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Other parents disapproving of proper terms?

post #1 of 239
Thread Starter 
Has anyone else encountered parents who think that teaching the proper terms for body parts (penis and vagina especially) is "wrong"? This weekend I was at a party and a bunch of moms that I don't really know or hang out with started talking about their sons and the funny things they do and say. Of course, one of them started talking about how it scares her how her son yanks on his "goober". I was actually a little confused at first until I realized that "goober" is code for penis. They continued on that subject and one of the ladies told a story about how a boy in her daycare kept saying that his penis hurt (ended up having a UTI) and she was like "I kept having to tell him to shush! I can't believe his mom told him to say penis, it's so embarrassing that he says that in front of the other kids!"

Um, what? You can't handle a 3 year old using the proper terms for his parts? Then shame him like he's doing something wrong? I mean, if you want to use cutesy names for your kids bits, that's your business...but it never occurred to me that people would think it was wrong for me to teach my kids the real terms! Anyone else encounter this? It really threw me for a loop.
post #2 of 239
I heard that from my son's babysitter when he was too young to talk. She told me how a toddler there (home childcare) had spent much of the day singsonging, "Daddy has peeeenis! Mommy has gina!" and she said this was why parents should not teach their children the proper terms, because of the potential for embarrassment. (As if you won't be embarrassed if your child is singing, "Daddy has goober! Mommy has coochie!" in public.) She wanted me to teach my son to call it by the Tagalog word for bird because that's what they do in the Philippines (where she's from) and it works out so perfectly. I don't speak Tagalog and promptly forgot the word, but I wasn't planning to use it anyway. We went on saying "penis" at home but my son has never become obsessed with the word. I don't see why it's a big deal.
post #3 of 239
I think its a shame, but it doesn't surprise me. Out society is so weird about bodies. We aren't supposed to talk about them or identify parts by the correct names, but nudity or partial nudity is everywhere. The parts are referred to with slang words or disrespectful terms in the media all the time. I am doing something similar with dd and any future kids( i mean teaching them the correct names not bug or bird or anything). I don't see anything wrong with it.
post #4 of 239
My MIL does not like the kids to say butt. She calls it a po-po. SIL freaks if somebody says butt in her presence. It is bum-bum. So, I can only imagine what those two would have to say if they heard penis or vagina come out of a kid's mouth. :
post #5 of 239
I also find it funny that people teach their DDs to call their vulvas a "vagina"...

I'd much rather a cute term be used than an incorrect one.
post #6 of 239
My IL family gets all embarrassed about it, but oh well

I actually don't like the word "butt," at least not out of the mouths of my little ones. I mean, wouldn't the correct words be "buttocks," "anus," and so on?? We usually say "bum" or "rear." And of course, "penis," "vulva" and "vagina."
post #7 of 239
People are weird.

My partner's brother and SIL teach their kids weird "code" names for their genitals, and his whole family thinks it's just crazy that my kids use words like penis and vagina as freely as they do, though I'm 100% certain they wouldn't like the kids using the (well-known, kind of "crude") slang words, which they also know.

And a funny story . . . we realized we'd slipped into a bad habit of using slang for our son's testicles and so I had a talk with him about the "real" name for his balls . . . when I confirmed with him a couple days later, to see if he remember, he said, "Umm, umm, ummm . . . ICICLES!!" He gets it now, but that cracked me up.
post #8 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliveMama View Post
I also find it funny that people teach their DDs to call their vulvas a "vagina"...

I'd much rather a cute term be used than an incorrect one.
:

It irks me that people call it "vagina" Um the part you see is the vulva, the "inside" part is the vagina. Don't get all bent out of shape about folks using cutesy words if you aren't using the "correct" word anyway!
post #9 of 239
I don't know anyone like that...yet. My son is only two, though.

We have also fallen into the "balls" trap. My DH doesn't say "testicles" and I think that's how it happened. As for saying "penis," it comes out "weenis" somehow. But there are no cutesy names; I'm not a fan of woo-woo and all that jazz.

BTW, "butt" is slang and not correct terminology anyway, so it really belongs with woo-woo and pee-pee IMO.
post #10 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliveMama View Post
I also find it funny that people teach their DDs to call their vulvas a "vagina"...

I'd much rather a cute term be used than an incorrect one.
I've thought about this, and where I agree, I don't expect toddlers to express that their 3rd distal phalanges is inflamed. I'm OK with "my finger hurts" KWIM?

