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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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.

Angela - posted on 06/25/2011

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Just don't agree if you also teach the proper name. I think if you only use the cute name it sends a weird message. But if you use both and treat the part like any other body part i don't see how it promotes shame. I agree you must teach the correct terms. I think it is important. And after reading a post on another thread about a court case I agree even more that you need to teach the correct term but I also think it is okay to in addition use boobies or whaterver.

Julia - posted on 06/25/2011

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I know I'm late to the conversation, but the reason you don't want to use a cutesy name is that kids think there is something embarrassing or dirty about their body parts if you won't even use the correct word.

It helps with self image if they know their body isn't so awful, no one wants to say the name of the part.

[deleted account]

I hate the words balls or nuts for testicles, but don't mind boob or boobies for breasts.... Personal preference, I suppose.

Dana - posted on 06/25/2011

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You know, I was just thinking about when my son first called his testicles his balls.

He was actually in the tub and sat down hard. He started crying and I said, "Did you hurt your butt or your balls?" He knew what his butt was but, I'd never referred to his testicles as his balls. Anyhow, in the midst of his crying he replied "I hurt-a my baalllllls....."
He was okay and it turned out to be rather funny.

Angela - posted on 06/25/2011

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@Marisa I heard all those except cunny when I lived in North Carolina. Cooter must be a southern thing maybe? It is close to Coochie, which is what I always used. I also heard dingleberries for testicles

[deleted account]

Growing up my brothers and my dad referred to their testicles as balls or nuts, and it is what we call them in our house. Also growing up in West Virginia my mom and sisters and I grew up calling our vagina cunny or cooter.

Angela - posted on 06/25/2011

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I have to ask again because I really did not get an answer or explanation to my question.
I know many very very many adults not just parents who refer to body parts not by the proper medical terminology. In fact I rarely here a person refer to their abdomen as such, but I do here belly, tummy, etc. With children i hear even more of the likes of piggies for toes, noggin for head, funny bone, butt, bootie, hinnie...etc. I hear many adult refer to their buttocks as butt! I think one will hear I fell on my butt or did you fall on your butt than buttocks.
I have read that many state to use the "proper" anatomical terms for genitals so A) not to be ashamed and B) no confusion in case of sexual abuse.
The argument for so as not to be ashamed bewilders me because if we are not ashamed of our toes why is it okay but because it is the genitals we must prove we are not ashamed by calling it a vulva or vagina or penis and testicles, scrotum.... If all body parts are equally wonderful and not to be ashamed of than why not equal treatment.
The argument that your child is more susceptible to predators is really not the case.Any child can be a victim. The case (according to a few posters) is that adults may not believe them if they say bunny, cookie or bootie vs. Vagina, buttocks or rectum. That may or may not be valid. Maybe in some court cases but I feel a child can and will be able to sound the alarm if they can be comfortable with a parent to tell them despite what you call it. If a court case gets down to details of what they call the genitals, I feel the courts and adults are more to blame than what a child calls his genitals. I am sure their is much more to it than that in such a case. If is case is based on all circumstantial evidence I can see it. But the case it self was not thrown out simply because little called his penis a willy.
With the exception of Jennifer Tofflemire who posted the following (and I find her a big exception to everyone I have know)
“Penis and vagina. Yup, check off another parent who uses correct anatomical terms.
I don't call noses, 'sniffers'.
I don't call eyes 'peepers'.
I don't call arms 'dangle dooers'
I don't call spines 'coat racks'.”
Do all of you really use the proper medical terminology for all parts.
As far as calling something a food item well it is the adult who associates it with a sex act NOT the child!
What one finds negative or vulgar is not so for another and it is how we teach our children to respect themselves and others that matters. Culture does make a difference! But how we teach to love our bodies and not have shame has much more to do with than what we call our body parts. (IMHO)
I just don't get the double standard.
I do agree teach proper terminology, but I think it is just find to call my vagina whatever I choose!
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.
It is the tone and manner of how we use words that makes the difference far more than the definition.

