex with my oldest, who just started her period. None of those discussions were uncomfortable because they've never been taboo. We jokingly started calling my three year old's private area her "hoo hoo", but she knows what it really is, and when we call it "your hoo hoo" it makes everyone laugh.

Kim - posted on 06/26/2011

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I just had my first son so I haven't had to do the differences explanation yet... but I'm honest with my girls... and we call them penis and vagina.

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@Jodi I accept your apology and thank you, feels better now. Like I said I know post can't convey emotion always right. I am sorry too if I did offend you in any way.

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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Angela, there is nothing personal in it at all. Sorry you feel that way. I'll leave it at that.

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@ Jodi, I want to start off to say I do not mean any disrespect to you. I am really trying to communicate at my best. Here is my response to what you posted to me.
I wrote “I felt a little put off at first once being told I sounded uneducated.” (it was a post that stated basically something on those lines) It was in the beginning of the discussion.
I did not mention you at all.
You wrote
“Angela, given it was me discussing the issue with you at first in this conversation, I am confused as to how you were called uneducated? I don't recall that ever being said....... “
Already you pick one part of the post and ask me to defend it, as if I am being dishonest or something.
Which I was not and to be honest their were many post before you started discussing anything with me. My post was a general post to the debate. I said much more than the uneducated part. Why do you feel it is directed at you and why do I have to explain that to you? I find that hostile. Did you look in the post as I suggested? I certainly will not go through them all...but you can if you want to clarify it.
In fact as much as I have tried to be respectful and open and listen to your opinions on the subject I feel you want to just drill your point over and over to me. Even when you ask me direct questions I answer you in the best way I can and you still ask me again. I find that a bit hostile. If you do not agree fine, so be it. But why do you insist on jumping on practically every post I make. You take one little sentence like the naughty bits thing and turn it into a huge thing. I said so much more than than that and I even tried in vain to post why I defended the person who used naughty bit or party or something like that.
I was speaking of double standards, culture and much more. You don't understand my view, I respect that but then leave it.
So yes I find you a bit in a huff and if I am wrong I am sorry to state so. It is the way you are coming across to me and I already addressed this to you. If you really cared about wanting to discuss this with me I would think that would matter to you. I realize post can be misleading when it comes to emotions, and I even stated I respected your passion. But I am getting bit confused now if it is passion for your opinion or that you just are nit picking me? I am starting to feel embarrassed/uncomfortable of it and feel it takes away from what others have to say. I don't want to just argue with you. I just want to learn and hear others on the subject because I find it interesting. That is it. I find a debate is much different than an argument.


On the naughty bits thing please re read my post if you don't' get it fine... I really can't explain it any better than I have tried. I don't feel like repeating myself for the sake of my time and others.

Tina - posted on 06/26/2011

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We have always used the correct names. My son is getting older now and I find it much easier to discuss him and his body when he isn't snickering or turning red everytime I say penis. I have really found that it has helped. My parents never used the correct terms and my mother still can't say penis or vagina without gettting embarrased....... it might feel uncomfortable for you the first few times but if you do it when they are young they don't know any different. If you can't get used to saying penis to a toddler how are you ever going to talk to them about sex when they are pre teens???

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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"I wrote that post you are referring to in general, it is not a personal attack on you it is my opinion and I am fully aware of your stand on it."

Angela, I never took it as a personal attack, so I am not sure what gave you that impression :\

I think you are actually, however, failing to understand what I am trying to say. Basically, a child is generally called a stinker or imp (or insert any name here) because of their mischevious behaviour, or a certain quality the child has. I understand it is not necessarily intended to be negative, but rather a negative word used in a joking, positive manner.

I am struggling, however, to comprehend the behaviour or quality that is making a young child's genitals behave in such a way that attracts those names......

In other words, we will call a child naughty because of their behaviour. Why are we calling the genitals naughty? No double standard there.

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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"@Jodi I am not sure if it was you, it was someone . I was by no means directing the comment at you so please do not get all huffy on me!"

Huffy? I wasn't being huffy, I was just genuinely confused as to where you were called uneducated, that's all. Nothing huffy here!!

