2 year old asking about her privates

Megan - posted on 09/10/2009 ( 59 moms have responded )

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My daughter is almost 2 and of course very curious about her body. While changing her diaper or giving her a bath she is always pointing to her privates and asking "whats that?". I have heard everything from front butt to just telling her it is her vagina. I am kinda leery about having my 2 year old going around saying vagina though! Any ideas on what to tell her?

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Janine - posted on 09/11/2009

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Our Child Health Centre held a seminar recently and they discussed the fact that unfortunately I think these were the stats 1 in every 4 girls will be sexually abused by the time they are 18 and 1 in every 10 boys by the time they are 18. Now these are totally crazy alarming stats, and they completely freaked me out to think that they are just that high!!

One of the things they said was about a young girl who used to be looked after by her aunty and uncle quite often. Her mum would always ask her how her time was there, and she would say how her uncle loved to play with her polly pocket. Now they are those little dolls that girls play with. So her mum thought that was nice. And the little girls said the same thing at school, and the teachers didn't think anything of it. It turned out that her Uncle asked her do you know what this is called. (the girl was only 3 yrs old) and she said no, so he said lets call it your polly pocket. And I don't need to explain anymore. The reason why they told us this story was so we understood that it is important to teach our children about their privates using the right terms, or at least terms that are so general, there would never be any confusion for anything else.

I wanted to share this because it shocked me, and I above anything else want to make sure my girls are safe in this world!

Sara - posted on 09/10/2009

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With my son I try to answer his questions accurately and at the level he can understand. He has asked what all of his body parts are and I treat the genitalia comments like I do everything else. If you show that you are uncomfortable about saying it then she will wonder why and might start saying it just so she can see your reaction. Also it is not that uncommon for kids to frequently repeat all new words, it is how they learn new information. It may be disconcerting but anybody with kids will just nod and smile if they hear her doing it because we have all been there! And those who don't have kids will get over it. Good luck, remember it is much more important for her to be comfortable with her body then for strangers to be comfortable with her talking about her body.

Rachelle - posted on 09/16/2009

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Telling the truth is the best policy, in my opinion. There is too much stigma attached to privates and nudity. Lying is only making it a dirty thing and it is not. My son NEVER called it his pee pee or wee wee, he calls it a penis.That's what it is, right?

Melinda - posted on 09/10/2009

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I was a single mom for a long time and many times in a rush I would get dressed in front of my toddler (8yrs old now). I stopped when I was asked, "Mommy, where's yours?" He was pointing to where his penis is. I didn't get nervous about it, but knew it was time to stop. I just explained that girls have a vagina and boys have a penis and that they are both private parts. Then I got the questions, "What private mean?" It means you don't talk about it, you don't touch it in front of people, you don't show it to anyone, and you don't look at anyones.

Jaime - posted on 09/10/2009

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I am amazed and very puzzled by the discomfort that a lot of people claim to feel when discussing the proper terminology for male and female genitals, with their children. There is nothing gross, embarrassing or disturbing about the words 'penis' and 'vagina'.

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Aurelas - posted on 10/25/2013

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My two year old knows the words for her parts--I have insisted on using the actual terms rather than nicknames--and lol she has ended up calling her vagina her "giant." It is pretty darn funny sometimes! Right now though she is obsessed with "giants." Does the cat have one? Does daddy have one? Her doll's "giant" hurts and needs medicine--probably a reference to the infection she herself got a few months back. While some of her talk can be very embarrassing--such as suddenly asking to smell Mommy's "giant" in the check out line (why on earth she would ask such a thing we have yet to figure out)--I know it is normal and that I used to horrify my mother with similar conversation when I was her age. The difference is that I was quickly taught that female anatomy was kind of a shameful thing to talk about to the point that I was humiliated at the idea that my daddy would have to learn that I had got my period. I don't want it to be that way for my little one.

Kim - posted on 09/16/2009

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You always what your child too know the right names for there body parts.. Just let her know the right name for her body parts and then like most moms have a nick name so if there every around people and they come out with it no one will know what they are talking about.. I have a daughter myself she is 4 she knew all her parts by the age of 2 and then we came up with her own names...

