One late fall afternoon, a coffee shop was booming. The line of patrons waiting to order espressos, lattes and cappuccinos stretched out the door and around the corner. A couple with a small child took their place at the end of the line. Eventually, the couple made their way into the coffee shop where an art exhibit was on display. The art exhibit was all about the penis. There were paintings, sculptures and artistic representations of the penile form on every wall and every table. The little girl turned to her mother and said, “Mom, that’s a penis. Mom, that’s a BIG penis.” True Story – my daughter was the little girl.
Teaching About Personal Parts
I’ve always been an outgoing parent that swore by talking to kids using the same words I would use when talking to adults. That even goes for personal parts. You may ask why a three year old needed to know the name of the male personal part – that’s easy – she asked. When little girls ask about their own body parts they often ask about the body parts of the opposite gender.
Is There Ever a Time When It’s Too Early to Have the Talk?
Having the talk, whether about sex or proper names of personal parts, is a personal journey – no pun intended. Some parents feel openness is the best path and others believe it is best to wait for sex education classes to start at school before having the talk or even discussing personal parts. As a new parent you will find your way, your path and your comfort zone.
Parents have a lot of jobs, including having personal talks about personal issues with their children. I chose to take the path of complete honesty and it has paid off. My children are comfortable talking to me about anything – sometimes I’m surprised by the intimate nature of some of the conversations – but they are not out there experimenting because there’s nothing to learn. You may not be as open as me, but you will be as open as you’re comfortable being and that’s exactly the parent you’re supposed to be.