Bri - posted on 06/26/2011

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SK came back from BMs saying "wenis" im sure thats for Penis (sorry to be direct)

Angie - posted on 06/26/2011

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I have two boys and a girl and all three know what their private parts are called. With that said, we have names for their private parts that they use in public so they boys aren't yelling penis and my daughter isn't screaming vagina. She calls her vagina her "bottom" and her backside her "behind". The boys have teetees and behinds. This has saved me from many embarassing moments. It is very important to teach our children the proper names, they just don't have to shout them in public. :-)

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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I think I got a better explanation on the naughty bits thing... many say private parts are okay and not negitive. And it was said naughty is sexual... well our genitals always private? Some people bathe together, run around nude together that is not private... but sex is private. So private parts could be interpreted the same way in some perspectives. I wish I never said anyting on the naughty bits thing because it is taking away from the point I was really trying to convey. But that is my best explanation. I can do not anymore :) Heck I don't even use the term! lol

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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On the naughty bits thing I would not use it either but because I do use other euphemisms it is like the pot calling the kettle black. A double standard. I also would not call my daughters vulva a taco because I find that a negitive thing, but my point is it is all up to speculation and perception of who and how we are brought up, culture etc. I just think it unfair to judge one person for saying things one way if we ourselves use pet names.
But I want to make clear(I stated this before) I find it negitive. I don't like the word naughty and well I really don't use it. I was just trying to put my feet in another's shoes who use such a phrase. I know in the USA and Western Europe you don't hear naughty bits much... but on the BBC and in the UK it is very common. Over here in NL the word Fuck is used a lot it was even on the front page of a newspaper! I was offended but again they don't see why or understand why. They don't get in my culture that is not a word you see in the local news papers or on tv ads. But they do it here.

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@Katherine, I am not sure either it is perplexing. For example there is a forum on here called the Vagina Monologues. Trust me when I say the topic and details in the post show not any shame from the posters in general. However you will notice many terms for the word vulva, vagina... speaking of which how come we never hear vulva?

My sex ed class in middle school was a joke, I just remember our math teacher was stuck with the job for the girls(boys and girls) were separated. The only thing I remember out of the entire class is how funny we all thought it was when he talked about periods, which oh my is another word we do not use very often menstruation!

I am not sure why we give other names to other body parts as well, piggies for toes, noggin for head, peepers for eyes, sniffer for nose. We also use words like stinker for kids, imp and the likes when they are being little rascals oops did it again!

Maybe it is an embarrassment of feelings that we have not to matter what body part or emotion. But emotions we feel uncomfortable with. IE our child is behaving badly, what a rascal is easier on the ears and on our hearts. Coochies is easier than the emotions we might have towards our bodies or sex.

But somewhere there is a gray area I think where some of these words just became a part of our vocabularies and we don't have any embarrassment saying vagina or coochie or pussy or whatever...

Heck back in the day in the USA their was a huge controversy when Rhett Butler told Scarlet O' Hara "Frankly my dear I don't give a damn! They wanted to cut it out of the movie! Now a days their is not very many who feel shame at hearing or even saying the word damn.

So maybe it is a little bit of everything everyone has been saying on this debate.

Krista - posted on 06/26/2011

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Yeah, I'm still with Jodi on the "naughty bits" part of things. I don't think that's appropriate for a little girl's genitals. We grown women call them our "naughty bits" because we DO "naughty" (i.e. sexual) things with those bits.

The term just implies the exact OPPOSITE of innocence, really...

Katherine - posted on 06/26/2011

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Angela, you bring up a very good point. Many adults do not use the correct terminology, and I think it's plain old embarrassment. When they are young we want to teach our kids the correct usage of a body part, but as they get older they start to hear different terms for it and the correct term becomes obsolete.
I myself don't use the correct terminology in front of my friends most of they time. Why? No one else does. I have been conditioned through grade school and high school to alter my vocabulary as society sees fit.

But with my kids I do want them to know the right names.

Melissa - posted on 06/26/2011

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I agree... if you are uncomfortable with using the proper names then use "private". It is what i use for both my girls ages 3 and 8. Sooner than later my oldest will be getting the proper names.

