I taught me son the names of body parts as he discovered them. As for the touching of himself down south, thats normal but when my son does it, I tell him that is something he should do in private and not in front of others
Hello ladies. I am seeking some feedback/tips regarding when and how to teach your child certain body parts. My husband and I have different views on this. My daughter will be 2 on 12/27/08 and has recently started to discover certain body parts. To me, this is normal as she is only exploring her body and doesn't know the difference of her chest versus her nose. If she is calling out names of her body parts, my perception would be to teach her the appropriate words for each body part (including the private parts). Anytime my husband sees her touching herself, he tells her to not do that. This only happens when she is taking a bath. Last night she was touching down south and called it her belly. What I would do is teach the appropriate word then move on to other body parts such eyes, mouth, etc. My husband told me not to teach her anything like that, and that she doesn't need to know yet. I wonder if part is because that's his baby girl and he's protective or doesn't really want to go there with her but at the same time, I don't want to teach her to be ashamed of her body. My only worry is if she is too young to learn the name of those body parts. Any advice or tips on how and when to teach her and also how to get my husband on board to understand the appropriate approach to situations like this. I of course want he and I to be on the same page before doing anything. Thanks!!!
I taught me son the names of body parts as he discovered them. As for the touching of himself down south, thats normal but when my son does it, I tell him that is something he should do in private and not in front of others
What about teaching her the Head, shoulders, knees and toes song? She can learn some body parts that won't embarass anyone in the grocery store. auntie L.
You are right on. My daughter just turned 2 and can name her body parts including her cheeks, nose, knees and even vagina. We have always stuck to the correct anatomical/scientific names for body parts and have been matter of fact when talking about them. This also helps when they are older and have to discuss pains/ injuries with the doctor (my oldest just had a urinary tract infection, and the doctor was able to talk to her about her body and how to avoid this in the future). They are, after all, just parts of the body that every one has. Good luck with hubby:)
We use the proper names for the parts. But we call the whole general area the "privates". That way boys and girls both have privates, but boys and girls have different parts to their privates. I figured it would be an easier thing later, too, if she was in public and needed to say something - not as embarassing for the adults, lol! I also tell my kids not to touch themselves in their privates in front of others. That includes on the toilet (I tell her she will get her hands dirty) or in the bath because others are watching. What my sister used to tell her kids was if you want to touch your privates, you need to go to your room alone. Hopefully this will not create embarrasement or bad feelings about their privates, yet will not have them touching themselves at inappropriate times!
I believe that it is incredibly important for children to know about these things at an early age. I know that no one likes to think of the bad things that could happen, but it's important that a child know what there private parts are and why they are private and that no one else should touch them. Unfortunately, in this day and age there are some real sickos out there and these people aren't just on the streets. They could be friends, family, baby sitters, child care workers, neighbors, and even their own friends or friends of their siblings. For this reason I think it is incredibly important for her to understand not only what the parts are called but also that they are hers/his and that someone else trying to touch those parts is very very wrong (besides of course you when she needs help cleaning those areas and the doctor if and when they need to look down there as well) and that if it does happen that they need to tell you, the parents, about it.
By all means, if she is asking, then you should teach her! It's never too early to learn the appropriate names to your own body parts! Your husband is the oen with the problem--bless his heart--but you can't afford in this time to hide from it. Your daughter will pick up on that and develop a negative sense of it. I'm so overwhelmed with all the information that I can't even put it all here...so much of who we are at our core (including sexually) is determined at the current age of your daughter. You can't run and hide, so the best thing you can do is to make sure that she has a healthy foundation. I think that it's awesome that you tell her the name and then (not too quickly, though) atlk about other random body parts, so that no part feels like a secret.
Keep doing what you do. Explain to your husband what we've shared. It's a shame that you have to do this, but even read up on some child development concerns and share it with him.
Goo dluck with all of that.
