The question “When should I have ‘The Talk’ with my child?” begins with using accurate language as soon as children begin naming their body parts. The area we identify as “private parts” should also be identified with accurate language just like any other part of the body. Many adults say they have a problem with the words “penis” and “vagina”. What is the reason for this hesitancy? Probably because somewhere in their childhood they were either told these were not appropriate words or they were told they were told those parts should be identified by words other than the correct terms.

 A belly button is a navel, a wee-wee is a penis, and down there is the vulva (outside) and vagina (inside). Using the correct terms as children begin to identify these body parts prevents the confusion children experience when they are older, especially during puberty when they have to re-learn the the correct terms. Imagine how confused we would all be if we had to do that with all our body parts. Wouldn’t a better solution be to teach children the correct terms, teach them that these body parts are personal and private, and teach them when and with whom it was appropriate to have respectful discussions related to these parts of the anatomy? We can and should arm our children with this positive information!

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