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@Jodi,as stated I don't think the word is the issue but the manner and how it is stated and how you teach your children to respect themselves and others. I was not referring personally to just you. I was referring to it in general and how I fell of it. And if you and a few other NEVER use such words I feel you are an exception. As stated I rarely hear people refer to their buttocks as such but butt is common, Boobs and boobies for breast also with both adults and children!, Men well I hear dick more than Penis.... so as stated why the double standard for those WHO DO! Many replied you must use only the correct medical terminology...it was not just about your statements to me but in general.

I also stated that culture makes a difference. Naughty bits is something I have heard very often on TV and with friends who are from the UK and not once did i hear it as vulgar or negitive I heard it like I hear coochie or little stinker etc. I however find it a bit strange for me to use it it is not from my culture so if I used it may sound negitive.

Again and again I have stated to you it is the tone, the way we teach and treat our children etc that is important. Any word can be negitive if used and spoken in a way that is harsh even the word love....

I wrote that post you are referring to in general, it is not a personal attack on you it is my opinion and I am fully aware of your stand on it.

I added what I learned and I have been nothing but respectful to you and to others. I am starting to feel personally attacked by you on this subject. I respect your passion but I am not sure you are aware that it is coming off as you are jumping on every post I write on the subject.

Do you not agree their is a double standard by many? Not you per say who states you never use negitive words like stinker or the other lady who always uses the correct terminology for eyes, nose and toes...

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@Jodi I am not sure if it was you, it was someone . I was by no means directing the comment at you so please do not get all huffy on me!
I do not have the time to look through all the post, however it was stated adn I did respond to it stating myself nor my children were uneducated nor did we sound uneducated. Their are over 160 post... it was somewhere in the beginning. Take your time to look and I am sure your confusion will dissipate.

Nikki - posted on 06/25/2011

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For years I just referred to it as "down there" but when my son was in the 4th grade he came home and said "Mom my teacher said the P word". I was so confused so I asked him to tell me what she was talking about and he whispered "penis". After that conversation I realized that it is best to just call it what it is. All that time he thought penis was a swear word.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2011

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"I also disagree that it is not any different than calling a child an imp or stinker the very same argument you have for calling genitals naughty bits could apply to making a child feel negative and bad of themselves by calling the a stinker."



There absolutely is a difference. As I said, I actually don't personally call my children negative names, I refer to their behaviour as being negative, so I would not personally call them these things anyway. BUT you can probably explain the behaviour of the child in order to refer to them as being naughty, stinker, imp, etc. But, how on earth do you explain that the vagina (or penis) has behaved in a way to be called naughty? You still have not been able to answer how on earth any child's genitals has behaved in such a manner as to be called "naughty".

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2011

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" I felt a little put off at first once being told I sounded uneducated."

Angela, given it was me discussing the issue with you at first in this conversation, I am confused as to how you were called uneducated? I don't recall that ever being said.......

User - posted on 06/25/2011

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I attended a seminar hosted my Parents of Multiples, that had a child psychologist as a speaker, and the topic was Protecting your children from predators. The law enforcement agencies had done a study of what children are most vulnerable, and what children will be avoided by predators, and they even went into prisons and interviewed convicted predators.

Basically, one of the points that was made, was that if a child can say the proper names of the body part - penis, vagina, breasts - a predator is less likely to target that child - because they've obviously been educated by parents who are watching for specific warning signs, and the child is more likely to have been trained to report anything to their parents/caregivers, and to be able to give a more accurate report to police - 'he touched my boo-boo' could mean an owie/ouchie, and not a breast, and can be dismissed, but 'he touched my breast' gets people's attention.

Angela - posted on 06/25/2011

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Whew I am so glad some people understand my view. I felt a little put off at first once being told I sounded uneducated. I was starting to think I was really weird or something lol. I alway considered myself an open parent. Thanks for the support! I did learn some things however, I really did not realize a court cae could hinder on a child using the proper name until I read that post of the little girl and it made me even more so think how important teaching the proper names is. I will alway love the word coochie and boobies but I hope that any child can call their body parts by the correct name. I hope also for not any child to have to be put in such a place. What a shame it can be when adults let children down. So I got some good out of this because I will be sure to share with people who do not teach proper terms along with cute names :)

Krista - posted on 06/25/2011

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I'm with you, Angela. There is nothing wrong with euphemisms AS LONG AS the child knows and is comfortable using the correct name.

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