I thought they were too young, too, until a friend had an incident with her grand-daughter being molested...and her g-d was 9. Poor dear! I felt so terrible for her, and although my kids knew their body parts somewhat (legs, arms, etc.), I realized it was time for them to know that certain (private) areas were private. So, any place their bathing suits covered was off limits to touch (family, friends, teachers, etc.) NO ONE should touch them or make them feel badly about their bodies. I also taught them that if anyone did try to touch them there, that they should tell Mom or Dad or someone they trusted and loved to help them.
L., I can't tell you how grateful I am that I did that. It ended up helping us later on with an incident at day care, and the place is now shut down. Please, pray if you must to help your husband understand the importance of this. My prayers are with you also, because no matter how much we love our children, we can't be with them 24 hrs. a day in every single situation. We have to prepare them, no matter how terrifying or uncomfortable it is for us. How will they know something is wrong if WE, as their parents, don't teach them that? Best wishes to you, dear.
L.: We taught our children the correct anatomical names of there private parts. By not naming them correctly, and or not allowing exploration, you are already labeling those parts as something to be ashamed of. You are right. To a child there is no difference between any of his/her body parts, and rightly so.
Use the correct names for body parts. This is really important so that if anyone ever touches her inappropriately (God forbid) she will be able to tell any adult about it and they will understand what is going on. Your pediatrician will tell you the same thing. Good luck with your hubby. Sometimes they're on Mars!
I realize that there is more in my response than you were looking for, but I believe that there is good reason to teach private parts early.
I have two young daughters, and have taught them their private parts right along with their tummies and noses. Granted, I have a hard time calling their privates a "vagina," because there's a LOT more to it than that particular part. It's all about bringing things down to their level, so we refer to it as their "pee-pee." I figure when they get older, we can go into details on all the various parts that make up their "pee-pees." :-D
That being said, the reason that I am so vigilant about teaching them early, is because I was molested by a family member between the ages of 4 and 6. My mother NEVER suspected that her cousin would do such a thing, and because we had never really discussed the fact that private parts were meant to be private, I didn't know any different.
While bathing my four-year old, I've discussed it with her, explaining that ONLY Mommy and Daddy are allowed to touch her "pee-pee," and that if anyone tries to touch it or her "boobs," to tell them, "NO, those are my private parts," then come tell Mommy or Daddy right away.
If your husband is concerned about her touching herself, then just explain to her that those are her private parts, and that they are meant to be private. She can touch them, but only when she's by herself. It is indeed perfectly normal for children to explore themselves, and is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. She's just a normal kid.
I appreciate your bravery to post! As a sexual health professional I can tell you that our sexuality operates on a continuum, from the womb to the tomb, and as parents the two of you play a highly influential role in your daughter's sexual development. In utero boy babies have erections and girl babies experience vaginal lubrication. Your daughter's behaviors are 'normal' for her age and sexual development. As her awareness around her body increases she will begin to develop her sexual identity~how a girl 'should' act~this is an important time in her development. Our culture maintains this sort of 'sexual secrecy' by limiting information. Normal is a term that is both biased and limiting and sexual development is strongly influenced by those whom we are around coupled with sexual values often determined by cultural norms. All that being said, here are some tips for you...
1. Teach correct names for body parts (vulva, vagina, clitoris, etc.)-research suggests that this helps the child to better understand what is 'ok' and what is 'not ok'.
2. Teach anatomy names during bath time or when changing, in privacy, and with a positive tone. The 'donut theory' is a good method of teaching-beginning away from the genitals, where most of us are comfortable (i.e., that is your nose, where is your mouth, etc.), and work toward the genitals.
3. Allow the child to explore the genitals during bath or changing time.
4. Model healthy adult affection and convey positive messages about sexual anatomy.
5. Lastly, teach about privacy and where it is 'ok' to explore genitals.
I suggest that you and your husband discuss your sexual values. The messages you send to your daughter now will be with her for a lifetime! Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions!! Keep up the good work!
You've already gotten so many responses, but I just wanted to share my opinion, too, that I think it's really important to teach kids (boys AND girls) the proper names for their private parts. I've been having that discussion with my kids (the oldest two are 6 and 4) for years, and I always reinforce that those parts are private, and only mommy, daddy, and the doctor should ever need to check there, and that's only when there's something bothering them about those parts. I also tell them that they shouldn't talk about their private parts with other people (like at school), but they can ALWAYS talk to mommy and daddy about their private parts. Teaching our kids the names of their private body parts is probably the single most important thing we can do to lessen their chances of being molested.
