Question about young children using anatomically correct terms. - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
Butterfy Baby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My daughter is 2.5 years old. She knows that baby's grow in a mommy's belly, inside her uterus and come out of her vagina. No big deal, right? (She asks, I tell, and she repeats....).

The other night at dinner, she told my friend, "I was in mommy's belly and came out of her vagina!" My friend and I had a good laugh over that.

My other friend is shocked that my daughter knows this so early. She told me that her husband would 'flip out' if their daughter knew/said that. I told her it was no different than a child knowing that teeth are used to chew food and legs are for walking. ???

I feel proud that my daughter is correctly informed about her body and the purpose of a woman's vagina. Should I not be? "Other friend" has me doubting myself.
Butterfy Baby is offline  
#2 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 01:14 AM
 
4Blessings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: At the arena
Posts: 969
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You're doing great!

Some people are so uptight. I'm all for making sure my kids know the correct terms for their body parts and the purpose.

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
4Blessings is offline  
#3 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 01:17 AM
 
sarahn4639's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,698
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Don't doubt, basic body functions are nothing to hide! Correct terms are totally appropriate.

Sarah-wife, mother, doula, and teacher.
sarahn4639 is offline  
#4 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 01:40 AM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Don't doubt yourself! You doing the right thing - how can being honest or calling something by it's proper name be wrong? There's also evidence that children who use correct anatomical language are less likely to be abused.

Cutesy names for anatomy drive me crazy. The one I dislke the most is "peter" for penis and I've heard a couple of different kids use it. What's a kid going to think when he actually meets someone named Peter?
ollyoxenfree is offline  
#5 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 01:45 AM
 
Drummer's Wife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Land of Enchantment
Posts: 11,823
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your friend is a bit odd to flip out over body parts! Nothing weird about small children using correct terminology - even if it seems like such a big, grown up sounding word coming out of a small mouth.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
Drummer's Wife is offline  
#6 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 02:20 AM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,430
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
You are awesome! My kids could do that, too.
philomom is online now  
#7 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 02:31 AM
 
GreenMamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 224
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
It's better, really, for them to know the correct names and use them appropriately. I have been told by social workers and medical professionals that small children who are taught the anatomically correct word from the beginning are much less likely to be victims of sexual abuse.


Mother, wife, doula, and lactivist.
GreenMamma is online now  
#8 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 03:18 AM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,734
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMamma View Post
It's better, really, for them to know the correct names and use them appropriately. I have been told by social workers and medical professionals that small children who are taught the anatomically correct word from the beginning are much less likely to be victims of sexual abuse.
I really hope social workers and medical professionals aren't assuming things like that. Knowing the proper names for your body parts isn't going to protect a child from abuse and I really doubt there is a single well done study to show that it will.

I do think that it is good for kids to know anatomically correct terms. I think teaching kids that their bodies are so shameful that we can't name all of the parts on them is something to be avoided. I taught my dd the correct terms for her body parts when she was starting to talk.
One_Girl is online now  
#9 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 03:30 AM
 
Sierra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,464
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My SILs all seem to find it very odd and amusing and shocking that my kids know and use the proper terms. But you know, one of them went off to college thinking that all cats were females and all dogs were males...that's how repressed these kinds of conversations were in their childhood. I'm glad my kids are getting what I got: correct, accurate information and the empowerment regarding one's body that goes along with that.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
Sierra is offline  
#10 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 03:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
Butterfy Baby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I really hope social workers and medical professionals aren't assuming things like that. Knowing the proper names for your body parts isn't going to protect a child from abuse and I really doubt there is a single well done study to show that it will.

I do think that it is good for kids to know anatomically correct terms. I think teaching kids that their bodies are so shameful that we can't name all of the parts on them is something to be avoided. I taught my dd the correct terms for her body parts when she was starting to talk.
No, I've heard that, too. I take it to mean that children who are taught the proper names and have open honest discussions with their parents--as opposed to keeping it quiet and shameful ("that's your hoo-ha and ding-dong that we should never speak of")--are more likely to know what's right and wrong and speak to their parents (or trusted adult) if something is wrong. That's just my take on it, though.