Sjahrne - posted on 06/24/2011

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Using the proper term is usually the best. Sexual predators have pet names for private parts. they could for example use the term "do u want to see my BUNNY" and one day ur child myte say "mama i got to see so and so's bunny. Penis testicals vagina breasts Bumb or bottom is best. This is what the schools are teaching our children at school.

Sherri - posted on 06/24/2011

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Loureen probably more of a cultural thing . I have to refer to them by what their parents want and are comfortable with so I do try and find some names that everyone will understand and is acceptable with all parents involved. It is such a slippery slope.



We calls boys testis - balls or nuts.

Krista - posted on 06/24/2011

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He's just turning 3 next month, I'll probably start using the term "testicles" more often but, it was just easier for him to say balls and it's pretty universal.

My son is currently obsessed with balls (the non-testicular kind). It's one of the few words that he's able to say. So when I change him, I have to be careful not to refer to his "balls", because he then gets excited, exclaims "BALL!?!?!?", and starts craning his neck all over the place, looking for the object in question.

Dana - posted on 06/24/2011

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Yes, Sharon, my husband also refers to them as his balls, so I think that's why we just went to "balls" first. My nephews age 4 and 7 both call their's, their balls, even though they know they're testicles. I think some guys/boys just prefer the term "balls".

Charlie - posted on 06/24/2011

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Thats interseting Sherri, at my previous kindergarden if and when the time came we were encouraged to always use correct terminology with the children.

[deleted account]

"Although we do call his testicles, his balls."

My 6 year old son picked up the terms "balls" & "nuts" and *I* have been the one to teach my son they are testicles. But nooooooo Daddy has to be A-OK with "balls" & "nuts" @@ As in "Ouch he kicked me in the nuts!" or "I got punched in the balls when we were wrestling!" But hey, at least my son does know they are testicles.

Kate CP - posted on 06/24/2011

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I actually find the term "boobs" and "boobies" crass and vulgar. I think breasts or chest is much more appropriate.

Dana - posted on 06/24/2011

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I FREAKING LOVE THIS POST!! LAMO


Jennifer Tofflemire - posted 2 days ago

Penis and vagina. Yup, check off another parent who uses correct anatomical terms.
I don't call noses, 'sniffers'.
I don't call eyes 'peepers'.
I don't call arms 'dangle dooers'
I don't call spines 'coat racks'.
They are what they are.



Anyhow, I call my son's penis, his penis. Although we do call his testicles, his balls. He's just turning 3 next month, I'll probably start using the term "testicles" more often but, it was just easier for him to say balls and it's pretty universal.

[deleted account]

Not really. Peepee seems to be the standard. I did have a bit of an issue when my uncircumsized nephew asked my circumsized son if his peepee was open. My son was SO confused (he was 2) cuz to him... peepee is the stuff that comes OUT of the penis. Not the penis itself. ;)

Shannintipton - posted on 06/24/2011

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Teresa, I bet you have heard all sorts of funny names in your job. LOL

[deleted account]

I work w/ other people's kids ALL the time and I can't for the life of my bring myself to refer to a child's genitals as a peepee or any other name except for what it is, but because I don't know what other parents are teaching their kids and don't want to create waves.... I just don't refer to their genitals by any word. Yeah, it creates some difficult situations w/ potty training and such, but that's about all I can do.

Jen - posted on 06/24/2011

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Private area, the same for girls and guys and valid at every age as they grow up.