Stutee - posted on 09/16/2009

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I come from a closed society and my son is 3, he has the same questions! I think that if we want our kids to be children of the world than age appropriate sexeducation should be mandatory which means at kindergarden level itself kids should be introduced to terms like vagina, booms and penus, however we could use pleasing words like coochie, bust and willy respectively. Kids are inquisitive and innocent and so its natural for them to ask why? Help them grow...stu

Shayna - posted on 09/16/2009

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I tell my son what his parts are, I think there is absolutely no harm in doing so. It is their body part, just like their head or toes!! Of course when you think of "private parts" peoples mind drift off to thinking dirty... but their 2-3-4-5 year olds.... they think with pure INNOCENCE & curiosity!

Brooke - posted on 09/15/2009

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Tell her! Be very honest about this and don't make it a big deal, because it's not! The more open you are with her the more open she will be with you. Explain the real name and also explain to her that it's a private area! I wouldn't explain the function really until she's a little older or until she asks what it's for. Always answer her questions though, you're her Mommy and she goes to you for the facts and you should give them to her and make her feel comfortable about it. Good luck! =)

[deleted account]

we call it her potty, because that is where potty comes from. I had the same questions and I would rather her say potty in public.

Leah - posted on 09/15/2009

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I thought this was a bit odd, but it grew on me. My girlfriend's daughter kept on asking her the same thing and they happened to be watching the little mermaid that day so my friend told her daughter, 'that is called your treasure' she explained 'it is only yours and nobody else is allowed to see it'. She elaborated a bit more but for a 2 year old I think this might be an easy way to start...I know if you don't want to be embarassed at a store or something, calling her vagina 'treasure' might be a bit less obvious.

Jessica - posted on 09/15/2009

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In my town once the kids start kindergarten they do classes call Happy Bear. It teaches children what parts of the body it's not okay for others to touch and that's it ok to tell a grown up. They teach the parents that it is okay to have the cutsie names, which we do, but to make absolutely sure that when they are older to teach them the correct names. Either way you choose the correct names need to be taught at some point

Emeli - posted on 09/15/2009

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My daughter calls hers her jina. Just remind her that it isn't right to talk about her privates unless they hurt.. My daughter has spilt it out in public but I don't mind I'm just gland she doesn't call it her tootie like I used to!

Liz - posted on 09/15/2009

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Just tell her they are her privates. They are private, so that way, if she does repeat you, it won't be embarrassing if she does it in public. I guess it depends on how embarrassed you might be if you do give her the correct terminology and she does repeat it.

Cassandra - posted on 09/15/2009

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I don't like the appropriate words because they sound so taboo coming out of a little one's mouth. So we call our daughter's her "muffin" and that way if she says it in public (which she does...) it's not uncomfortable for everyone around. When she is old enough we fully intend on teaching her the correct terminology. I guess it depends on your own comfort level.

Niki - posted on 09/15/2009

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I struggled with this too until we decided on what to call it. My mother called mine a "buggy"....how ridiculous and how was anyone other than her supposed to know what i was talking about unless i guestured to it? We taught our daughter that they are her "parts". I think when she is a bit older we will give her the proper name for it but in the meantime when she has a problem and tells someone that something is going on with her parts i think that they will generally understand what she means. Good luck!

Andrea - posted on 09/14/2009

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I would just tell her what the real name is. It is a good thing for her to learn the correct name for her private part.

Jennifer - posted on 09/14/2009

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honesty is the best policy, my daughters doc told me that it is better for them to know the correct names in case heaven forbid anything happened to them, at least they would be able to use the correct terms so there would be no mistake about what they were talking about! i know its not something that parents want to think about but it is a reality in the world!

Naomi - posted on 09/14/2009

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My 2 year old daughter calls it her "tushy." I taught her that her bottom is her tushy, and she started calling all her privates that. I decided not to correct her yet because she will talk about it to anyone, and I would rather her not go around talking about her vagina just yet. I'll tell her the correct names when she's a little older and ready to be more private about things like that.