Where they should be aware of the words for the specific parts, generalizing is also ok. Little boys have more then a penis, maybe it's their scrotum, or foreskin?

now, "cute" can be in the eye of the beholder. I've been known to call a butt cheek a biscuit, and am a fan of the genderless 'crotch' I however will NOT call something a dangle, peepee, hoha or chacha, unless I'm making fun of someone for being unable to say "penis"

Yoni is fair game. Its just a cool word.
post #11 of 239
I agree with kriket. I think there's a difference between having a sense of humor about your body and being ashamed of it.
post #12 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
:

It irks me that people call it "vagina" Um the part you see is the vulva, the "inside" part is the vagina. Don't get all bent out of shape about folks using cutesy words if you aren't using the "correct" word anyway!
I agree with this - kind of. When DD was an infant through a preschooler, we were part of a playgroup where I was the only one who used penis and vagina. The other moms only had boys and they called their penises and testicles 'their stuff' ie - don't touch your stuff. When one of the moms went to a sexual abuse talk, they were told a story about a little girl who kept telling the teacher 'Johnny keeps touching my purse.' The teachers kept telling her to use her words and tell him to stop. It was only after a while that they finally picked up that 'purse' was their family name for vagina or vulva. As for the PP, at least while I might not be using the exact correct term, if one of my DDs went to a teacher and said 'Johnny is touching my vagina' there would be no confusion that something not appropriate is going on. That being said, I have been trying to change our family word to vulva. So in answer to the OP's question, yes I have encountered people who did not approve of the words we used.
post #13 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerrie View Post
they were told a story about a little girl who kept telling the teacher 'Johnny keeps touching my purse.'


at least the little girl knew enough to tell someone! Can you imagine the frustration the child felt having the teacher 'brush her off' after getting the courage to tell on Johnny

very important to think about!
post #14 of 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliveMama View Post
I also find it funny that people teach their DDs to call their vulvas a "vagina"...
That is my personal pet peeve.
I was taught as a child to refer to my external genitalia as my vulva. However, I was the only kid in my peer group that didn't use a cutesy name. I used to use the cutesy names when I was with my friends so that I wouldn't stand out as the only child that called her "pee-pee" a "vulva." My dd will learn the correct terminology, but if she wants to refer to her vulva by a cutesy name, that's fine with me.
post #15 of 239
My mother called my son's penis his "pee bird" once when he was about 3 yrs old. He looked at her like she had just grown a second head. I had to explain that she meant his penis. He was relieved, she looked faint.

As for the vagina thing, for me it's more like a lesser of two evils. Females do in fact have a body part known as a vagina (seen or unseen), but no one is walking around with a "cookie" in their underpants... well not a biological one at least.

(Cookie is what a friend of mine uses to refer to her daughter's genitals ... if she worked up to vagina I'd consider it an improvement)
post #16 of 239
I don't care if people use cutesy names -- we use cutesy names for lots of body parts, but not to the exclusion of the proper terms.

But yeah, I'd be irked if someone acted like the proper terms are dirty words or something -- I'd be very irritated with anyone who thought it was okay to chastise my son for saying penis or scrotum.
post #17 of 239
We haven't encountered it, though I expect we will at some point. We have a group of friends who use correct terms, but most people here don't. DS told me the other day that his friend says a scrotum is a 'beehive,' so I had to explain why that's not what DS was thinking of (we read an article about beekeeping recently).
post #18 of 239
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post #19 of 239
I haven't found anyone to think it is wrong but I have found that people are embarrassed by it. We use the term vulva for the all encompassing "female parts". When appropriate we use vagina, labia, ect.. We use penis, testicles, scrotum ect. for "male parts".

I have found the my Mom is really uncomfortable using the correct terms which just seems weird to me considering she is the daughter of a physician and an RN. But they grew up saying "nunu" for females and "ditty wee" for males. My Mom used "nunu" growing up but also taught us that the "correct term" was vagina, which of course when I was pregnant and spending a lot of time on MDC I learned was actually not the correct term.

So, now I can make myself feel silly. What is the correct term for a "butt"? We have gotten into saying "bottom" but I would rather use the correct term but I wasn't sure if it is "buttocks" or "gluteus maximus"? I worry that gluteus maximus would be difficult for DD to say until she is much older and might be confusing, if (God forbid) she was ever sexually abused and she tried to tell someone and her "version" of it came out as something not recognizable, KWIM?
post #20 of 239
I also wanted to say, growing up I was MUCH more embarrassed by the cutsey terms "nunu" and "bum-bum" then the proper term "vagina" (which I now know is not the proper term but I didn't know any better growing up).
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