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Educating and Son's Privacy

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I'm a pretty private person and yet, I've found myself telling two friends about my baby's intact penis in the context of sharing that we won't and didn't circumcise.  On one hand, I'm happy I've done this because it makes it normal (and ultimately gives me an opportunity to non-forcibly educate*), but on the other hand, I feel sad for my DS. What if he wouldn't want me to discuss his penis with someone else?

Does anyone else feel bad about this? Should I feel bad? I don't know how to reconcile wanting to reasonably discuss the importance of keeping boys intact whilst still respecting his privacy. Am I missing something?

*I'm using the word educate loosely.


Edited by Mulvah - 10/16/11 at 4:14pm
post #2 of 29
I do feel awkward talking about how we circ'd DS1 (12 yo) but left the twins intact. I would like to let people know that it is okay to make a different choice once you do more research. It's not as bad when the boys are little, but I am pretty sure my almost-teen would not be pleased to hear about it.

So, for me, I rarely discuss our previous mistake if I bring it up at all.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Nobody else feels this way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaChicken View Post
I do feel awkward talking about how we circ'd DS1 (12 yo) but left the twins intact. I would like to let people know that it is okay to make a different choice once you do more research. It's not as bad when the boys are little, but I am pretty sure my almost-teen would not be pleased to hear about it.

So, for me, I rarely discuss our previous mistake if I bring it up at all.
I understand. And, yes, my DS is still a baby, which was part of my thought process that I didn't verbalize. I wouldn't be talking about his penis at 10, so why is it okay to do so now?
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post
Nobody else feels this way?



I understand. And, yes, my DS is still a baby, which was part of my thought process that I didn't verbalize. I wouldn't be talking about his penis at 10, so why is it okay to do so now?
Nope, I don't feel bad about it either. Anatomy has always been a normal topic of discussion around our house and when my boys found out that people actually do something so horrendous, they started talking about it as well. They will sometimes bring it up, and have no qualms speaking of their whole penis, or having their whole penis spoke of, especially when discussed with the alternative.
post #5 of 29
my husband feels this way. DS is whole, so is dh. I had a coworker ask me about it, and I very proudly proclaimed that it was the best decision we made in parenting.

I mentioned it to DH, and he was mortified that i'd be discussing DS's peepee at work (or any other place.))

I'm not sure how to talk about it without bringing up our decision though.
post #6 of 29
*if* they were uncomfortable, I would be more choosy in how I talk about theirs specifically, such as stages of retractibility, issues they may have when they are at an age to care, such as smegma pearls... if that was something that happened (it isnt, at least not to the point where they are alarmed enough to tell me) then if they were at an age to care about me discussing it (like late toddler age+) then I would only do so with their permission. Just like I would discuss what age my daughter started certain developments, but not specifics. I would never have an issue saying when she started developing breasts, but I'm not going to discuss her undergarment choices without knowing it's okay with her...

