Tag Archives: teaching

Why I Don’t Call My Children’s Privates by Fake Names

I’ve laughed with other girls as we discussed the names we called our privates growing up: the tink, cookie jar, nucker, pee pee- the list goes on. Those areas of the body were shrouded with mystery when they were hesitantly discussed. My mother would answer questions and give us plenty of reading material. Still, I felt strange about these areas. If I had to discuss my own body I would have felt humiliated and very confused about how. Luckily, being a reader and being supplied with the correct books, I was able to identify that I had a urethra, vagina, and anus. Sadly, there are girls who become adults who are not aware what area does what: Do I urinate from my vagina? Where do I menstruate? Where do I have sex?

What God says about our bodies

The importance of calling privates by the proper name is instrumental to how a person will view their body and perhaps their own sexuality. It may sound silly, but not sillier than telling your child their arm is called a body noodle, or their face the expression platform. Calling things by their proper name isn’t just for the sake of being politically correct. It has much to do with knowledge being power. Knowledge gives a child confidence. For example- If they are lost they are taught to look for a woman with children, or a cop- you establish early that cops are mommy and daddy’s friends. This gives your child a safety net.

When your child’s arm hurts they are able to express that, “My arm is hurt.” This should be the same with their privates, “My penis hurts.” See how giving something the correct name gives them ownership? That is their penis. That is their vagina. (I typically call it the vulva since calling everything the vagina isn’t accurate either.) This ownership means they don’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed. Our gender is a huge part of our identity and not something to be embarrassed of. These parts aren’t “unspeakable.” They are a part of their body and as such if they are hurt or someone is making them uncomfortable, they are able to express that.

Telling your child about their body is a process. Many think, the talk is a one-time deal; it isn’t and shouldn’t be. As your child grows so should the discussions. The start should be the correct names for their body parts, or at least saying they are private. Eventually you tell them how their body is theirs; as such no one should be touching their privates. Also, if someone is making them uncomfortable they can talk to you no matter what!

I have known too many children, friends, and family members who have been hurt by predators to not take the safety of children seriously. I don’t teach my children out of fear, but as a preventive measure- not just against predators, but shame as well. I find it sad that too many people think talking about the body or sex to their children is vulgar. Someone is going to tell them and that information will most likely be incorrect and harmful. Most children have an idea of what sex is by the age of five whether you choose to talk or not. Take the initiative. Be the parent. How you discuss or don’t discuss something will dictate how a child will perceive that part of their life even as adults.

Happy Mothering!

The picture is from the store UnchainedBracelets on etsy.com You can actually buy this print! Click on the Link below.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/154933360/psalm-13914-i-am-fearfully-wonderfully?ref=exp_listing

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Introducing Big sister to Little Brother

IMAG0186_BURST010_COVERMy extended basketball belly was pushed out from my t-shirt as my daughter, Eowyn slapped her little hands on it as if hitting a drum. “That is your sibling,” I would tell her. To which she would pause and then go back to yelling and slapping the belly. Sometimes, it was like she knew there was a person in there. She’d put her head on my belly and talk quietly. In my mind I would imagine their relationship; would it be a sister, or brother? And, would they like one another?

She would be 16 months when he was born and still a baby. I needed her to be patient with the new baby. I wanted to teach her kindness-how to think and care for someone or something outside of herself. Her cute stuffed animal bunnies took part in my experiment. I would take one and pretend to nurse it, to which she would grab the bunny and throw it on the floor. After a time I would kiss it and say, “Eowyn kiss the baby!” and she would kiss it. And I would make it a big deal- praising her and telling her what a great job she was doing. Soon, she was bringing the bunny to me with a diaper. I’d put the diaper on the bunny and let her play the role of mama, patting the baby and kissing it.

When she did meet her brother, she was very indifferent.  She wasn’t even jealous; in fact Imageshe was just not impressed at all! I would try to make her imitate me kissing or hugging him and she would look down at him like he was the most disgusting thing in the world then go back to playing. Despite this, I was persistent in including her and eventually it clicked. While doing diaper changes she started handing the wipes to me, or bringing me a diaper.  Sometimes, she even tried to help wipe. It could get pretty messy, but I wanted to let her be the big sister.

Being the big sister doesn’t mean she has doesn’t get babied or put on the back burner. We have special mommy and Eowyn time every day where she is the center of my attention. I baby her and love on her to let her know she is very important to me. Interestingly, if we don’t have this alone time she is often difficult and whiny for the rest of the day.

It is easy to be scared of your older child hurting the new baby or getting short with them as your attention is being pulled in so many directions.  Despite these concerns try to be patient. I would encourage you to find a way to let your older child help. Too often one child or all the children can easily become the center of the family verses a part of the family. How can we make our children feel a part of the family? By giving them a purpose and a way to contribute. Be consistent in having them help you. Even at 16 months a toddler can pick up a little, help give you wipes and diapers, kiss and pat the baby, and so much more. It is never too early to teach kindness and helpfulness.

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