parenting pet peeves

Parenting Pet Peeves: toddler body words penis vs boy parts

Do you have any parenting pet peeves?  Do you try to shake them or embrace them?.

What is your take on teaching toddlers body part words? There are so many different opinions… and I think I may be on the ‘other’ side of the fence.  It’s one of my parenting pet peeves that I can’t seem to shake.

In general, I try to nurture a ‘live and let live’ kind of lifestyle.  It’s been a challenge for me as I am very direct and opinionated but I think I’ve improved a lot over the last three years and have gotten rid of many old pre-baby parenting pet peeves.  Yup, three, that’s how old my son is now!

What did I know about parenting before I had a baby, anyway?  lol

parenting pet peeve

What are your parenting pet peeves?

A new parent quickly learns to smile and nod at everyone’s opinion of ‘proper’ parenting.  These gems should serve to remind us that no one parenting technique is the right one and no single form of discipline or teaching will work on every child.  Being a mama has made me a better person.  I realize now that the world needs different kinds of parenting to produce different kinds of citizens.  We need visionaries like Steve Jobs, structured personalities for police type work, empathetic nurturers to be counselors, and etc.

However, there is this ONE LITTLE THING that’s been driving me absolutely nutty.  It’s one of my pre- parenting pet peeves I can’t seem to shake… parents who teach their kids to say ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ instead of something innocuous like ‘boy parts’ and ‘girl parts’. Most of these families don’t also teach their toddlers the medical terms for all body parts so why single the genitals?  Of course, I believe in teaching clinical name as supplementary but calling them by less attention grabbing terms.  I’ve been told it’s for sexual abuse awareness but, really?  Wouldn’t ‘boy parts’ or ‘girl parts’ work just as well?

This seems so silly to me.  I get that some parents think it’s funny and if that’s their thing… more power to them.  And I understand that some parents are doing what they’ve been told in hopes that it may cue them in on sexual abuse.  Sure, avoid cutesy names that sex offenders tend to use but, do we really have to trade them for ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’?

Yes, yes, I’ve read the expert articles that say using anatomically correct terms helps identify sexual abuse.  I just feel there is a middle ground between ‘coochee’ and ‘vagina’.  Did we teach our toddlers ‘cranium’ instead of ‘head’? ‘Axillary’ instead of ‘armpit’?  ‘Femur’ instead of ‘thigh’?  No?  Then I’m curious why ‘vagina’ and ‘penis’ are spouting from many toddlers’ mouths.  These ‘sexual predator awareness doesn’t really make sense to me for a couple of other reasons, too.  Since statistically, most sexual predators and offenders are known or related to the child, it seems they would already know what terms the family uses.  And also, kids are going to hear all the other cutesy terms from kids on the playground or at day care.

Once again, I’m definitely no expert but it seems there are options between cutesy terms used by predators and clinical terms such as ‘vagina’ and ‘penis’.  I can’t see a sexual predator saying ‘boy parts’. Maybe they use other cutesy kiddie terms but I can’t seem to find a list of terms commonly used by abusers.

This may be a sensitive subject for some but I really am curious about it.  Even child abuse pediatricians are vague on what exact terms we should be using so what is the  parent to think?  Maybe with some feedback, I’ll conquer one of my remaining parenting pet peeves (or at least figure out how to not be irked by the high horse that often seems to come with this particular one).  We all want the best for our kids and for most want them to not be embarrassed or ashamed of their nude body so, I wonder which way works best?  Most ways, of course.  After all, different things work for different families, right?

What is your take on clinical terms for toddler genitals?  I’d love to hear your thoughts  or other parenting pet peeves in the comments below. 

About Susan D

Curious Mind, Adventurer Heart... Susan D is a frequent traveler and the mother of an (amazing) toddler boy, Ian. They often travel together, just the two of them, (daddy doesn't have the travel bug as often) and hope to inspire others to travel more with their kids.
At the age of 3, Ian has been to 18 countries with mommy, and on over 30 airplane rides. They love to visit family, friends and interesting places all over the globe and are excited to share their great adventures, mishaps, and tips for traveling with kids with you! Traveling with children is rewarding and an education that should not be missed.

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