However, that is completely different than discussing what WE do and don't do in our family. I will never ever have an issue saying WE don't do that (circumcise). I think to not be comfortable talking about that is DEFINITELY some sort of hangup like Yulia discussed.
post #7 of 29
oops dp.
post #8 of 29
It's not the same thing. Would you talk about either of you kids genitals outside the context of circumcision? The needs for that would be few and far between. But if a conversation came up about FGM, would you feel odd discussing your position on that?
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackenzie View Post
It's not the same thing. Would you talk about either of you kids genitals outside the context of circumcision? The needs for that would be few and far between. But if a conversation came up about FGM, would you feel odd discussing your position on that?
ITA - I have no problems at all telling people that I chose to keep my daughter's genitals intact. It's the norm and should be treated as such. Stating that your ds's genitals are intact is the same as my saying my DD's genitals are intact. Or her hair is brown - maybe more like telling people her weight..you might not tell anyone how much you weigh, but do you think twice about saying how much ds weighs?
post #10 of 29
Also, you don't really have to get too involved in any specific penis in discussion. You can just make statements like "we don't circumcise" or if asked the standard "isn't it gross/hard to keep clean/a lotta work" questions, you can answer in generalities "no, you clean an intact penis just like a finger" or "it's less work than worrying about an open wound in a dirty environment like a diaper". You don't really have to say anything about your child's penis...
post #11 of 29
i would not feel weird knowing someone didnt circ their child but i do feel sad when i know they did. I think on it differently. I am proud that i knew it was wrong and caused unneeded pain to babies. i didnt circ my ds. I know that my 3 brothers were circed they all are aprox. 15 years older then me. also i know that my nephews are not circed 12, 14, 18, 23. i dont feel weird about knowing that. i think of it as a blessing that they were left alone and are whole as they were when they were born. i think this way about every child and adult i know that is left intact
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackenzie View Post
Also, you don't really have to get too involved in any specific penis in discussion. You can just make statements like "we don't circumcise" or if asked the standard "isn't it gross/hard to keep clean/a lotta work" questions, you can answer in generalities "no, you clean an intact penis just like a finger" or "it's less work than worrying about an open wound in a dirty environment like a diaper". You don't really have to say anything about your child's penis...
I like the "we don't circ" statement because while it clearly implies that DS is intact, it doesn't make it about him. I will have to try that and oddly, just the slight change in words does make me feel better about it. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemizflava View Post
i would not feel weird knowing someone didnt circ their child but i do feel sad when i know they did. I think on it differently. I am proud that i knew it was wrong and caused unneeded pain to babies. i didnt circ my ds. I know that my 3 brothers were circed they all are aprox. 15 years older then me. also i know that my nephews are not circed 12, 14, 18, 23. i dont feel weird about knowing that. i think of it as a blessing that they were left alone and are whole as they were when they were born. i think this way about every child and adult i know that is left intact
You may not feel weird knowing, but my issue is with how my DS would feel knowing I chatted about his penis. It is his penis to chat about.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post
I'm really not sure how one can keep their own children out of it. In any and every discussion we have had about it, I'm always asked. I refuse to "plead the fifth" or be coy in any way.
Interesting. When I talk I talk about the facts and interestingly enough anyone rarely ask if we circ our son or not, maybe because it is very obvious to them that we wouldn't or perhaps they personally feel uncomfortable about asking a penile status of a 5yo...I don't know. The only few times I was asked is when people learn that my husband (my son's dad) was born and raised in Israel (I guess in this case people want to have an extra confirmation lol).
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post
You may not feel weird knowing, but my issue is with how my DS would feel knowing I chatted about his penis. It is his penis to chat about.
I guess if my son were concern about me talking about his penis (which I rarely do anyway) I'd respect that and I wouldn't. But I would also be seriously worried as to why he feels that talking about having all of this genitals is any different or more inbarassing/shameful than talking about having all of his 10 toes or his two tonsils. I would definitely explain it to him. It's just another body part, no difference what so ever. And I am pretty darn set to raise my kids with the idea that ALL of our body is totally normal and beautiful and no part is more shameful than the other. For example, for my kids (5 and 4yo) seeing me walking naked around the house after the shower is something so normal that they wouldn't even look twice lol
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post
I like the "we don't circ" statement because while it clearly implies that DS is intact, it doesn't make it about him. I will have to try that and oddly, just the slight change in words does make me feel better about it. Thanks!



