It’s kinda the inevitable that your 4-year-old will point to various body parts and ask about them. For mine, this evening was ‘boobs’ or ‘breasts’ as Daddy went on to call them. We were taken by surprise when he asked, and the conversation between the man and me turned to how we should label other body parts. Probably a discussion we should have had before it was forced upon us on the spot and probably one we should have continued when he went to bed, seeing as he now has a full range of names which can be used. I expect phone calls from school tomorrow being told that our son has taught his classmates some words.
Though who’s to know what his classmates have been taught as words for ‘various’ body parts, is there some standard word we should use for ‘penis’ & ‘vagina’ when it comes to a 4-year-olds? Did I not get the memo on this particular parenting saga?
We’ve got by so far with referring to man parts as tinky, though I knew this had thrown Oli when he screamed at me the other day that I had a tinky. I explained that I didn’t and that just boys have tinkys. But the more I use these ‘inky’ sounding words, the more uncomfortable I am using such childish names and words which are not the right words for the right body part. In a way I also feel like I’m lying to my child, he’s asking for these names and wanting to know, his way of learning about the world is through asking us.
The man looks at me in both shock and horror I think when I turned round to Oli and gave him the proper terms, he just looked at me and nodded and we then went on to talk about something else. I don’t think the man was expecting me to come out with it, we then agreed that we wouldn’t lie to Oli on what the names are. We’ll let him lead and see where this talk leads us, he might have forgotten what we talked about come morning, and we might get another year or so until this topic comes back up. She says looking hopeful. It’s just we didn’t give boobs/breasts a silly sounding name, we didn’t call them mountains or sugarcoat them in any way so why should we when it comes to other parts of our body?
I’m proud of the fact my boobs are used to feed my children, that my vagina is the way they are brought into this world and I know these are pieces of information they learn as they get older and as sex education is introduced to them at school. At what point should these key points to life be taught? Should they be sugarcoated until an older age?
What words do you use?