Cristi - posted on 06/24/2011

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My 3 year old knows his as a doodle. I see nothing wrong with that. He also thinks his 3 month old sister has two bums. I haven't decided yet how to tackle that one I thought it was so funny that my son had though that on his own I have yet to think of a correction for him and eventually for her as well but we'll get there. I feel it is up to you whether you want to use a different name or call them penis and vagina. It is what you are comfortable with

Krista - posted on 06/24/2011

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@Sherri: Sorry. I know that was probably rude of me. I guess to me, a "pee-pee" is what a little kid would call it, not what a grown woman would call it. It would be as if I heard an adult referring to their dog as a "woof-woof". Or their car as a "vroom-vroom". It'd just be so startling and incongruous that I'd HAVE to laugh.

Constance - posted on 06/24/2011

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My kids all know the parts by their real name but they do use the terms we have used my husband calls the boys penises and testicles their boy stuff and we call breast boobs.
I will say though they do come up with their own names for things. My 7 year old started calling breast "hippos" I have not a clue where he got that from but he did. I almost fell over the day he noticed my mom also had breast.
"Grandma you have Hippos too!!!!!!!!!" I laughed for an hour.
We should never teach them that it is a dirty thing ever.

Sherri - posted on 06/24/2011

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Yes we are Laura 100% comfortable with being naked, but that doesn't mean we are discussing our private parts on a daily basis.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/24/2011

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Laura, sorry, but you don't have to use proper names of body parts to be nude. It doesn't necessarily go hand in hand. But discussing proper function of those body parts, then I definitely think proper names are in order.

Merry - posted on 06/24/2011

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Sherri weren't you one who said your family is comfortable being nude in front of each other?
Somehow that doesn't seem to fit with a family that doesn't use the words penis and vagina......
But I guess working with little kids would make it hard, you don't need parents yelling at you for saying vagina to their kid!

Sherri - posted on 06/24/2011

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Actually I wasn't attacking you either Marina was trying to explain is all. :)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/24/2011

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Sherri, I was actually trying to defend you. I was in no way saying that you are not comfortable with your bodies, or that your children are uncomfortable. I don't know you or your kids. I was stating my opinion of why I think it is important to teach correct names of body parts. Someone said something earlier about anatomy, and that we call all of our organs by their real names, so why don't we refer to our genitalia with the proper names...it just makes sense to me. That does not mean you have to agree, but I was not attacking your perspective. Truthfully I was trying to defend and understand it.

Sherri - posted on 06/24/2011

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Well it probably has to do with the fact I deal with little kids 40-50hrs a week. You have to use words that are socially acceptable. The correct terminology isn't all that acceptable while dealing with others children even if you yourself think it is. So we found words that work for everyone involved. Especially since most are potty trained here as well.



That is interesting Krista then call me juvenile then and laugh at me.



@Marina I am in no way ashamed of my body, neither is my husband or my kids. Heck we are very open about them actually. My mom was extremely open about speaking with us as kids as well. Just like I am open with my kids too. We just don't feel the need to use such brash words. Plain and simple.

Merry - posted on 06/24/2011

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I tend to call it my 'downstairs' when talking to other adults, but I think that when a kid asks what is this body part the first answer should always be the real word.

Krista - posted on 06/24/2011

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Sorry, but personally, if I overheard a grown woman making reference to her "pee-pee", I would laugh hysterically. It just sounds so incredibly juvenile!

Not to say that I don't use euphemisms upon occasion. I agree that sometimes they can be a better option, depending on the setting. For example, if in public with my girlfriends and the discussion turns to waxing, I might say, "Yeah, I'm not all that keen on the idea of letting a total stranger pour hot wax all over my Very Thing. Especially if they're not buying me dinner first."

But I'm equally comfortable using the proper terms, and I do find the idea of NEVER using the proper words a little odd -- why so squeamish???