@Sierra--
Butterfy Baby is offline  
#11 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 03:44 AM
 
Mrs. Bratton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I really hope social workers and medical professionals aren't assuming things like that. Knowing the proper names for your body parts isn't going to protect a child from abuse and I really doubt there is a single well done study to show that it will.

I do think that it is good for kids to know anatomically correct terms. I think teaching kids that their bodies are so shameful that we can't name all of the parts on them is something to be avoided. I taught my dd the correct terms for her body parts when she was starting to talk.
No, the studies don't show that knowing the correct names for genitals protects children from sexual abuse. It just shows a positive correlation between children who are misinformed and sexual abuse. My guess is that it's b/c the parents who are telling kids what their bodies are really for and telling them the correct names are also talking to their kids about good touch and bad touch, feeling uncomfortable w/ certain people/touches, etc. The parents who are offended by sex, the process of birth, the words penis and vagina, etc are probably just sweeping everything else under the rug.
Mrs. Bratton is offline  
#12 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 05:25 AM
 
Oubliette8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It might not protect them from sexual abuse, but if anything is wrong its far easier for them to tell if they know the correct name. I saw somewhere it explained like this- if your child hurt themselves at school or at a friends and told the adult in charge her elbow hurt, everyone would know exactly what she was talking about. If she hurt her genitals, and told them her yahoo hurt, would they know what was wrong? If she says someone hurt her with his "thing" will they know she means his penis? Even if you know what the word "thing" means for her, it will make it hard for her to communicate that to other people- doctors, therapists, social workers etc.

Beyond that, they're body parts, they have names just like any other part. We don't have cutesy names for knees, or toes, or ears. I think giving them such names only adds to their mystique as they get older and peers start whispering abut how those parts are really called a vagina, but they're not allowed to say that word. The names for genitals are not dirty words. I don't think there's any reason to shelter kids from them.
Oubliette8 is offline  
#13 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 07:36 AM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For clarification on how knowing correct terminology helps protect kids from sexual abuse check out Gavin de Becker's Protecting the Gift. There are many factors. Accurate reporting is one (jury's don't know PRECISELY what you mean and are less likely to care if Mr smith touched your tuppence with his wee-wee than if mr smith pushed his penis into your vagina, sad but true), opportunity to (mis)educate is another (paedophiles see innocence as attractive because they can use it to teach the child whatever they want "mommy and daddy think you're too young and immature to know this stuff but *I* know you're special and ready to learn, but you mustn't tell them about it!"), ability to report also often puts potential predators right off (convicted paedophiles have said that a child who already knows what a penis and a vulva and an anus and a vagina is is NOT a tempting prospect, there will be no ambiguity if that child disobeys the instruction not to tell and thus the risk is far bigger). On top of all of that to teach the correct anatomical terms for ALL the body parts empowers the child to care for their own body. Being able to tell the dentist their gums hurt or the doctor their hips ache or their vulva itches is a useful skill.

My DD knows she came out of my vagina and has been telling people about it since she was about 2. Occasionally she tells some very elderly person on the bus and i wish i had an "i'm just the nanny" tee on, but mainly we get along fine with it all
GoBecGo is offline  
#14 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 11:44 AM
 
kalirush's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, we started with the correct anatomical terms when my daughter was about 3.5 and got a baby brother. For a while, she would loudly announce whether guests at our house had a vulva, or a penis and testicles.

Fortunately, we don't have anyone over who wouldn't just think it was funny.
kalirush is offline  
#15 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 02:37 PM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
For clarification on how knowing correct terminology helps protect kids from sexual abuse check out Gavin de Becker's Protecting the Gift. There are many factors. Accurate reporting is one (jury's don't know PRECISELY what you mean and are less likely to care if Mr smith touched your tuppence with his wee-wee than if mr smith pushed his penis into your vagina, sad but true), opportunity to (mis)educate is another (paedophiles see innocence as attractive because they can use it to teach the child whatever they want "mommy and daddy think you're too young and immature to know this stuff but *I* know you're special and ready to learn, but you mustn't tell them about it!"), ability to report also often puts potential predators right off (convicted paedophiles have said that a child who already knows what a penis and a vulva and an anus and a vagina is is NOT a tempting prospect, there will be no ambiguity if that child disobeys the instruction not to tell and thus the risk is far bigger). On top of all of that to teach the correct anatomical terms for ALL the body parts empowers the child to care for their own body. Being able to tell the dentist their gums hurt or the doctor their hips ache or their vulva itches is a useful skill.
Thank you for explaining it so well. All excellent reasons for making sure children know correct terminology. Aside from avoiding the wretched gag-inducing reflex I have when I hear otherwise-intelligent adult women talking about their "vajayjays", as if they had suddenly become intellectually impaired.
ollyoxenfree is offline  
#16 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 04:30 PM
 
