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Silly Names for Private Parts?

Katie Malinski

Health, Wellness, & Safety

Parents should use the correct names for all the parts of the body!  Here are 6 reasons why:

  1.  Parents automatically teach children the names for many body parts such as ears, nose, or hands. Your child’s private parts really are just body parts!  It’s good for your child to know the names of all the major body parts.
  2. Thinking about a nickname instead?  Consider this first: we don’t use nicknames for our elbows/knees/feet, doing so for their genitals gives kids the message that there is something wrong or dirty or bad about those body parts.  We don’t want to—and it’s not healthy to—give kids discomfort about parts of their body.
  3. It’s awful to think about, but if someone was ever sexually inappropriate with your child, she really, really needs to be able to clearly describe what happened.
  4. Has your child picked up a slang word somewhere?  First, make sure he knows what that word actually means, and then remind him that in your home, you use the proper word.
  5. Worried that they will yell it out at the grocery store?  They might do that, kids often do.  One thing that can help is reminding your child that talking about bodies is something that you do at home, in private.
  6. I’ve saved the most important reason for last: A parent who can talk normally about body parts is a parent who is creating the kind of relationship where their child will feel comfortable coming to them with questions or for help and support.  This is definitely what you want as a parent.  Sure, it may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but it is so much healthier than leaving your child to get their sex ed from the internet or from the 16 year old down the street.

So the next time you’re changing your daughter’s diaper, tell her what you are doing using the correct words… maybe even practice saying it a few times until you can do it without giggling.  :^)  You can do it!

For a reminder of what, exactly, the correct words really are, plus 4 examples of how a parent might use them in a sentence, please click here:

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Katie Malinski

Katie Malinski LCSW is a licensed child and family therapist and parenting coach. In addition to her one-on-one work with families and children, she presents dynamic parenting workshops on a variety of topics, including: Beyond Birds and Bees, Parenting Through Divorce, Typical Parenting Conflicts, and many more. Learn more about Katie at