It is important to teach your kids the anatomically correct names of their body parts as early as possible. Your son has a penis, not a “wee-wee”. Your daughter has a vulva, not “ladybits”.
There are a number of reasons for this. For one, our bodies are amazing, so why speak in code about them? Also, knowing the correct terminology helps them to communicate if something ever feels off — your kid can tell you, for instance, exactly what burns or itches. And perhaps most importantly, it gives them a deeper understanding of bodily autonomy.
Children who’ve been taught the real names of their genitals — and what kinds of touching are not OK — may be less vulnerable to sexual abuse.
(I’ve tried teaching my daughter the names from the start. Once, my sister was changing her diaper and asked, “What do I do with this diaper cream?” With her legs dangling in the air, she blurted out, “You put it on my vagina!”)
It’s a simple way to introduce the anatomically correct names to a young child — I mean, who doesn’t love to colour? You might use it in tandem with conversations with your kid about sex, consent and pleasure.
While these might not be the types of talks we had with our own parents, they are necessary, perhaps now more than ever. Whatever can help us jump start the discussion, I will gladly support.