My two year old started calling his penis his "poo poo." The terms get confusing with pee pee, poo poo, making pee pee, making wee wee, making poo poo. We're thinking about just calling it a penis to simplify things. Thoughts?

asked 15 Nov '09, 00:41

ejane123's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

edited 16 Nov '09, 21:34

lgritz's gravatar image


We went with penis and vagina for our son and daughter. It avoids confusion, and its the proper terms for them!


answered 15 Nov '09, 01:46

Krista's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%


+1. I think taking away the mystery will pay off as they get older too.

(15 Nov '09, 04:46) MrChrister

Totally agree! That is what they are called :)!

(15 Nov '09, 05:04) Melissa 1

Technically speaking (and depending on what you're really talking about), that's probably not the "proper term" for the girl parts. The vagina is the inside area that leads to the uterus. If you mean the collection of parts you can see from the outside, it's "vulva." Urine comes from the urethra, not the vagina.

(15 Nov '09, 06:36) lgritz

Agree except "vulva" instead of "vagina"

(15 Nov '09, 20:24) Dinah

Yes, absolutely call them by their real names. The child has the parts, he/she ought to know what they are called and what they do. Here's a great reference (thanks, Scott) articulating some of the best reasons why this is a good idea.

But if you're gonna use the right names, you might as well get it right. (Example: don't call external female genitalia a "vagina.") Do a little Google searching if you aren't sure what each part is called. Wikipedia "penis" and "vulva" go a long way.


answered 15 Nov '09, 06:49

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

edited 16 Nov '09, 21:38

I read a study once that claimed that children who use the proper terms for their genitalia and are not embarrassed or shy about that are less likely be sexually assaulted because the impression they make on their abuser is that they are the type of kid who is more likely to have open communication with their parents and are therefore more likely to report the abuse.

I unfortunately cannot source that from the internet, so take it as you will. We always try to be as candid and relaxed as we can about those "parts" because I don't want them to become taboo.


answered 15 Nov '09, 13:04

erin's gravatar image

accept rate: 31%


I found this:

(15 Nov '09, 17:58) Scott ♦♦

thanks, scott!!

(16 Nov '09, 00:10) erin

+1 on the comment, Scott, that's a really great link!

(16 Nov '09, 21:34) lgritz

This link appears to be broken, but I found a cached version of the article:

(17 Jun '10, 23:44) Matt 2

In my family growing up, we called them "privates" for both boys and girls.


answered 15 Nov '09, 03:23

Fun2Dream's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

I completely agree. That way they learn what Private means also

(16 Nov '09, 05:10) Mary

They can easily understand what "private" means, as well as which parts are private, while also being able to communicate clearly to you or a doctor if, for example, something hurts, by naming the part correctly.

(16 Nov '09, 21:32) lgritz

There are two languages spoken in our house, so we taught them the names in the minority language. Works like a charm. We also use "bathing suit area" when discussing which parts of the body are private. If a bathing suit covers it, only you, your parents and your doctor should be able to see it!


answered 16 Nov '09, 21:08

TheGoriWife%201's gravatar image

TheGoriWife 1
accept rate: 0%

Why not in both languages?

(16 Nov '09, 21:35) lgritz

@Igritz: ... reading @TheGoriWife's blog, I'm going out on a limb and saying it's a cultural thing. ;) Great blog!

(17 Nov '09, 04:32) Scott ♦♦

We'll teach both languages, I just meant that having them refer to these body parts in a minority language means that they can talk about these things all day long and there's no social discomfort for anyone involved in our daily, mostly English speaking life.

(17 Nov '09, 05:58) TheGoriWife 1

I love this! We also have a combined family, so the naming of things is interesting. My husband and I say "penis" and "vulva," but my step-daughter's mother says "wee-wee" and "front bum." My step daughter, in all her infinite wisdom, has settled on "weenis" when talking about her bother's body.


answered 23 Jun '10, 17:54

johearn's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

Boys have a willy, that was easy.
Testes haven't been discussed at home, although I have heard several playground terms for them.
We have managed to dodge the question for a name for the girls parts. Although I expect privates or bits will be the accepted term. Although I am okay with them knowing the correct names it just doesn't seem right using them sometimes. For instance, how often do you use the correct term or an alternative when talking to your partner?


answered 15 Nov '09, 19:58

pipthegeek's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

There's a different lexicon for talking to your sexual partner, and your child won't need that for a while. But there are big benefits when talking to your parents, doctors, etc, if you know the right names for things.

(16 Nov '09, 21:29) lgritz

True. What I was trying to get at though is that it is more important to be able to discuss these areas of the body and sexuality in general than to use all correct names. If you feel more comfortable with alternative terms, then use them. Even the doctor will probably appreciate a reference to privates more than a blush and pointing. I am aware that correct names allow for a more accurate location to be conveyed but in most cases context will be sufficient.

(17 Nov '09, 13:11) pipthegeek

We have a combined family so things get a little bit complicated in the euphamism department. We've always been clear that penises were penises, but the baby term with my older boys was their "wee". (Which was hilarious when they were 11 and 12 and saving money for months to buy a Nintendo Wii, and talking about "buying a Wii" constantly, I was always giggling helplessly and wanted to say "Hey, you had one the last time I had to help you go to the bathroom!")
My youngest son has a different daddy, so different baby name for his penis, it's his "pee-pee", which is the standard in his daddy's family. I've always called my daughter's vulva her vulva, but her older half sister has a "rosie", so I guess we'll see how that one turns out.


answered 20 Jan '10, 07:59

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%

Tutu is the generic term we use in our family. The girls call breasts "bras" for some reason even though we've always called it their chest.


answered 20 Jan '10, 13:47

bbrown's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Oh and one of my daughters has somehow taken to calling her parts her "tenders."

(21 Jan '10, 19:46) bbrown
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Asked: 15 Nov '09, 00:41

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Last updated: 23 Jun '10, 17:54