dogretro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
Cutesy names for anatomy drive me crazy. The one I dislke the most is "peter" for penis and I've heard a couple of different kids use it. What's a kid going to think when he actually meets someone named Peter?
Probably the same thing as when they meet a kid named Dick or Willy

Does your friend's kid know that poop comes out of her butt? Same difference to me! We do use a cutesy name for dd's genitals (peenie), but I also did teach her the word "vulva" the other day. We do not hide the fact that she has vulva & when she pretends to bathe herself, she will say, "Wash the arms, wash the pits, wash the legs, wash the peenie, wash the bum," etc. She can point to it and name it like anything else. It is kinda weird to me if I think about it too much, but feeling weird won't make her body parts go away!

jumpers.gif

DD (4.25.08)  DD (4.23.10)  DD (10.13.12)

dogretro is offline  
#17 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 04:33 PM
 
gcgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We taught DS the real terms, but somehow he morphed "penis" into "peanut". Great. Can't wait for his first day at preschool when they serve peanuts for a snack.

He knows the difference...he just thinks it's hilarious.
gcgirl is offline  
#18 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 04:51 PM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
We taught DS the real terms, but somehow he morphed "penis" into "peanut". Great. Can't wait for his first day at preschool when they serve peanuts for a snack.

He knows the difference...he just thinks it's hilarious.
No worries - due to anaphylaxis concerns and allergy policies, I don't think any preschools allow peanuts anymore. You are probably safe for a while!
ollyoxenfree is offline  
#19 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 04:54 PM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post
Probably the same thing as when they meet a kid named Dick or Willy
Good point! I guess I should be thankful I've never heard a little girl talk about her "Vanessa" or "Velveeta" I'm sure they must be out there.
ollyoxenfree is offline  
#20 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 05:02 PM
 
feminist~mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you're doing a great job! My dd has always been taught correct names for body parts too...

Jen, L&D RN, CBE, CLEC who loves to knit.gif! I adore my modifiedartist.gifDP, treehugger.gifDD 10/98, & sweet new babygirl.gif5/10!!!
feminist~mama is offline  
#21 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 05:10 PM
 
cloe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What supprises me is that boys almost always know that is their penis. Girls are taught that it's their privates.
cloe is offline  
#22 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 07:27 PM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,430
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloe View Post
What supprises me is that boys almost always know that is their penis. Girls are taught that it's their privates.
No, girls are taught the wrong term... vagina. The part you may casually see in changing clothes or diapering is the vulva. Your vagina is hidden from view... never seen until your midwife or lover deliberately goes looking.
philomom is online now  
#23 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 07:37 PM
 
DaughterOfKali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 12,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've always used correct terms with my son. I know some people who haven't given any name for "those" parts. I used quote's because that is what the moms said to me.

Independent Consultant- Thirty One Gifts www.mythirtyone.com/ShopLiz

Origami Owl http://lizcioci.origamiowl.com

DaughterOfKali is offline  
#24 of 47 Old 02-24-2010, 10:50 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Lost in a good book (in San Diego)
Posts: 4,819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah we teach the accurate terms. I was even good about specifying vulva but something about the word vagina captured DD's interest more so she tends to say that more often. But it's a lot to keep straight, vulva, vagina (she knows about babies coming out) urethra, and anus. So I'll remind her if she's talking about it.

