Pros & Cons of Teaching Kids Correct Anatomical Terminology

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Pros of Teaching Children Correct Anatomical Terminology: 

As a fully paid-up member of the modern parenting generation, I don’t hold with any of those silly nicknames for body parts. The genitals are a part of the body just like any other, and if your kids know what things are called, I figure there’s less potential for embarrassment later on when such body parts may come up in conversation.

I know. I’m your parenting role model, aren’t I?

It’s a technique that works BRILLIANTLY. For example, this week, we were at the GP to talk about Flea’s eczema:

GP: Now, I can see the insides of your legs are quite sore, aren’t they? Do you scratch them?

Flea: Sometimes.

GP: And does it ever itch down there?

Flea: Down where?

GP: In your private parts. Do they ever itch?

Flea (to me): Does she mean my vulva, Mummy?

Top notch parenting in action there, I know.

 

Cons of Teaching Your Children Correct Anatomical Terminology:

Before you print off this post and rush to follow my example, you may want to bear in mind there are moments when my parenting approach might seem – well – a little less than ideal.

For example, last month we were invited to the Christmas party at Drayton Manor.

Being five, Flea decided she was old enough to go on some rides without adult supervision. So while Flea rode her first ride, I was standing about eight feet away, behind a fence. The ride finished and Flea begged to go straight on it again.  Bear in mind, the distance between us meant this conversation happened at TOP VOLUME in a busy family attraction.

Flea: Mummy, can I go on this ride again?

Me: Sure, did you like it?

Flea: Yes, I want to have the funny feeling again.

Me: Ah, did it make your tummy feel wobbly?

Flea: No, it tickled my vulva. What? WHAT? Stop laughing at me. 

 

One day in therapy, she’s going to tell this story. And in the meantime, I will continue to ask myself over and over why I didn't teach her to call it something like her 'twinkle' or 'special flower'.

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

18 Comments

  1. 18th December 2010 / 8:45 pm

    Sorry can’t leave a comment too busy giggling….great post! And you definitley are my parenting role model!

  2. 18th December 2010 / 9:13 pm

    Hilarious. I’m very embarassed to say that we have got no further than bum – poo bum and wee bum, usually. Astoundingly modern, I know. Rosemary told me the other day that her friend calls it a Twinkle and I asked if she’d like to use the same word and she said ‘No, that’s just silly!’ My mum always used ‘fanny’ and ‘tits’ and I’m afraid I find them really vulgar and can’t do so at all. God, I am such a prude.

  3. 18th December 2010 / 9:48 pm

    Vulva is too near Volvo for me to have used it with my daughter.

  4. Diane
    19th December 2010 / 12:38 am

    I think it’s great that she has no embarrassment about saying “vulva” — all that *whisper* “down there” business probably sets kids up for a lifetime of body shame. But I can imagine you feeling a little less pleased about her lack of embarrassment in public places. Hilarious, though.

  5. 19th December 2010 / 9:32 am

    Hilarious. I’m very embarassed to say that we have got no further than bum – poo bum and wee bum, usually. Astoundingly modern, I know. Rosemary told me the other day that her friend calls it a Twinkle and I asked if she’d like to use the same word and she said ‘No, that’s just silly!’ My mum always used ‘fanny’ and ‘tits’ and I’m afraid I find them really vulgar and can’t do so at all. God, I am such a prude.

  6. 19th December 2010 / 12:14 pm

    My kids call it their vagina (the littlest one say bagina). I am very pro-proper name. Not to say it hasn’t come back to kick me in the arse every once in a while.

  7. 19th December 2010 / 12:24 pm

    I’m sat here laughing away to myself – the kids think I’m mad.
    My little boy told one of his teachers that his friend had kicked him in the bollocks before and my daughter used to call her eyebrows nuts (no idea why) so she’s been told to tell people she was could wriggle her nuts!

  8. 19th December 2010 / 2:56 pm

    It’s true, I’m a perfect role model. Cough.

  9. 19th December 2010 / 2:57 pm

    Ooh, not sure I could call them ‘tits’. Bit too page 3…

  10. 19th December 2010 / 2:57 pm

    Are Volvos offensive? How about ‘Punto’?

  11. 19th December 2010 / 2:57 pm

    Yes, quite, I like that she can talk about it in a way people understand. Now we just need to work on the concept of ‘appropriate sharing’

  12. 19th December 2010 / 2:58 pm

    That’s genius, must try it with Flea.

  13. 19th December 2010 / 3:09 pm

    My Hubby, a GP, has to keep up with all kinds of alternative names for private parts when patients come in to see him. He faltered when one mum said their child had a problem with their Mary: he thought it was the child’s sister.

  14. 19th December 2010 / 4:34 pm

    It is just as funny written down, the boys called their penis’ willies or penis’ – simple. I have mo boobs as they call them and I have a front bum, although they know that it is called a vagina

  15. 20th December 2010 / 9:59 am

    Oh Sally you are hilarious. Flea is just extra special. Our terminology stretches as far as ‘girlie bits’ here and it seems to cover most things. Funny moment the other day when I let them watch ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and kangaroo testicles were being munched on. Renée thought ‘testicles’ was the funniest word she had ever heard (think she could be right there) and proceeded to repeat it for the whole of the next week, very loudly, in public.

  16. Nikki
    20th December 2010 / 1:05 pm

    Oh Sally, as much as I’ve liked the top parenting blogs this week, I’ve missed the hilarious “Fleas-isms”. Brilliant.
    I’m afraid our daughter says she has a fanny or refers to them as her bits.
    Our 4yr old Son calls his a willy but it’s funnier when he’s in a public toilet and shouts “Mummy, help! It’s curled up like a snail again”

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