I have 2 daughters who are 4 and 2. At this age, I'd just ignore it. She doesn't really need a name for those parts yet, the only one my 2 yr old knows is "butt" but that's partially b/c my older daughter taught her that LOL
it wasn't until my older one turned 4 that she got more curious about her private parts. I tell her the correct names, and had a little talk with her about what "private" means. She knows that certain parts are just for her, and no one should touch her there except for if mommy, daddy, or a doctor need to help her (like if she gets a rash, which has happened from her not wiping properly). If I see her touching her genitals while watching TV or something, I just remind her that is a private part and a private thing to do alone in her room. I try not to make her feel embarrassed or "bad"...that's what my mom did to me and it really messed me up (she told me masturbation was a sin when I was 7!)
I know that's a little more than you were asking for, but it's something you and your hubby need to talk about now and make sure you agree upon! If he is uncomfortable giving her a bath b/c she touches herself, then maybe it's time he stops bathing her. Him being uncomfortable and embarrassed will send her the wrong message
You have gotten great advice - the only thing I would add is that with my daughter who is 7 (and I will with my son) we added to our talk about the correct names is that these things are private. We talk about these at home with mommy and daddy or, if necessary, to your doctor.
That has worked well and not too many embarrassing moments outside the house! It is also a great concept for them to grasp as there are simply things that should be kept private - not a secret, but private.
It offers respect for their body, and respect for others as well when we learn things correctly.
Good luck!!! Isn't if fun being a parent!
My thought is to teach them right from the start what is what and to not have "silly" names for the body. It not only helps with body image later it helps to know when she is telling you something is wrong...if you call her "down south" part her pee pee, and she comes to you at 3 or 4 saying the her pee pee hurts...is she telling you her pee hurts or her ...down south part hurts...it can cut down on the confusion later. And definitely cut down on the being embarrased about her body later also, when she learns they have different names. My husband didn't want to use the anatomically correct names either but...I did, and am so glad I did. my daughter knows she can come to me and ask any question and I won't sugar coat it. She knows that she can't always believe the kids at school. She knows that it is not polite to talk about anything covered by a bathing suit in public, and that if her friends are talking about it she can tell them not to.
My husband reluctantly rescinded his view about names of our body parts. finally.
PS a mom I know tells her daughter that the stork brought her to earth and boy is this girl confused, and I can only imagine what she will keep from her mom after she learns about the lies her mom tells her, she won't ever be able to trust her....
Good Luck and follow your heart.
YOU are the one who has this one right! By teaching your daughter the proper anatomical names for her body parts and, as you suggest, and by addressing ALL parts when she discovers private areas will simply make the discovery "no big deal." To withhold the terms and tell her "not" to touch herself in private areas attaches a "special significance" and therefore, will do exactly the OPPOSITE of what your husband wishes to accomplish. I really don't know how you can graciously "convince" him of this, but it is absolutely correct from a psychological point of view. Continue to do what you are doing with your daughter and on the side, prayerfully and patiently tell him why it is the better approach.
Perhaps there are some good web sites on parenting that you can find by Googling things like "teaching children body parts." There are some helpful links on an unusual site that I have seen referenced on Mamasource before. It is http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/ I don't know if this site addresses teaching body parts, but it has some good info and links that might lead you to even better info if you are willing to spend a little time "surfing."
You say that you love God. So, I assume that you AND your husband share a common faith. The BEST way to ensure that children develop proper, modest behavior is to be consistent in what you teach them at home; this should ALWAYS be the truth (using correct terminology) COUPLED with the spiritual truths about how precious our bodies are to God and how we are to keep them pure, safe and healthy. With consistent corporeal and spiritual training, children will know when and how to use the knowledge they have of their bodies. Having your children in a consistent Sunday school and church environment will reinforce the Biblical truths that you teach her at home. By consistently attending church as a family you will establish important role models for your daughter's behavior. And perhaps some of the teachings will "comfort" you husband so that he will have a source of peace to draw upon as he raises a daughter to adulthood. He will need "supernatural" peace (LOL!)