[deleted account]

I believe to tell a child the honest truth at a level they would understand. My 5 year old step daughter asked me about "the little blue string" of the tampon.
I wanted to lie , but realised that the few minutes after a child asks a question , they take in so much information it's unreal. What you say is the holy truth. If you want her to trust you when she is older , tell her the truth.

Krysten - posted on 09/13/2009

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you should allways be completly honest with your babies. Silly names for their privates are just that, SILLY..lol

If your forward and informative with them about there bodies now, your laying a good foundation for them to come to you about allmost anything in the future. You will be the mom they can actually talk to, because they know you will be understanding and honest.

Aaa - posted on 09/13/2009

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When I was growing up, somehow the vagina became the "dinky", nipples were "pinkies" and the rear end was a "doupa" (yes, my family is Polish/Russian.)



With my four year old son, his penis is his "peanut" or (when he's feeling especially silly,) his "car" (I have no idea why.) When he asks about my vagina or where my "peanut" is, my fiance and I tell him that his "peanut" is his "boy parts" and that girls have "girl parts", and we leave it at that.



I don't know how your daughter is, but my son is one of those kids who doesn't just repeat things for a few hours, or even a few days, but he NEVER LETS IT GO! Months, even years later, he'll still be saying the same words over and over and over unless we tell him it's a bad word (ie. the first time he heard Mommy say "S***!" while driving!) But obv we didn't want to tell him that any part of him was bad. I just don't think it's pleasing anyone to hear a child go "vaginavaginavaginavagina!" everytime they see him/her, but that's just my two cents! ;-D

Amanda - posted on 09/13/2009

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my mom use to put locks on the tv channels because she didn't want her son to be exposed to sexually explicit tv, and her son lost his virginity at 16, and in his early teens he was running around using vulgar names for these parts that he didn't know about. my thought on this is " if they are old enough to ask the question the they are old enough to hear the truth and understand." there is no harm in talking with your child about here body parts and other topics of that nature. who know you could open up a long term dialogue that could prevent teen pregnancy. good luck.

Robyn - posted on 09/13/2009

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my son asked me where my willy was and i said girls dont have one and then he asked me if it fell off, i told him boys have penis's and girls have vaginas, and the other day he is 6 now by the way he was havin a bath and he pointed to his scrotum and asked me what that weird skin was for under is willy, that i didnt have a good answer for without going in to discussion about what that was for i just told him it was more of his boy parts

Manda - posted on 09/13/2009

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I think its important to use the real names. God forbid anything ever happens to your child and they are trying to tell an adult and that person doesnt know your childs "nickname" for their privet areas and just brushes it off as childrens sillyness!

Betty - posted on 09/13/2009

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Just tell her the real names for things. She knows what to call her eye and nose so she needs to know what to call this too. Just teach her what every body part is called like her knees and and toes. She will most likely only talk about whatever is exposed.

Andrea - posted on 09/13/2009

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My daughter is 17 months so she hasn't really asked what hers’ is called yet but I have kinda worked out what I am going to say. With my brother and me my mom set us down (when we asked about it) and told us the correct terms for our private parts but she also said that we can call it a to-to and a wee-wee. So we understood what the correct terms were but didn't go around shouting it to everyone!!! I personally am not uncomfortable with the correct terminology of the private parts but don't want my daughter to run around saying them either. I think that some words are inappropriate to be said in public by a child.

Heather - posted on 09/13/2009

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i told my daughter that is her treasure, she is to keep it to her self. no one is to touch it or any thing else..she is now 4 and she still calls it her treasure. she will say mommy my treasure hurts or it needs new underware..

