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Teaching Toddlers Their Private Parts: Cute Names Or Real Names?

Teaching Toddlers Their Private Parts: Cute Names Or Real Names?

Ineh Olisah

When teaching a toddler their body parts, we use the appropriate words such as eyes for eyes, hands for hands and nose for nose. It should not be different when we teach them to name their private parts. I have heard parents use all manner of cute names ‘lollipop’, ‘pee pee’, ‘mousy’, ‘ding dong’ to replace parts such as vulva, vagina, penis, balls, testicle and breasts.

Teaching children body parts helps protect them from sex offenders as they can easily tell an adult in clear terms if they are inappropriately touched. A child might not be taken seriously if she tells an adult that someone touched her ‘lollipop.’ Knowledge is power!

Calling private parts their real names removes the mystery those cute names present, so they are not uncomfortable when they need to talk about those parts. Note that child molesters usually don’t use the real names. So, when you hear your child use a nickname for their privates, you know someone else has been talking to them.

It fosters honesty between you and your child. Your child will get to know the right names of those parts, anyway, so, let them learn from you rather than the wrong source. Nicknaming body parts could deprive you of such a privilege.

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees: “It is important to teach your child the proper names for body parts. Making up names for body parts may give the idea that there is something bad about the proper name.”

What do your children call their private parts?


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