Proverbs 22:6 - "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it."
If your hubby is uncomfortable calling your daughter's private part a vagina then ask him if it would bother him less to call it a vulva. That is technically what she is touching; the outer region of her vagina. When she is older you can explain that the inside is her vagina. I was molested as a toddler into late childhood and I think I might have known to tell someone earlier if 1.) I knew what is considered inappropriate touching and 2.) the proper name for that part of my body. It is a must that your hubby understands that there are sick people out there and she will need to know how to tell you if something bad happened.
Tell him to come into the 21st century. Ask your Dr. for a good book to read about it. You definately have the right idea about telling her the truth and proper names.
how about instead of calling the southern regions of her body the "correct" name cant u just call her pee pee or some other lil nickname. that is what happened with my sister in law and thats what im going to do with my daughter when she gets abit older.
Well, I agree with both of you. While I do not think your daughter or any child that age should be walking around saying what it really is called, she does need to know the difference. All kids will start getting curious and will soon even start asking why one parent is different than the other on the chest region. I personally taught my daughter that her privates down that far were called simply her bottom. She knew due to having cousins and such that boys were different and our word for them ended up being a wee-wee. She is 8 now and still does not know the proper terms for private parts other than on the chest and I am perfectly ok with that! :o)
Good luck in finding a common ground!
I agree with you, teach her the correct names of her bodies parts, and any body parts she doesn't have. God forbid she was abused and couldn't even tell you about it because she didn't have the words? And just from her perspcetive, how can you teach her the appropriate behavior if you can't talk about it? If your husband is uncomfortable with her exploring her body and learning the names, then maybe he shouldn't be supervising her bath.
you re doing the right thing men are stupid
You should always teach them the correct names. In case, God forbid she has to tell someone where someone else touched her. Men Are intimidated by girl stuff, it freaks them out. CB
Yes your daughter does need to know body parts but not all. She is to young for down south. But things like hand, nose, foot etc. yes. These will help also if she hurts, Right now she is to young to say where she hurts but she still needs to no the names for stomach, head for example. These will help both of you if she should be ill. Touching is normal we all did that when we were that age and younger. It is not bad it is learning, go no to the tummy, nose eyes etc. This is important for her to learn now is the best time they learn faster at this age and is better for her. Good luck
I suggest when you are teaching your child you use the anatomical name for every part. Add that some people use different names--vagina, hiney, bottom, peepee. Just different names for the same thing. You would want your child to know stomach, belly, tummy were all the same. It is not different than calling your child Tom, Tommy, Bubba, Son, Slugger. They are learning like little sponges and can incorporate more information than we realize. Just as it is a snap for a child to be taught 2 or more languages from birth, they are not confused by the differences and learn to speak bilingually interchangably.
Moms, Please change your mindset from Fear that something/someone might violate your child's body, kidnap or harm them. I do Not suggest you hide your head in the sand and ignore those possibilities. Mention but don't dwell on fearsome scenarios. Realize if your child got separated from you at the mall, there would be dozens of people ready to come to their aid. Perhaps 1 person would seek to do them harm.
Teach them these many names for body parts for the love of knowledge, not as fearful insurance against harm.
I've got a six and a four year old. I have found the books by Stan and Brenna Jones very helpful. There's a series of four and the first one is called the Story of Me. They are christian based but fun and interesting.
I was taught not to mess with my "private parts". We were told it was nasty to touch other peoples "private parts". I know I am super old fashioned and moms now are saying its only natural which is true. But I do think we should teach about approperiateness too. Think about if she were a flower girl and she wanted to do some exploring or at a not so approperiate time. I agree with both you and your husband! I think she should know her body parts names but I wouldnt teach her to call it anything silly like the vjay jay or anything. Call it her private parts or something simular so if something goes wrong like a bladder infection she dosent yell out in the store my vagina hurts! She needs to know the difference between her eye and her stomach so she can comunicate with you both. Good luck and get your Hubby to read some of these. Its a good thing Dad.