Janniche - posted on 09/13/2009

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Just tell her a "nice" name for her vagina, I have a cute name for it (but that's norwegian, so it's no good, LOL,,) Just find a cute one, and explain that's where her pee-pee comes out, and all the girls have it! :)

Becky - posted on 09/12/2009

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we call it for the girls "ti-ti" and the boys is a "pecker" or "pee-pee" i think it helps is potty training if they call it by it's job. my daughter now 5, knows the correct term for it. i believe that if a child is old enough to ask, they are old enough for the answer, maybe not the full answer but the age appropreite (sorry for spelling) answer. my daughter also knows that babies come from there

Charity - posted on 09/12/2009

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Quoting Jaime:

I am amazed and very puzzled by the discomfort that a lot of people claim to feel when discussing the proper terminology for male and female genitals, with their children. There is nothing gross, embarrassing or disturbing about the words 'penis' and 'vagina'.



I totally agree with this, I also don't understand why the word pee pee is somehow better than the word vagina they both describe the same thing. The only logic I see in calling their privates a pee pee or a wee wee is that for early learning reasons they are much easier to say than the actual words, but other than that I don't think people should be squeamish about saying the actual words. It gives children the wrong message about their bodies. 

Jessica - posted on 09/12/2009

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Quoting Jaime:

I am amazed and very puzzled by the discomfort that a lot of people claim to feel when discussing the proper terminology for male and female genitals, with their children. There is nothing gross, embarrassing or disturbing about the words 'penis' and 'vagina'.


This is how i feel my mom is a nurse and the sooner thebetter tell them the real proper name it sounds better then anything else my daughter says "I have a gina and dreson [[her brother]] has a pennis" and then on a good day she will tell or even show you "boys stand to pee like this mommy and us girl we sit down to pee"LOL LOL  there is nothing wrong w/ this at least later on in lfe if a boy tries something w/ her at an early age cause you know kids these days are growing up way tooooo fast well at least she can tell someone and them understand

Jennifer - posted on 09/12/2009

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Thanks for asking this question. I have a 2 1/2 year old girl who is asking the same question. This was very helpful!

Sarah - posted on 09/12/2009

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I told my son and daughter what they had and that they are different. The don't go around say penis or vagina. I read somewhere that it is good to tell them the real name.

Kristina - posted on 09/12/2009

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my daughters 21 months & calls her girly bits "lulu" & her bum "butt-butt". We taught her this when she was about 18 months as we had already taught her the rest of her body parts & her privates were the last to be taught. she's absolutely fine with it. she thinks it's funny most the time.

Michelle - posted on 09/12/2009

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My 5 year old was the same way when she was younger. I told her its was her private area and no one is allowed to touch but her, me, her daddy, and doctor, and only if mommy is there or to wipe. I also called it her pee pee. she thought that was funny. hope this helps

Kelli - posted on 09/12/2009

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I alos have a 2 year old and she is VERY curioius about herself. We explained that it is her "private area" and that it is only for her. Then went on to explain if anything bad happens....yada yada.....her pediatrician actually instructed us to approach it that. way. Hopefully that helps :)

Rebecca - posted on 09/11/2009

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hi my name is Rebecca i have a son aged 1 at the moment .i understand where you are coming from i also have a niece the same and she went throuh that stage at one point and she ask what vagina was and her mum said that your mini so you could say that your little Princess.

Angela - posted on 09/11/2009

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i used to tell my step daughters before they knew the word vagina that it was their girl stuff and their brother had boy stuff when they were really little i used the word pee pee and butt

Lorraine - posted on 09/11/2009

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I would just let her know what it is and what it's for. No matter what you name it, I am sure that she is gonna just repeat whatever you say. Just let her know that "it's your vagina sweety! This is where pee comes out from and when your older babies too!" Tell her that she came from "mommy's vagina". Then when she asks how she got there then you say MAGIC! Or you can let her know that all girls have little eggs that we are born with that are waiting to hatch. You can even use chickens as an example. Maybe you can take her somewhere that has chickens laying eggs. Maybe this is a little out there, but be honest with your little one. You don't have to make it into a bad thing. All girls have one and vagina is a medical term. Hope this helps!

Erica - posted on 09/11/2009

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ive always told my kids when they were your daughters age that it is their pee pee, then as they got older they either 1 named it theirselves or 2 called it by its proper name.

