Post # 16
Clinical. I’d also make sure they know the difference between vulva and vagina and what the urethra is.
In my clinical practice I’ve had countless women complain of vaginal pain/burning sensation/etc and then found out later they meant something totally different. It can cause issues with healthcare.
Post # 17
There’s really no wrong answer here. To me, there’s a difference between educating the clinical terms and encouraging a nickname for general conversation, in which the children can clarify if needed but otherwise avoid sounding “crude”…for example, the kids are watching a cartoon and shout “Haha his penis got kicked!!” as compared to “Haha he got kicked in the privates!”…the former could upset a lot of people, and isn’t really necessary to be so direct. Likewise, a child coming to you to say “my privates hurt” is a much broader statement than “my urethra/pee hole hurts” which would help you identify what the problem is.
Also, when we say “kids” I’m assuming toddlers/kindergarteners…in which case, especially for toddlers, many clinical terms can be difficult to pronounce, distinguish, and remember. “Testicles” and “urethra” are quite advanced for someone who’s still saying the F word when they mean to say “truck”…but it may just depend on the kid, too.
Post # 18
roughly clinical, but not strictly so. general usage has turned balls, vagina, and boobs into perfectly useful terms. my son is 16 months old. if he is pulling on his penis, I tell him that it’s his penis. if he’s poking at his scrotum/testicles, I tell him he’s poking his balls. The absolutely correct words are perfectly appropriate, but just a bit complex and I’m not sure I see the point at this stage. Calling them privates rubs me wrong though. Keeping something private vs. secret and the ensuing potential ideas about shame are a very fine line to walk to complex idea for any child to understand. I’d rather have body confidence and also have to repeat a few times that not every moment is a good one to talk about genitalia.
Post # 19
kiram : I agree, I think it sounds quite crude for a child to be talking about penises and vulvas, and yes I know those are the correct terms and if I had kids they would know that’s what they’re actually called, but I think for general conversation it’s fine to use “nicknames”. Even when speaking myself I use words such as bum or bottom instead of anus, it just sounds a lot nicer and polite. If it’s obvious what you’re talking about I don’t think there’s any harm in using privates instead of genitals and bum or bottom instead of anus, for example.
Post # 20
when we started Pting, my 2yo was obsessed with penis and “bagina.” (can’t pronounce V’s yet).
one morning, he comes running in my room, “i have a penis, you have a bagina.” yes honey, that’s correct. then he goes on, “dada has a penis, [dog] has a penis, [sister] has a bagina.”
he knows he stuff.
Post # 21
We use penis and vagina. Yes, I realize the outside is the vulva, but she is 3 and doesn’t really grasp that whole idea yet and it’s more difficult for her to say.
I think nicknames for genitals are gross personally. It can also be a sign of sexual abuse if your child suddenly has a “pet” name for their vagina instead of using the correct term.
I see nothing crude or impolite about a child using the proper term for their anatomy. I’d rather hear my daughter say something about her vagina than her coochie or whatever gross term.
Post # 22
Yeah to me something crude is slang or a mean spirited name calling, certainly not medical terminology.
We use the correct terms, but my 4 year old likes to call it his “pee pee blaster” 🙄
Post # 23
I’ll likely mix the two.
I’ve always explained to our daughter (6 months) what I’m doing and why I’m doing it in all aspects. It just made more sense at the time for me to say “Okay, time to clean your tee-tee so we don’t get any infections!” than to say “Time to clean your vagina!”. So she’ll learn the technical names as she gets older and is able to understand what they are. I’ll also teach her that other people aside from myself and her father won’t know what a tee-tee is so she needs to use the technical names if she has a problem she is trying to tell someone about. But I imagine as she ages we’ll shift away from the “baby talk” and more into general language.
Post # 24
Absolutely clinical. My niece calls hers her “tinkle” and it drives me nuts. Apparently my wife grew up calling it that as well.
Post # 25
My 4.5 year old uses vulva and my 2 year old uses penis. I will use other terminology for my oldest like “private areas” when we are talking about not touching other people’s private areas to cover both sexes (including breasts) as well as “bottom”. My husband did teach the 2 year old “balls” instead of testicles but I suppose I am okay with that one as it’s easier to say. As he gets older with more words I will teach the correct one as well.
Post # 26
clinical names for sure. Although my son has trouble pronouncing penis so he sometimes calls it peanuts by accident which is funny. But we always correct, and make sure he is aware of the correct name. I will do the same with my daughter (pregnant now)
Post # 27
Clinical terms. However, at 10 and 12 they have picked up on slang and call them balls. Not a hill I’m dying on when I know they know they are testicles. Also, anatomy on the inside gets a correct name. Therefore, it’s the colon, ureter, kidney, uterus, bronchi, cervix, prostate, etc and they will know the function of each. Healthcare illiteracy can kill you and identifying the body is just the beginning of Healthcare literacy.
Post # 28
I don’t have any kids, but I’m a little surprised at how many people teach their kids the clinical terms. I thought I’d read a lot more people teaching their kids little nicknames. The kids I know call their private’s their peepee lol
Post # 29
Clinical names, definitely. He also has a “where did I come from” book that explains sex and pregnancy and birth.
But I did laugh when my son decided to call his penis his “weenis” and deliberately calls his testicles his “texicles”.
Post # 30
We call her backside her bottom and her front is just her privates, not shameful just private for only her for now. Maybe I’m uptight but I don’t think my three year old needs to be saying vulva or vagina yet. I grew up calling my vulva my crotch b/c that’s what my mom taught us and I obviously learned the real names as I matured and it was never an issue. My mom was even a nurse so go figure. I think as long as you and your child are on the same page with what you call it, and it’s not something cutesy, you’re good. But I am glad to see how many of you use vulva instead of vagina, that bugs me so much. No, your pubic mound is your vulva, your vagina is inside of you, get it right!