I am a 33yr. old mom of a beautiful 18 mo. old boy. My husband has actually been the one to teach my son all of his body parts....from his toes to his head. It was very important to him that he learn the correct terminology for his diferent body parts. I agreed. My son talks quite a bit and says some of his body parts like eyes, elbow, ears, teeth...ect, but he had never said his private part. I don't think you have to worry about her running aroung saying it but there is nothing wrong with teaching her correct names. talk to your husband...i'm sure he will agree. Good luck.
My little guy is 16 months and we tell him the correct name for all his parts. I agree with you, there is not shame in private parts and she is totally innocent so if she is touching any part of herself she is just exploring her little body. Maybe if you can find some articles on normal development and share the info with your hubby or even talk to you pediatrician to set his mind at ease. But I think that all her parts are just great and she is just learning about her body.
My daughter is 2.5 and I taught her pretty recently about her body parts. I myself do not think it is a bad thing for her to know about herself. My husband really hasnt expressed his feelings about it to me, it probably doesnt bother him. But I feel that no matter what age they should know about their body, private parts included! If your daughter is curious about it then tell her. I was sure to tell my daughter that it was fine if she was curious about it but that was HER private part and nobody else could touch it!!!
I wanted to tell you I think a compromise is possible too. Calling it a "gina" (short for Vagina) makes it easy to add the rest as she's a little older. Also, we need to be aware of our own comfort zones and not shame each OTHER into feeling like there is one right way to parent. If your husband is uncomfortable with your daughter exploring her body in front of him, he could easily say, "those parts are for exploring in privacy" same for nose picking. It's unrealistic to suppress one as much as the other and you would only be setting yourself up for sneakiness by not expecting this.However, asking it to be done in private isn't the same as shaming it. I hope you can find a good balance and something you are both comfortable with.
She is absolutely old enough to learn body parts. Our daughters are exactly the same age (12/27/06) And mine knows breast, nipple, but we call her vagina a peepee, because as of right now that's all it's used for. When she gets a little older I'll teach her the technical word for it. All children touch themselves, and for multiple reasons. One they're curious, so they're doing some self exploration. Two it does register a "feels good" feeling to the brain, and again leads to the self exploration. My rule is that if you want to do that, you go to your room because it's not something you do infront of people. So far it's worked. Best of luck.
hey, i agree with you that it's a normal part of growing and learning. one thing that helped me put it in perspective is that we have tried to emphasize that our son (almost 3) should only talk about or explore (touch) the private parts of his body in the bathroom. in general that works, but he's had outbursts in public. i think that's pretty normal, too. we just try to keep it to a minimum.
i don't like all the cutesy terms for body parts, so i took the approach of teaching my son the proper term for his private parts and i regret that. in hindsight i wish we would have just used the term 'private parts' or something along those lines. we've had moments where he's shouted out p***s at inappropriate moments like when he was eating a banana with my husband's grandparents. eeek! he was just barely two years old, so it wasn't completely mortifying, but we certainly don't want that word in conversation at the breakfast table.
it sounds like it probably is a lot harder for a dad with his daughter. it is important for her not to feel ashamed, but if your husband is uncomfortable maybe you could take the lead on teaching her in this area. maybe he'll be more comfortable if he just has to back up what you tell her?
She's pretty little so she doesn't need to be told to go to her room to touch her privates like some people suggested. She's simply exploring her body in the bathtub and it's ridiculous to even spend any energy noticing it. Husband needs to be oblivious to it and not cause any negative associations. Hasn't he noticed the more you tell a 2 year old "no" the more they want to do it? And so what kind of an emotional message is that sending her? I'm not one to teach my kids to masturbate but at 2 her belly button is just as exciting as her private parts and she's discovering her beautiful body, knees, tummy and all. Call it pee pee like another writer suggested, my 2 year old knows she has a bum but we haven't talked to much about up front, I think at the moment it seems to fall in the same category as bum for her. I also think it's a total phase, I remember my 4 year old touching and exploring in the bath a couple years ago and I just ignored it and she hasn't been interested since. Good luck!
