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So, as ds gets older and nearer to talking, I was thinking about what we call body parts, specifically his penis. I have noticed (in public, mostly <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) that the more "crunchier" the family, the more likely to use the words penis and vagina. I have no problem using those words--I was a midwife for many years (and I know many, many, many words for vagina--like so much that it was a drinking game in midwifery school <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: ). It's just, I was wondering, why are the technical terms better to teach a little kid than a more cutesy name? So, I figured all you mamas would be full of opinions.<br><br>
FWIW, we don't call everything by the technical name in our house. I grew up calling a penis a "bug". Goofy, I know, but it didn't stop me from knowing the definition of penis. And, it did stop me and my brother from yelling out "penis" at the grocery store. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> In my house, if we have to urinate, it's called "tee-tee." Nursing is referred to as "dinners." We "feel sick" when we are nauseated. My "stomach hurts" when I have bad gas. We don't mention small and large intestines--we call it your "guts." Our baby has a tummy. And a big hiney. We "toot" when we are flatulent. Dh and I "get it on." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Stuff like that. So, we're not obsessed with the technical name for anything. Just wondering if there is something magical about teaching the technical words to a baby?
 

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I'm interested in this, too.<br><br>
DD is getting close to three and here is what we use, more because it's what we fell into than by a conscious decision:<br>
nursing/breasts/nipples = milks or mama milks<br>
flatulence = fart<br>
labia/clitoris/vagina = mama parts<br>
penis/scrotum = daddy parts<br>
urination = pee or pee pee<br>
defecation = poop<br>
stomach = tummy or belly<br>
rear end = butt
 

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When it comes to genitalia, sometime I feel that parents (mainstream types, more or less) use cutesy names because they believe that there is something dirty or bad about "vagina" and "penis." I've heard stories of teachers telling children that "we don't use those words here" regarding them, which is absurd.<br><br>
Personally, I found that I got very far in life because I was so articulate (even at a young age) and part of that was using technical words.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>eviesingleton</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7967715"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When it comes to genitalia, sometime I feel that parents (mainstream types, more or less) use cutesy names because they believe that there is something dirty or bad about "vagina" and "penis." I've heard stories of teachers telling children that "we don't use those words here" regarding them, which is absurd.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
We use the medical terms for most body parts. When I was pregnant, we explained it to BF's daughter as "The baby are in Leah's uterus and will come out of her vagina when he is born." That being said, there was still plenty of talk of a baby in my belly.<br><br>
I think that kids should know and be able to use the proper words for things, but they shouldn't be forbidden to use the slang terms. It is all about context.
 

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We generally use the words penis and vagina in this house. We don't use the anatomically correct names for every body part, and now that DS is 4.5, he sometimes uses other words for his privates cause he knows it's humorous to us. My main goal has been for him to treat his private parts wiht the same comfort as any other body part. We also use opportunities to remind him that they are different and private.<br><br>
I've heard that kids are less likely to be sexually abused if they are using the correct words for thier private parts. I'm not sure where that came from, but I've heard it said on MDC.
 

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We use the correct terminology here because I feel it gives kids a sense of knowledge and power about their own bodies. I mean, calling a penis a "bug" (for example) could be downright confusing to a child. Bugs are animals that crawl on the ground but then they're penises too?? Remember what it was like learning about fertility signs as an adult and thinking, "Man, I wish I had known all this as a teen?". That's sort of how I feel about the proper words.<br><br>
Also, I want my children to be able to accurately describe anything. Say someone attempts to touch them inappropriately - at least they can go to a trusted adult and say, "So-and-so tried to touch my penis." instead of, "So-and-so tried to touch my pouch.". Another adult will not know the "cute" words we chose to use and therefore may misinterpret what my child is saying.<br><br>
And on that same point, if something is hurting them, I want them to be able to tell me if the pain is in the penis, scrotum or anal region. I don't want to hear, "My privates hurt." because that doesn't tell me much. In the same vein, they can accurately describe to a doctor what the problem is.<br><br>
I also used the correct terms when discussing pregnancy. My kids have been with me for pap tests, internals and we routinely answer questions honestly and openly about all those procedures. They know about circumcision and that all their friends may not look the same as them since they are not circumsized. How would I describe circumcision to them if I used words like, "Well, some of your friends don't have a coat on their peter anymore. The coat is there to protect peter's head.......". Talk about confusing!<br><br>
But, having said all that, they do know a lot of the "alternate" words - bum, butt, etc... and use them sometimes as well, mostly with each other ("She kicked me in the butt!" not "She kicked my anal region!" good grief, lol!) and they learned the word "privates" at school.<br><br>
They also know when and where it is appropriate to talk about all that stuff and have from a young age. The span of time where they might say something inappropriate in public is so small (a year or two around age 3) that to me it is worth it to teach the correct words first. I think sometimes we forget that they will grow up and stop embarrassing us in the same way.<br><br>
But then my kids are the ones who know the facts of life at young ages too. It is a family decision and I can only explain why I felt it was the right one for our family. I agree with the PP too that most often those cutesy names are to "cover up" something that is "embarrassing".
 

