vaginas and boys - Mothering Forums
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The Childhood Years > vaginas and boys
Fiddlemom's Avatar Fiddlemom 08:00 PM 03-16-2007
My 4 yo boy wants to see my "baby hole". I have been up front discussing reproduction and anatomy with my boys, to their level of understanding and my sense of what is age-appropriate. So far my line has been, well, I won't show you mine, because that is private, but let's look at pictures.

this afternoon I got good vulva drawings on the internet and showed him what it all looks like and explained (to both, bc of course the 6 yo was interested too). My 4 yo said, "I want to see that right now!" (he had asked me to do a detailed drawing using all the right colors; instead I pulled up that b&w drawing on the internet.)

I hate to say no to any learning experience he is obviously ready for, but showing him that part of my body feels inappropriate.

What would you do?

Jenny

abac's Avatar abac 08:08 PM 03-16-2007
I would show him, but to me it doesn't seem inappropriate, so I guess that doesn't help you much. Do you not want him to see a real vagina at all, or just not yours?

Have your dc not seen your vagina before? My ds has showered with me since he could sit up, so has always gotten as good a view as he could want. I used to catch him examining me pretty often, and asking questions a lot early on, (I say early, but he's only 3 next month,) but his curiosity seems to have been satisfied.

I can't say I blame them for wanting to see the real thing.
Heavenly's Avatar Heavenly 08:19 PM 03-16-2007
I absolutely do NOT think that is appropriate. I do not think child services would look too kindly on it either.
Thalia the Muse's Avatar Thalia the Muse 08:23 PM 03-16-2007
I don't think there's anything wrong with him wanting to see it, but I don't think it would be appropriate to oblige. I would stick with the "that's a private part of my body" explanation you've been giving.
Daisie125's Avatar Daisie125 08:24 PM 03-16-2007
Personally, I wouldn't show him. I have ZERO issues with nudity, but this is a lesson on genital anatomy, and I can't see sitting there in front of my child pulling apart labia and pointing out parts. And this is coming from a mom who will probably walk around the house nude until my child complains about it

I think this is probably a good time for a talk about private parts and modesty.

Perhaps you could find a color anatomy book that would satisfy his interest.
Daisie125's Avatar Daisie125 08:24 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
I do not think child services would look too kindly on it either.
How would they know?
ThreeBeans's Avatar ThreeBeans 08:28 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
I absolutely do NOT think that is appropriate. I do not think child services would look too kindly on it either.
:

Highly inappropriate.
Heavenly's Avatar Heavenly 08:28 PM 03-16-2007
If the child went to school or sports or wherever else he goes and told people that his mommy showed him her vagina. How do YOU think people would react to that? Or would she tell him to keep it a secret? If it has to be kept secret then its wrong.
Bartock's Avatar Bartock 08:29 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisie125 View Post
Personally, I wouldn't show him. I have ZERO issues with nudity, but this is a lesson on genital anatomy, and I can't see sitting there in front of my child pulling apart labia and pointing out parts. And this is coming from a mom who will probably walk around the house nude until my child complains about it

I think this is probably a good time for a talk about private parts and modesty.

Perhaps you could find a color anatomy book that would satisfy his interest.
I agree, DS knows I have a Vagina, i don't hide my parts from him, he sees them all the time, he knows babies came out of there, but ya to actually show him the real part, no, not necessary
thismama's Avatar thismama 08:35 PM 03-16-2007
Interesting discussion. I'm curious if people would feel differently if the OP's child was a girl?
Daisie125's Avatar Daisie125 08:38 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Interesting discussion. I'm curious if people would feel differently if the OP's child was a girl?
Nope, I think it's innapropiate either way.