I will tell you what we did with our daughter. WHile potty training (which we started at 12 months), I would sit her on the potty and we would do all the face parts. Well since they are use to being in a diaper they don't discover down there until they are in the bath or the potty. I would see her trying to touch it and I would tell her that is your pee pee. I said that is wear your pee pee comes out of and you don't be messing down there. I also have touch my kids that no one is suppose to ever touch them down there either. That is always a good thing to teach them. We have talked about her butt. As potty training you kinda have to talk about that stuff. I told her when she has to poop she needs to sit on the potty. She asked it comes uot of your utt and I would say yes. There is nothing wrong with teaching them there private parts. She knows her tits too. My daughter is now 4 and she knows that on one sees her tits, butt, or pee pee. She is in pre school and when it is potty time she tells the teacher she don't need help because she doesn't. One the first day of school I did let the teacher know that she has been taught since she was little that no one touches her down there so she might not let you come into the stall with her. The teacher is so amazed that she never has accidents or anything. I really don't think you should try to hide your daughters body from her. Just let her know what it is but not in too much detail. I can understand a man feeling weird about his daughter knowing what things are. No man whats to think of that stuff and his daughter. My husband will tell our daughter no you don't touch that and you need to wash your hands. He doesn't act any different than I do, which also helps. I hope this helps you a little. Good luck.
oh, did you know novalee was the name of the main character in where the heart is. i love that name. lol
anyway, about your problem, good luck with getting your husband aborad with everything. my husband and i have been married 8 years and have a 4 year old and a 2 year old. there is some stuff we agree on by default but most of it is a real battle.
fortunatel in this area we agreed. : )
our daughter was doing that alot too. so far my second one hasnt. and id just ignore her if she did it in the tub, because she couldnt get anything else dirty if you know what i mean, but when she did it outside the tub, and you may bnot agree with my term, but wed say, eeww twatty fingers. letting her know she needed to wash her hands. but we wouldnt make that big of a deal out of it. letting her know thats where waste comes from and its not healthy to spread that around. and beleive it or not it only lasted 2 weeks and she was done. we taught her it was her private, my husband called it her body. and when she does anything crude in front of people i just tell her she doesnt do those things in the presence of people, do it in private. like i said i may not have had the best approach. but just taking it in stride. as far as workign with your husband. good luck on that one. : )
I believe it's pretty necessary for your little girl to know the difference between her belly and her teetee. I think your hubby might be scared that she'll say it in public or start to develop the whole touching herself thing..which is completely normal.(to an extent, of course) Try to help him understand and not to get freaked out when she touches herself..and specially not to get onto her for it.
I completely agree with your approach. When she touches herself tell her that's her "teetee" (or whatever word you choose, haha) and move onto another body part, like hands (since they're likely to be close), then move to bellybutton and on up. And just teach her that her chest region is her chest, not boobies or anything..I made the mistake of teaching my SON that word..Not a good outcome. haha
Anyway, I wish you some luck!
I agree with you. But, tell her to only touch herself there in private, that's why people call it private. Also, calmly tell her only to talk about her private areas with you and not with Daddy or anyone else. That should help your husband out and yet be compromise for you. It's not too early to teach modesty and it won't make her ashamed of it if you deal with her very frankly. But, she doesn't need to be doing it or talking about it with others.
Hi! I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter who knows almost all her body parts, so I think it's a great time to start teaching her. I can't remember exactly when we started teaching her names, but it just kind of happened, like it is with your daughter. We use the words pee-pee and butt for her private parts. I can relate to having an overprotective daddy in the house, too! I have noticed that our daughter touches herself on occasion, but more just exploring around the area of her privates than actually masturbating. However I've heard that this is completely natural exploration for young children, so in our home we do not discourage her, but tell her if she wants to do that, she can do it by herself in her room. She understands but still thinks it's funny to pretend she's going to touch her privates with us around. We don't make a big deal about it, but are clear with her. This may not work for everyone, but it works for us. Good luck!