Early Childhood: Answering Questions the Child May Ask
1. Why does my private part look different from my friend’s private part?
Identifying body parts by their proper name and function is the foundation of personal safety.
Think about why you are more comfortable using a using a euphemism like ‘nunu’ or ‘peepee’ instead of penis.
Where does the shame lie in saying the word ‘penis’? In your mind or in the mind of your child?
Are private parts purely sexual organs? Do you not use your hand or lips during sex? Then why are they not taboo?
You have derived your sense of shame and discomfort in identifying private parts from your family or society. But you need to ensure that the same discomfort and shame is not shared by the children.
If your child asks you about private parts, do not shame them by saying things like ‘shame, shame, puppy, shame’. Instead teach them the technical name for genitals. For younger children teach them the non-sexual functions like vagina/penis is used to pass urine & buttocks provide cushion for seating & breasts are used to feed babies etc.
2. Where do babies come from?
This is an extremely common question. You can safely say that “The baby grew in Mummy’s tummy” or that “The baby came out through mummy’s vagina” as well as the fact that “Daddy helped Mummy make the baby and put it in her tummy.”