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I also remember reading that some sexual predators will be deterred from touching a child if the child is comfortable talking about the body parts using the real names.<br><br>
A child that goes to the teacher (or whoever) and says "The man touched my bug", or "That boy was grabbing my noodle" is not going to get the same attention/reaction as the child who tell someone "That man touched my penis". And sexual predators know that.<br><br>
IMO, even if children are brought up in a household where there is no shame or "dirtiness" associated with penises, vaginas, etc, a child should be comfortable using the real words.
 

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Vagina is incorrect terminology. The part you see is the labia or the vulva. Only your doctor and your lover "see" your vagina. It's hidden.<br><br><br>
Please use penis and vulva or labia.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>philomom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968409"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Vagina is incorrect terminology. The part you see is the labia or the vulva. Only your doctor and your lover "see" your vagina. It's hidden.<br><br><br>
Please use penis and vulva or labia.</div>
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Good point. I do use "vulva" with dd, but she's asked what the "hole" is called, so I've told her. She asked whether urine comes out of "that tunnel or another tunnel" and I've explained "vagina" vs. "urethra".
 

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I see no advantage to teaching slang for body parts.<br><br>
If that's true about the sexual predators thing (it sure sounds true) that's all the more reason just to go ahead with the most accurate lingo. Slang can come later.<br><br>
That being said I do use pee and poo because I honestly think of those words as being *the* words. I know they aren't but they seem the most plain to me.
 

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I told ds, now 8, that he had a penis. well, his cute little 18 mo - 3 year time he picked up PenUT - peanut - and everytime I called it a penis, he couldn't get it and said peanut. It was adorable and priceless, and well....I miss those days with him. He grew too fast - 7 months ago **watched** his baby brother be born. Yep, he knows way more than most second graders. The 3 months ago, he learned what it meant to be circumcised and he thanked me for not circumcising him- another ahhhhh moment. Sorry I got so far off topic.
 

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Yep, we use anatomically correct names here. You call an elbow and elbow, right? Why not a penis a penis?<br><br>
I have a friend who is very conservative and she won't tell her children about sex, birth, names of parts, etc. because she believes it protects her children from other people who say things to them (like name calling "penis head" etc. because if they don't know what a penis is, they won't know they were being called a name. . .??).<br><br>
I feel this is wrong, because then kids go to their friends for info and also it creates a inherant shame, "Well, if Mom won't talk about it, it must be secret." I came from this kind of house. It didn't protect me from anything (and imagine my shock when I started growing hair!!).
 

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i pretty much agree with all previous posters<br><br><br>
i feel like i teach my girls a nose is a nose and a leg is a leg so of course i teach them a penis is a penis and a vagina/labia is a vagina/labia
 

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Haven't gotten to that point but will likely use 'simple' names and make sure DD knows the proper ones. I mean, I call my breasts 'boobs' but I know they are called 'breasts'. I do, I swear! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
It was funny to see a toddler running around yelling "Peniiiiiiiiis!" around the playground, much to his (mainstream) mother's embarrassment. One of the other boys taught it to him and he was enjoying the attention, I think.<br><br>
It really gets to me when people teach their girls to call their labia 'vagina' while they teach both 'penis' and 'scrotum'. If you're going to teach proper names, please teach proper names.
 

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We use the anatomical names around here too. Except for buttocks, we say booty instead.<br><br>
I appreciate the points about labeling the vulva/labia, I never thought about that. So when my ds points to me and asks 'what's that?', should I teach him that it's just a labia or should I go on to explain that I have a vagina inside?<br><br>
ETA: Wow, I can't believe I just asked that, what an interesting conversation<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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We do penis and vagina, boobies (but 4.5 year old knows breasts also), butt/a$$ (4.5 year old combines the two for butta$$ . . . she's an odd one), poop, pee, fart, and usually dp and I use the other f word for DTD (though I don't think dd has caught on to that yet, she pretty much only uses that word in anger or frustration).<br><br>
I really want to start using vulva, but it's like a mental block. I just forget, every time.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tbone</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7973389"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We use the anatomical names around here too. Except for buttocks, we say booty instead.<br><br>
I appreciate the points about labeling the vulva/labia, I never thought about that. So when my ds points to me and asks 'what's that?', should I teach him that it's just a labia or should I go on to explain that I have a vagina inside?<br><br>
ETA: Wow, I can't believe I just asked that, what an interesting conversation<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"></div>
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Last time I had a conversation about where babies come from was with my brother who's 10 years younger than me and he'd asked me how the baby comes out of the mom. Somehow in my explanation he only remembered the word 'lips' and went on to believe for a few weeks that women had a *mouth* down there that spit the baby out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> It took my mom and dad and several conversations to straighten that one out.<br><br>
One of the moms I know talked to her kiddo in terms of 'outside' and 'inside' girl parts. Didn't really name names early on, but explained that there's an inside part too that is the path that the baby takes or something along those lines. Her son seemed pretty comfortable with the idea. But I think she waited until he asked to explain the inside part.<br><br><span style="font-size:xx-small;">(Oh and btw, and I don't know if that's a typo but vulva is singular and labia is plural so you'd say 'vulva is' and 'labia are'.)<br></span>
 

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We have always used penis, scrotum, testcilces, vulva, labia, clitoris, vagina, anus. My chidlren are now school ages and have learned all kinds of silly names for those body parts - but becasue he first terms they used were the correct ones, that is what sticks.
 
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