You may not feel weird knowing, but my issue is with how my DS would feel knowing I chatted about his penis. It is his penis to chat about.
NP I was thinking about how my conversations regarding circumcision go and realized that is how they generally start out. Also, I think it helps convey your objection to the act more than "ds is not circumcised" does, as that just seems like a neutral statement of fact rather than an opinion on the matter. For me, it isn't unless people have specific questions or arguments about it, that I will speak of my boys specifically, and they are (at present anyhow) okay with that. I would not if they objected. The only difference is you are approaching it from a stand point of "until he says its okay" whereas I am from "until he says it is not". I don't see a problem with either, unless his wishes are not honored.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yulia_R View Post
I guess if my son were concern about me talking about his penis (which I rarely do anyway) I'd respect that and I wouldn't. But I would also be seriously worried as to why he feels that talking about having all of this genitals is any different or more inbarassing/shameful than talking about having all of his 10 toes or his two tonsils. I would definitely explain it to him. It's just another body part, no difference what so ever. And I am pretty darn set to raise my kids with the idea that ALL of our body is totally normal and beautiful and no part is more shameful than the other. For example, for my kids (5 and 4yo) seeing me walking naked around the house after the shower is something so normal that they wouldn't even look twice lol
I think it is just about respecting their level of comfort... My kids are comfortable with their bodies and know that "a body is just a body and everyone has one". However, they all desire different levels of privacy. I too have no issue walking around my house naked and my kids don't bat an eye, however the only one that is comfortable doing that himself is DS2 (this is also the kid who used to stand in the picture window with nothing but his yellow rain boots on and wave at people as they walked by ) DD is not uncomfortable or ashamed of her body but I am about the only one that she allows to see her when she is changing or whatever. She is generally comfortable with me talking about it (her development) but only to certain people. I don't think that reflects a hang up or anything, and she certainly hasn't had one instilled in her. I actually think it is healthy for her to know where her boundaries and be willing to assert them. I think as long as we are not raising our kids to be ashamed or to feel like there is something wrong, then we are doing okay...
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackenzie View Post
I think it is just about respecting their level of comfort... My kids are comfortable with their bodies and know that "a body is just a body and everyone has one". However, they all desire different levels of privacy. I too have no issue walking around my house naked and my kids don't bat an eye, however the only one that is comfortable doing that himself is DS2 (this is also the kid who used to stand in the picture window with nothing but his yellow rain boots on and wave at people as they walked by ) DD is not uncomfortable or ashamed of her body but I am about the only one that she allows to see her when she is changing or whatever. She is generally comfortable with me talking about it (her development) but only to certain people. I don't think that reflects a hang up or anything, and she certainly hasn't had one instilled in her. I actually think it is healthy for her to know where her boundaries and be willing to assert them. I think as long as we are not raising our kids to be ashamed or to feel like there is something wrong, then we are doing okay...
You are right, thanks for pointing it out!
Even though I do believe that their level of comfort (or discomfort, for that matter) comes/forms from SOMEWHERE. A young child just wouldn't decide out of his/her head that she doesn't want people to see changing, it must come from somewhere. Maybe her teacher at school is giving them a message of this being important or grandma or something, it just doesn't come from nowhere. The kids are not born feeling shy of exposing their bodies. And yes, if they do have the need for privacy, I agree it needs to be respected. But I would try to find out where it comes from and eliminate the cause for the future (as well as talking about it and explaining to my kids that some people may have an issue with it because of the way they were broght up and unfortunately, sometimes they may even feel they have the right to project that on other people or kids, but that it is THEIR issue and my kids should take it (and perhaps even respect it) for what it is: THOSE PEOPLE'S issue.
I'd ask my son if he had a problem of me talking about his toes with other people. While I would still respect his comfort level, I would definitely challenge him to think...
post #18 of 29
I think the previous old generation ended up getting Intimidated by actual body names and the actual talk of it that it was thought to be THAT's Something You Shouldn't Be Talking About In Public as Keeping it at Home leading many of those people to have Body Shame.

Like people Should Be Able to Talk About Body Parts and it's Function without Going Oh No No We Do Not Talk Like That .

There has been a bracelet for breast cancer survivors that say I love Boobies its now Banned at our schools!

I wrote in response to that banned of this is the Reason Why People Don't Have a Postive Body Image .

Yeah , I would more rather have my boy share about his Factual Status of himself and the Factual Stuff of Circumcision when he Gets to be in the Teen Years .

When my boy gets to be teen/adult I will say I don't believe in Circumcision and our family does not allow it unless there is a True Medical Reason etc!
post #19 of 29
And adding to previously said, it is not surprising that both our kids have no problem having "naked parties" with their neighbor friend outside on a refular basis (when it is warm outside). Our daughter always goes the "extra mile" to the point of sometimes making me and dh uncomfortable (which takes a LOT to do LOL), but we just ignore it and say nothing because guess what...this is OUR problem, this is how we were, unfortunately, brought up and the power of it is huge: one can logically understand that there is nothing wrong with it objectively and yet still feel uncomfortable. Good thing we decided that for our family this nonesense will die with our generation and our kids will never feel bad or uncomfortable about ANY part of their bodies )
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackenzie View Post
NP I was thinking about how my conversations regarding circumcision go and realized that is how they generally start out. Also, I think it helps convey your objection to the act more than "ds is not circumcised" does, as that just seems like a neutral statement of fact rather than an opinion on the matter. For me, it isn't unless people have specific questions or arguments about it, that I will speak of my boys specifically, and they are (at present anyhow) okay with that. I would not if they objected. The only difference is you are approaching it from a stand point of "until he says its okay" whereas I am from "until he says it is not". I don't see a problem with either, unless his wishes are not honored.
See, I'm always asked specifics, but I can see how I possibly contributed to that by my word choice(s). It seems funny that I couldn't think to word things the appropriate way, but well, I couldn't.
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