Although if it was a girl I would tell her she is more than welcome to look at her own body with a mirror in private.
fek&fuzz's Avatar fek&fuzz 08:42 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Interesting discussion. I'm curious if people would feel differently if the OP's child was a girl?
I think in that case, the girl could just look at her own parts.
thismama's Avatar thismama 08:43 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
I think in that case, the girl could just look at her own parts.
I guess that's true.
Heavenly's Avatar Heavenly 08:51 PM 03-16-2007
No I definately would not feel differently. I don't think its appropriate for a grown adult to show their genitals to a child of any gender.
luvmy2boys's Avatar luvmy2boys 08:56 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
If the child went to school or sports or wherever else he goes and told people that his mommy showed him her vagina. How do YOU think people would react to that? Or would she tell him to keep it a secret? If it has to be kept secret then its wrong.
Well, in this society, unfortunately I think sometimes things do need to be kept secret because they aren't wrong, but nosy "powers that be" think they are.

That said, I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with it. DS6 asked to see mine a few times a couple of years ago, and I told him I don't show off my privates. We were on vacation at the time, so I couldn't look up any pictures for him then. By the time we got back I forgot about it and he had stopped asking (I didn't think about it until just now).

Technically I don't think it would be wrong under the context the OP is asking about, I just personally wouldn't want to. And I do agree that it would be a hard thing to explain to CPS, and I don't want to put my child in a situation where he has to keep things secret like that. He's too young to deal with those kinds of issues. I feel that it's my job as a parent to figure out how to live within the confines of the laws of my country/state/etc., regardless of how right or wrong I may believe those laws are. My child doesn't and shouldn't have to have the ability to deal with that.
thismama's Avatar thismama 09:02 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
No I definately would not feel differently. I don't think its appropriate for a grown adult to show their genitals to a child of any gender.
Have your kids never seen their father's penis?

Just a little devil's advocacy here. I wouldn't exactly feel comfortable showing the details of my intimate bits to my child. But I'm a bit surprised at the... more severe tone, I guess... in some responses.
Daisie125's Avatar Daisie125 09:08 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Have your kids never seen their father's penis?

Just a little devil's advocacy here. I wouldn't exactly feel comfortable showing the details of my intimate bits to my child. But I'm a bit surprised at the... more severe tone, I guess... in some responses.
Well, I think it's a little different in that a penis is external. No, I wouldn't have a problem in passing saying "yep, that's a penis" but I would have a problem with pulling back the foreskin and showing all of the parts, and lifting the penis and showing the scrotum... etc.

I think there is a big difference between seeing genitals in passing due to walking around nude and sitting down and picking apart all the different pieces, kwim?
Village Mama's Avatar Village Mama 09:13 PM 03-16-2007
We are nudies around this house but the whole vulva/ vagina parts are hidden. Penises are visable around here ... but we have a hands off rule for privacy reasons for everyone. The boys have been curious so I brought out some drawings/ photos from a birth book I had on the shelf and showed them that.( to be honest, even that felt odd because no one I know has shown thier under 5s pictures. I didnt know if I was crossing the line) Anyhow, they had thier look at the book and that was that! It would definitely feel inappropriate for me to show them my actual parts in my opinion... but I had friends whos moms showed them thiers. I dont know? Interesting topic!
RedWine's Avatar RedWine 09:23 PM 03-16-2007
I have no problems with nudity in our house -- my 4 year old takes baths with dh all the time. However, private parts are just that -- private. For example, she sees his penis in the bathtub, but he doesn't explicitly SHOW her, nor is she allowed to touch. It's private. Also, he's not allowed to wash "down there" on them when he's giving our girls a bath. Why? It's private.