We do have a rule (just gentle reminders) about talking about "bum stuff" (DD's term) at the dinner table, though. Because it can make it hard for some people to enjoy their food, we explain. Normally that's potty talk we're dealing with though
St. Margaret is offline  
#25 of 47 Old 02-25-2010, 12:38 PM
 
cloe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I apreciate that girls are often told that their vulva is their vagina. I have to say that I would rather that than their pee pee or their privates. My point was that boys almost always know what their penis is and girls are given some cute nickname. Like there is some type of shame around the name of girls genitalia. This is my pet peeve as yours seems to be vulva/vagina. Saying that, my kids both know the anatomically corect versions and my son does know that the baby is going to come down mummies vagina when it is born. Though, he has started to find this terribly embarrasing for some reason in the last few weeks.
cloe is offline  
#26 of 47 Old 02-25-2010, 03:58 PM
 
MammaG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you are doing a great job. My kids have been taught the correct terms (although I fess up to confusing the vulva/vagina thing...since we only have boys and most vagina talk surrounds our recent home birth and reproductive functions, I'll forgive myself and later correct).

My youngest said to me when I was vastly pregnant and he wandered in when I was peeing: "Mamma, you don't have a penis. You have a China. I want to go to China next week. China is where Chinese food comes from." We had a 'v' pronouncing lesson that day, but now I giggle every time I see 'made in China', not to mention the visual that 'Chinese take-out' now conjures up.

We also have been trying to walk the balance between teaching and using correct terms and respecting societal prohibitions about discussing sexual and waste-producing body parts. Also wrestling with the Grannies' use of incorrect terms, which I think will just confuse my poor kids. MIL taught DH to say 'who-who" which almost aborted our relationship on our first overnight date...I almost died laughing to hear a grown man refer to his obviously adult penis in that way (I'd never heard that term)....he didn't appreciate laughter at such a delicate moment. I'm not putting my kids through THAT for sure!

Gwen , partner to D ; Mamma to T (6) , J (4) , and baby P
MammaG is offline  
#27 of 47 Old 02-25-2010, 04:01 PM
 
Heavenly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 4,923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I really hope social workers and medical professionals aren't assuming things like that. Knowing the proper names for your body parts isn't going to protect a child from abuse and I really doubt there is a single well done study to show that it will.

I do think that it is good for kids to know anatomically correct terms. I think teaching kids that their bodies are so shameful that we can't name all of the parts on them is something to be avoided. I taught my dd the correct terms for her body parts when she was starting to talk.
Actually this is true. I work in this field and it is common knowledge. There were studies done interviewing pedophiles who were incarcerated about how they picked children to abuse and one of the things said across the board is that if a child used fake names for body parts they would be more likely to pick that child because it is more likely that child does not talk openly with their parents about sex. A child using proper terms most likely has an open dialogue with their parent about sexual matters and would be more likely to tell their parent if someone tried to touch them.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
Heavenly is offline  
#28 of 47 Old 02-25-2010, 09:41 PM
 
Sweetiemommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 908
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The nicknames drive me crazy, they just kind of creep me out. Peter, weaner, ewww. Names for the vulva, "peachy," "suzie," wtf???? My mom called the whole thing, butt, vulva whatever "hynie" please, just call it what it is!!

homebirthing organic mama to three crazy boys very blessed!!
Sweetiemommy is offline  
#29 of 47 Old 02-26-2010, 04:09 PM
 
irenetancd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterfy Baby View Post
I feel proud that my daughter is correctly informed about her body and the purpose of a woman's vagina. Should I not be? "Other friend" has me doubting myself.
You did the right thing bring up your daughter as a brilliant and well-informed individual. However, you may want to tell her that it is inappropriate to discuss certain issues with other people. Imagine if she said the same thing to the elderly (who grew up in a much more conservative mindset), they will be shocked. At least your friend laughed.

Don't doubt yourself
irenetancd is offline  
#30 of 47 Old 02-27-2010, 02:30 AM
 
wildmonkeys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Metro DC
Posts: 1,644
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wouldn't doubt yourself.

I also wouldn't think there was a problem with other friends introducing terms and information more slowly. Everyone at their own comfort rate makes sense to me.
wildmonkeys is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off