Megan - posted on 09/11/2009

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Thanks to everyone for your help! My 3 year old calls his penis his peanuts because he cant quite say it right and that doesnt bother me too much. I guess I just kinda gotta get past feeling funny about saying vagina! I was raised in a family that NEVER talked about sex. It was almost like saying a cuss word in my house growing up. I dont want my children to feel so uncomfortable about these kind of things like I do. The thing that always pops in my head is the scene from Kindergarten cop when the little boy stands up in front of the class and annouces "Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina!" LOL! Thanks again girls!

Beth - posted on 09/11/2009

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We use the real words with my sons they know that they have penises. It is funny because they have asked me where mine was before (when I inevitatbly have "company" in the bathroom) so we explained to them that boys and giurls are special God made boys with a penis and girls with a vagina. I feel that it will help with real conversations that we need to have later. Getting used to the terminology is 1/2 the battle- I don't want my boys to be the ones in 7th grade who just can't get past the word Penis and vagina in science class.

Carly - posted on 09/10/2009

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My daughter has always known the right names fro boy and girl parts however if ever she has a complaint about he vagina she calls it bum, for her it describes everything in her panties. I think that when they start asking you must add the privacy talk. I told her your privacy is everything that is covered by a bikini or a boys bathing suit and then what privat means. information keeps them safe and helps you when something hurts.



On a side note our son was born when she was three and she wanted a sister so when she came to pick me up from the hospital she told the nurse in a very unimpressed voice "this is is my brother he has a penis." the nurse was very calm, we were almost rolling on the floor, she just said "yes honey he does"

[deleted account]

Hey, I have 3 boys and I assume when/if I have a girl, I will teach her the same...We all have a hiney, private area, and chest... Honesty is GREAT, but in my personal opinion and being a mom for only 3 1/2 years, there are alot of words that (although they are honest)I do not want to hear my children say at this young age....We don't say butt...It is not a bad word, I just don't think it sounds nice coming out of MY childrens mouths... Hope this gives you another choice of how to handle this situation with your little girl...Good Luck to you and rest assured what ever YOU choose to do will be fine...GOD Bless

Rachel - posted on 09/10/2009

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i taught both my girls vagina as soon as they ask. i believe they benefit from the facts even at 2. neither used it inappropriate.

Sara - posted on 09/10/2009

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Tell her what it is. lol It is worse when you tell them a nick name then they ask a total stranger about there woohoo and the stranger looks at you like your nuts. My daughter is potty trained and always exploring down there and said mommy I found my hole. I am not a very private person and see nothing wrong with my daughters seeing me naked. Well I also can never go to the bathroom alone either. Even if she is asleep I swear the dog or hubby comes in on me.

Michelle - posted on 09/10/2009

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I just thought I would add that I have a friend and her oldest son is going to be 6 soon and she calls his penis a wiggly worm, she will not tell him, it is a penis, she is very uncomfortable with talking to her kids about things like that. I never used pet names, I call them as they are or just say pee pee or bum.

[deleted account]

Hi, I told my Daughter that it was her front bottom as she always says things she has been told or heard at a later date. However it is up to you what you are to tell your daughter everyone has different opions with what should be done.

Rachel - posted on 09/10/2009

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I agree with being honest. My son asked me awhile back (he's 2 1/2 now) and I just told him like I would tell him anything else. He's potty-training now and when he has to go, he tells me "My peeny hurts." He's not uncomfortable with it at all. Although he has pointed at me and said "Mama, is that your peeny?" in public. Surprisingly, nobdy around batted an eye, haha!

Heather - posted on 09/10/2009

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I always told my boys what we called them..pee pees. Once our oldest knew what to call it, the matter dropped. The only thing I find funny is when he discovered the mommy, being the only female in the house, doesn't have a pee pee like him, lol. That was a lot tougher to answer.

Michelle - posted on 09/10/2009

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my family always did pee pee for girls and weiner or we we for boys. My daughter did the same thing but now she knows all her body parts. Plus knowing what they are is a steping stone to the whole stranger talks later. Though my sister taught her daughter vagina and its no big deal with them not as cutesie and its honest and straight forward.

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