[deleted account]

Is teaching the proper reproductive body part words any different from teaching about the digestive, circulatory, skeletal, or any other body system? For those who are unconfortable with saying body anatomy names, perhaps get to the library. There are so many kid friendly books that your kids can teach themselves. My son picked up a lot on his own simply because a friend of mine passed down a few Leap Pad programs and my son was simply enthralled with the anatomy books. And it's Leap Pad-so kid friendly, and it talks to you! I am sure you could also find computer programs too.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/23/2011

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Some people are just not comfortable using the proper terms. I can see that, and it may stem from their parents being uncomfortable. I do think we should break the cycle. My mom NEVER discussed ANYTHING with me. She thought since I had 2 older sisters that I already knew everything. Not the case. She never talked to them about anything either! I am going to break that cycle with my kids, and i really do want them to be comfortable with their bodies. It took me a long time to learn my body, and get comfortable with it. Same for my husband....they never talked about anything either. I am a very open person now, about everything, and I REALLY want my kids to be comfortable way sooner in life than I was. I do honestly think it starts with calling a penis a penis and a vagina a vagina. If you can have them be comfortable with that, the proper names....I think with open communication, everything else will come much easier.

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2011

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@Jodi I have already had the talks with my boys and managed just fine. They know what private parts are on girls or boys. What sex is how it happens etc."

And Sherri, did you use the correct terms, and were you feeling uncomfortable saying them? Or did you talk about pee pees and boobies?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/23/2011

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Sherri, I have to say your boxer picture is GORGEOUS!

Sherri - posted on 06/23/2011

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Why is it sad Kate that I don't personally like those words. There is nothing wrong with calling it pee pee or boobs/boobies they are equally as acceptable other words. They are just more socially acceptable not really a big deal in the big pictures. My kids know the appropriate names we just choose not to use them.



This is my preference, your is different but I don't tell you your way is sad or wrong.



@Jodi I have already had the talks with my boys and managed just fine. They know what private parts are on girls or boys. What sex is how it happens etc.

Kate CP - 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'm sorry, but I find that very sad.

Stifler's - posted on 06/23/2011

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Vagina. Or wee wee. Whatever. I don't think vagina or vulva are inappropriate at all, they are the real name/usual name for those parts.

Bri - posted on 06/23/2011

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sometimes we use pody thing (boy) not all the time sometimes. whatever comes to SK 's track of thought.- never "cookie, muffin etc..." sometimes naughty party pody thing, or penis. those are the THREE he knows. Its my household we ll run it just fine thank you

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"?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/23/2011

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My son is 5, and he sees me change his sisters diaper all the time...who is 14 months old. He knows very well that he has a penis, and she has a vagina. I don't know what is so scary about telling it like it is. I can understand some people may be uncomfortable with it, but damn....you had sex with a penis IN your vagina to make these children, it is the most basic instinct that we still have as humans.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/23/2011

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Why is it not discussed Babay?!? It is not something to be ashamed of, the more open you are about your children's bodies with them, the more comfortable they will be with themselves....ergo, the more they will talk with you about things, changes, questions. It sounds to me like you don't even acknowledge that girls have any "private parts" until they start bleeding from them. How confusing.

Sherri - 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.

Babay - posted on 06/23/2011

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Our boys have pee-pees, and our girls "don't have pee-pees." That's what we said when we need to say anything. The boys sometimes said, "My pee-pee hurts." We did say once or twice, "Girls don't have pee-pees." We also said that those are private parts, and we don't talk about them with brother and sister and others, just with Mommy or Daddy. Boys don't talk about it after seven or so. Eventually they will get the right word for a boy from Dad or science. Mom needs to tell the girls the right words by age ten when she tells them about the menstrual cycle. Really this body part subject is not brought up more than once or twice when they are little. A simple answer will do.

[deleted account]

OMG Kate I am hysterical with gut cramps now! OK, so I dare any of you to post Kate's rant as a Facebook status update! Any takers on this?! I might!

Krista - posted on 06/23/2011

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@ Kate "why are we giving it food names, exactly?"

My answer? Because they are so fun to eat!


And THAT, ladies, is why it is creepy to give food names to a little girls' vagina.

Case, rested.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/23/2011

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@ Kate "why are we giving it food names, exactly?"

My answer? Because they are so fun to eat!

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