‘Do you have a penis or vagina?’ This is a question I would never expect from an adult but for some reason seems to be okay coming from a 3 year old. Some parents find hearing their kids use these words very funny, but have you ever considered how it makes the person they’re saying it to feel? Strangers walking through a door, extended family members, and what about other children? Children learn new words by repeating them back. So unless you’re ready to hear your child say these words in public don’t teach it to them in private! We also need to watch our words as adults, if we discuss these words in front of our children then they’ll start discussing them as well.
When teaching about gender there are many other ways to go about describing the differences between boys and girls without using the words penis and vagina. I have three daughters and one son and they all share a bath together almost every night. They of course notice a big difference in private parts, especially now that my son is potty trained. I also grew up with two older brothers and had to constantly be reminded as a toddler to sit down on the toilet and not just stand in front of it! We use the word ‘pee-pee’ to describe the private parts as that is the only function of their use at this time.
I was taught about sexual organs when I was starting to go through the ‘change’ in my early tween years and I intend to do the same with my children. And even then I was only given part of the picture and not every single shocking detail. We need to be vigilant to protect our children’s youth, purity and virtue. Teaching a young girl that her ‘down there’ parts is her vagina is not actually true and can cause a lot of confusion and misunderstanding as they grow up. That is only the sexual part of her privates and you’re missing out vital information as to what else is made up of this area.
The average age for first time sex in the UK is currently 16, according to the BBC. Back in the 1950’s it was 21. Does that mean that our kids are more mature by the age of 16 and completely ready to handle all the consequences of sex? I think not. In fact I feel that the opposite has happened. We need to safeguard our children from sex by teaching them about their sexual organs at an appropriate age. And just because they ask ‘what’s that?’ doesn’t mean you have to give them full disclosure. I remember at 14 asking my dad what ‘getting laid’ meant and he just looked at me and said ‘you’ll find out when you’re older’ – and you know what I did! And I’m so glad he did not share that information at that time – total humiliation would have occurred!
Let’s be diligent in raising children of God and not children of earth. For even though we live in the world we are not of it. John 17:14-16