Parents urged to use proper words for private parts

Parents are being encouraged to use the proper words for private parts when talking to their children.
Parents are being encouraged to use the proper words for private parts when talking to their children.

Willy, wee man, tinkle, front bottom, privates - what words do you use for private parts of the body when talking with your children?

There is a wide variety of words used by families to refer to the penis or vagina. In fact, no other part of the body has been given so many different names. This is really confusing for children and can get in the way of them asking questions or giving you accurate information.

A new website and video from NHSGGC’s sexual health service, Sandyford, is encouraging parents to tell it like it is and use the accurate terms, from an early age.

Jill Wilson, Health Improvement Lead, Sandyford, said: “Many adults were not taught these words growing up and can feel uncomfortable using them as they can be thought of as ‘sexual’ words. Young children do not have these associations and usually consider these words to be as normal as ‘hand’, ‘leg’ etc

“We have consulted parents across NHSGGC, on their role in educating children about growing up, puberty, sexual health and relationships.

“Parents have told us they are keen to back up the learning that children get in school, but many feel unsure about what to talk about, when, and what language to use. So we built a website to provide this information and support parents in this area.”

Jill added: “We’ve also made a very short film, on the theme of language, which we hope will make parents laugh and then share on various social media platforms and by word of mouth. The film is now available on the homepage of the website.”

Mum Lyndsey McGowan from Alexandria said: “I struggle to talk to my nine year old about this subject. The website is a great help, it’s easy to use and gives you tips on things you can’t normally find online. It covers everything I am going through at the moment with my child.

“Most parents want their kids to direct their curious questions to them but sometimes we need a hand with how to answer them. For many parents, this is particularly so for questions about growing up, changing bodies, relationships and sexual health. Fear not, we’re here to help!”

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