Your kid is taking a bath and then in an instant, they’re pointing down and saying ‘what dis?’ And you’re wondering what do I say? How do I handle it? You need to know how to talk to your toddler about private parts.
I get it. It’s weird to think about teaching your toddler body parts- especially their private parts. But, if we don’t take this seriously now, it can lead to a whole slew of different issues down the road.
There’s a good reason we need to stop using nicknames for private parts, and it starts and ends with protecting our children.
But how do you know exactly what to say and how to talk to your toddler about private parts? Let me help.
How to Talk To Your Toddler About Private Parts
Toddlers are Learning New Things Daily
At this age, our kids are learning new skills and words at a rapid pace. Their brains are little sponges.
You know that cute little body part game you play with your kids- it goes something like this:
Parent: Where are your eyes?
Parent: Yay! Good job! Where is your nose?
And the game continues.
There’s nothing weird about our kids knowing their elbow, nose, eyes, or ears. So why should their private parts be any different?
If we teach our kids about their genitalia in the same way we teach them their other body parts, it becomes normal. Not something to giggle about or feel embarrassed about, but normal.
They may spend a few hours (or days) running around screaming ‘LOOK I HAVE A PENIS’, but it’s good and necessary that our children understand that yes, you do have a penis.
I know it’s hard. But when they’re running around screaming at the top of their lungs that they have a penis to the entire park, it’s really important for you NOT to react.
Reacting harshly can show your child that there is something wrong or bad with their private parts and can result in them becoming embarrassed talking about it.
The best thing you can do is simply respond calmly with a ‘Yep! You sure do.’
Or if you want to take it a step farther, ‘Yep! You’ve got a penis, but it’s one of the private parts we keep covered, right?’
There’s no need to feel like the eyes of the entire store are upon you or let your face turn 5 shades of red. Your child understanding their anatomy is vital.
You wouldn’t get embarrassed if they ran around screaming about an elbow, would you? Their genitalia should be no different.
It’ll lose it’s ‘newness’ soon enough and they’ll start proclaiming something else. So please, try not to react harshly when they do talk about their private parts.
Private Parts are Not Bad
If you do react, over time kids will learn that their body parts are wrong, rude or even naughty. And that may lead to them becoming embarrassed to talk about them which could make them less likely to tell you if someone is touching them inappropriately.
Kids need to understand that they’re private parts are healthy and normal. They’re different because we keep them covered up, but still good and acceptable body parts.
Books to Help You Talk to Your Toddler About Private Parts
Teaching your toddler body parts is no easy task and sometimes using a book makes the process less overwhelming or embarrassing for us as adults. These are some of my favorite resources when it comes to teaching toddlers about their anatomy.
Who Has What?: All About Girls’ Bodies and Boys’ Bodies
Young children are curious about almost everything. Asking questions is one of many ways they learn about themselves and the world around them. Now, this unique series for our youngest children provides easy-to-understand facts and answers to their delightful, thoughtful, and often nonstop questions.
Launching the series is WHO HAS WHAT?, a simple story following Nellie and Gus on a family outing to the beach. Humorous illustrations, conversations between the siblings, and a clear text all reassure young kids that whether they have a girl’s body or a boy’s, their bodies are perfectly normal, healthy, and wonderful.
30 Days of Sex Talks for Ages 3-7
The most meaningful discussions you will have with your child—made easy! This book contains downloadable, bonus content! Included with this book is a code that will allow you to download topic cards which can be printed and placed in strategic locations, such as a mirror, refrigerator or in your pocket, to remind you and your child to start talking!
We’ve made it easy to engage your child in conversations about relationships, affection, anatomy, boundaries, predators, online dangers and many other vital topics. Using the numerous questions and conversation starters we have provided, you can launch these essential talks with your child and interject your personal thoughts, feelings and cultural beliefs.
I Said NO!
Helping kids set healthy boundaries for their private parts can be a daunting and awkward task for parents, counselors, and educators. Written from a kid s point of view, I Said No! makes this task a lot easier.
To help Zack cope with a real-life experience he had with a friend, he and his mom wrote a book to help prepare other kids to deal with a range of problematic situations. I Said No! uses kid-friendly language and illustrations to help parents and concerned adults give kids guidance they can understand, practice and use.
Use these ideas and books to make talking to your toddler about their body parts simpler and less overwhelming. Help them learn from a young age that their body parts are normal.