Where do you start the conversations about sexuality with kids? In the bathtub, of course. When your kids are toddlers, start teaching them the proper terminology of their body organs. We teach them the song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” just add in “penis, eyes, mouth, and nose!” Every child psychologist that I have read recommends proper terminology as do pediatricians, nurses, and physician’s assistants. Does your OB/GYN call your sex organs by any pet names when you visit? You never hear your OB tell you to spread your legs so she can check your hoochie. Yet moms use every name under the sun because no one can say the words penis or vagina or they cringe when they hear their innocent 4 year old use the word penis, but that is what it’s called. Research has told us that kids assume that you don’t know the proper terminology if you don’t use it or that the proper words are taboo or vulgar. They are not bad words so use them. Practice in front of the mirror if you need to. When you change diapers tell your kids that you are cleaning their very special private parts and then name it. Get comfortable with the terms yourself and then it won’t be such a big deal. Remind them that because these parts are special, we keep them covered up with a diaper or underwear. Remember, you are laying the foundation for later conversations about their developing bodies. It will be hard to have the “sex talk” and chats about abstinence if you have never been comfortable using the words penis and vagina!
Tip—Call private parts by their proper name: penis, testicles, scrotum, vagina, urethra…just in case you forgot!
Posted by Amy in Sex Education