Monday, November 9, 2009

The Ladies Room discussion

I rushed into the ladies room at work early afternoon to relieve myself after a long morning of presentation. I walked into a robust conversation about what parents teach their children to call their body parts. I don’t usually tarry in the rest room for various reasons but mostly the odor. I stay long enough to complete the task at hand and scamper out. This conversation was one I would have enjoyed getting into but I made my escape as per usual. I have mixed feeling on the topic and some fond memories of some of the names or terms I’ve heard for the private parts.

A triad was standing around the sink area fully engaged in this discussion. It seems that they were all talking at the same time. At this point they were trying to make the connection between the names used and the part or function of the part to the anatomically correct names. What is pee pee? How did they come up with pee pee one of the women asked? If anything it should be u, u for urine, she said. That comment got a chuckle from everyone. They delved into other names and parts as I stood washing my hands. I don’t understand why parents don’t just tell their kids the proper names, said another one of the women. I always told my kids right away the proper names and I think that is the best way, said the third woman. You confuse the kids she continued.

They continued as I left the room seemingly summarizing the discussion exchanging what they thought parents should tell their kids and what they told their kids. They also talked about why it is important to teach children the proper names for body parts, their privates.

As I exited the room I thought that this was a good topic of discussion in the ladies room and else where. Teaching children the correct names could prevent misunderstandings and the potential for abuse. There is also an element of embarrassment in self expression and possible poor self protection. I found research studies that was done in Canada that actually looked at this issue and the various names used. Other informational sources seem to indicate that giving proper names as early as possible is preferred even though there seems to be a split for giving kids both options.

What did/do you teach your kids’ to call their body parts? How did you name them? Do you think that ‘pet’ names for the body parts or baby talk have a negative impact on the child’s development?

Tell me your thoughts.

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