So though my girls see me naked, I would not go to any lengths to explicity show them parts of my "privates." I'd definitely say no, and stick with the drawings and pictures.
Heavenly's Avatar Heavenly 09:37 PM 03-16-2007
No my kids have not seen their father's penis. We don't feel there is any need for them to see an adult naked. They see my breasts all the time because I am nursing but I just don't see any need for them to see DH or I naked. We are not ashamed of our bodies but they are private.
Neth Naneth's Avatar Neth Naneth 09:44 PM 03-16-2007
Hot Topic Fiddlemom, I am almost afraid to post. I was going to say . . . don't do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you want to keep you private parts private then tell your boys that. Say "mommies keep their private parts, private." My son sees me naked but he is only 9 months old, so I know I am not a lot of help, sorry.
Bartock's Avatar Bartock 09:52 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Interesting discussion. I'm curious if people would feel differently if the OP's child was a girl?
Nope I wouldn't
thismama's Avatar thismama 10:06 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
No my kids have not seen their father's penis. We don't feel there is any need for them to see an adult naked. They see my breasts all the time because I am nursing but I just don't see any need for them to see DH or I naked. We are not ashamed of our bodies but they are private.
Well, thing is that is one opinion. There are many other respectable opinions about this issue.
Jessy1019's Avatar Jessy1019 10:11 PM 03-16-2007
Wow, I am really surprised at the responses here.

I would show mine, as I don't think it's inappropriate. My kids (of both sexes) bathe with their dad and I, and can look at our bodies in whatever detail they want. They're just bodies.

If you aren't comfortable showing, though, I would just keep finding more pics for him to look at. Maybe a birth video if he's specifically interested in that aspect of it. There's really nothing else you can do.
Kundalini-Mama's Avatar Kundalini-Mama 11:30 PM 03-16-2007
I also find it inappropriate. My son had asked to see my vagina (as my vulva was visible--we're a nudie family) in the same context. I told him that I didn't feel comfortable with that, that is was my body (which he had latched onto at the time) and we looked at "A Child is Born" book which went over very well.

So, what if you child asked to see your anus? That is also a hidden spot, yk? Not a penis hanging around, or even my vulva that is noticed all the time. It does not feel right to me.
Rebecca's Avatar Rebecca 11:39 PM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
No I definately would not feel differently. I don't think its appropriate for a grown adult to show their genitals to a child of any gender.
I agree. I'd find a drawing in one of my anatomy textbooks. I certainly don't need my child going to school telling his teacher that he knows what a vagina looks like 'cause mommy showed him hers. If I had a daughter, I would NOT allow my husband to let her examine his penis because she was curious. Same for my son and my body.
sparklefairy's Avatar sparklefairy 11:49 PM 03-16-2007
That it feels inappropriate to you makes it inappropriate, IMO. Part of what we are supposed to be teaching our children is that they have a right to keep their bodies private and I don't think we do that well if we violate our own boundaries.

I would not show either my son or my daughter my vagina. I'm starting to want more privacy from both of them and acting accordingly.
MommytoTwo's Avatar MommytoTwo 12:34 AM 03-17-2007
No I would not show him. I would explain the parts and then explain that some parts are private and we all have boundaries that are to be respected. Its one thing to see a parent while they are dressing or bathing - quite another for a grown person to lay down and spread it all open for examination.
OakBerry's Avatar OakBerry 12:36 AM 03-17-2007
My ds sees us naked quite often, and he runs around naked a good bit.
I just had the same issue recently. We were discussing private parts and he asked to see my vagina. I told him he's seen my external parts (vulva) many times when I get into the shower or am getting dressed, but I don't like to show my vagina to people, it's private. I felt a little bad about it, like I was turning away innocent curiosity because of my own hang ups, but I just didn't feel comfortable showing him either.
I told him I'd get him a book about bodies and body parts with some pictures so he could get a better look.

I say do what you are comfortable with.
BusyMommy's Avatar BusyMommy 12:38 AM 03-17-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisie125 View Post
Personally, I wouldn't show him. I have ZERO issues with nudity, but this is a lesson on genital anatomy, and I can't see sitting there in front of my child pulling apart labia and pointing out parts. And this is coming from a mom who will probably walk around the house nude until my child complains about it

I think this is probably a good time for a talk about private parts and modesty.

Perhaps you could find a color anatomy book that would satisfy his interest.

:

+ know that he'll tell all of his friends about it and it may not come across as natural & appropriate when they tell their friends & parents.
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