What would you tell your 5 year old dd about circumcision? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-26-2004, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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My oldest dd loves to sit in my lap and point out/talk about all the MDC smilies when I'm reading. She thinks a lot of them are very cool.

However, the last couple of times she's been sitting with me, she's seen the new 'No Circ' smilie. She asked what it said the first time, and I told her that it stood for 'No Circumcision'. She didn't ask any more, so I left it at that.

But the next time she saw the sign, she asked again. So I told her again, and added that Circumcision hurt babies, so it was a bad thing. She didnt' ask any more, so I left it at that.

I'm guessing she'll ask again, the next time she sees the smilie....so - what would you tell her? How much info/detail to give a 5 year old? We live in the UK, so she is very unlikely to see a circumcised baby here (although she may very well when we next visit friends/family in the States).

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#2 of 9 Old 07-26-2004, 12:47 PM
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How about: "It's something they do to baby boys in other places. Some people think it's a good thing and some people don't. I don't believe it's good."

If she asks "why" or "what" (as children inevitably do) you can just say "they remove some things between their legs because they think it's better that way." For a 5 YO, I think that's probably sufficient. Two or three years from now, you can give a much more detailed description when she asks.

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#3 of 9 Old 07-26-2004, 01:00 PM
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I have told my dd about it. I have told her the various reasons people do it to their children(both sexes),and that none are valid reasons just excuses to continue a very bad habit.
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#4 of 9 Old 07-27-2004, 01:08 AM
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My 4 yo DD asked when I put the bumper sticker on my window.
dd-"What's that mama?"

me-"It says 10 out of 10 babies oppose circumcision; shouldn't you?".

dd-"what's oppose?"

me-"It means that all babies agree that it is bad."

dd-"why don't they like it?"

me-"because it's very painful and there's no real reason to do it."

dd-"what is it?"

me-"circumcision means to cut the end of baby boys penises off or to cut some of the parts of baby girls vaginas off."

dd-(way surprised expression) "WHY would someone do that?"

me-"because it's a way to make money; like some people cut their kitties toes off to make money and some people cut puppies ears off to make money."

dd-"But Mama, that is wrong. We don't do that, do we?"

me-"No, sweetie. We don't do those things."

dd-"Can I have ice cream?"

Maybe TMI, but she's pretty persistent. I figured there will be lots more questions...
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#5 of 9 Old 07-27-2004, 02:03 AM
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I've talked to my dd about circ since she was 5, when her little brother was born.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#6 of 9 Old 07-27-2004, 01:59 PM
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Well- I think circumcision is not gone from the UK... there are a lot more people coming from other cultures... AND there is a history of circumcision from not too distant past... AND there is a medical crisis STILL of problems bieng treated without conservative measures- there is ample medical lit about circ coming out of the UK- stating that they are still dealing with the issue means that it is not gone....AND there is a very strong core of the circumcision FETISH based in the UK... I don't see any need for the explanation to be one of distant lands and other people... it happens in the UK too...

Maybe you could draw a cartoon for her and say, "This is what a normal baby boys penis looks like... circumcision cuts off the outside part so the inside shows all the time... this is harmful to do to children, it hurts and it's not fair. Not many people do it to their babies, but some people don't know better. They need to be told to not hurt other people's bodies."

Whatever you tell her- it should be something you would not mind repeated in the checkout line.

Love Sarah
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#7 of 9 Old 07-28-2004, 08:59 PM
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this reminds me of the story my mom tells (that actually converted a would-circ-er to leaving her ds intact): when we asked about it (for some reason I think I heard the word on TV), she told us the basics (don't remember that part, just that it involved cutting off the tip of the penis, we were young), and said something about how dad was circ'ed and my brother wasn't and my brother yells "you mean you let your mom cut off part of your penis?!" and my dad said, "well, I didn't have much say in the matter."

R~mama to 3

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#8 of 9 Old 07-31-2004, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies/examples of how you all have handled this question with children of a similar age. It sounds as if it would be a good idea to keep it simple, but be factual (although not detailed, of course, given her age).

I think I can probably manage that.

I do want my girls (and son) to know what circumcision is and that it is not a nice thing. I have read of a few cases of British women marrying American men and agreeing to circumcise their sons - I want to make sure that would NEVER happen to any of my grandchildren...(a long way off, but it does seem to me that it's better to address these things when the children bring them up...).
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#9 of 9 Old 07-31-2004, 12:36 PM
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I have told my 4yo that it is an operation on the penis which is not necessary, but some people do it because they like the way it looks better.
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