what should you teach a 2 year old to call her private parts?

I’m a single dad and usually don’t know what to call it around adult females. What should I teach my daughter to call it? So far it’s “front butt,” because she started out calling it “butt” and we have progressed differentiating between “butt and front-butt”. I don’t know where to go from there and it’s not something I want to ask my sister or mom. I’m sxtill coming to grips with the fact that my daughter has naughty bits, it would be devastating to find out the rest of the females in my family have them as well.

Her mom has been out of the picture for a long time until recently, and on her first visit with her in 7 months, told her to call it her “kitty” which pissed off because I’m sure kitty is just a less offensive word for the p-word (told ya I don’t know what to call it around adults).

While I’m at it, I guess we need a word for nipples too. She calls them boo-boos because she thought they were boo-boos when she first discovered them.

Well, we have always gone with the simple ‘peepee’ and later (at about 4, and many times afterwards) explained the more specific terms. I don’t like the practice of calling everything the vagina, since it isn’t, but such exactness does make it a little more complex, so we go with a basic euphemism for everyday usage.

My mother is a certified professional midwife, so we were always pretty open and clinical in my house. Nipples are nipples and genitals are penises or vulvas. The word vagina was used at various points, though it only ever needed to come up when describing where babies come out of.

Unfortunately, this led to my little brother for several years believing that girls have a body part named “the china”. When he discovered the country of China, there was even more confusion.

“Bottom” and “front bottom” worked fine with my niece when she was two.


At home we called everything “pee-pees”, but in 1st grade, a friend told me girls had “butt-Chinas”. I’m not sure if that was his mispronunciation, my misinterpretation, or both, but it stuck with me for quite a while.

We use peepee, private area, butt…whatever they feel like calling it on a given day. I know it’s probably better in the long run to teach them correct terminology, but there’s something about a 3-year-old using the word labia (as happened with my friend’s daughter) that gives me pause.

Nephew just turned two and has found out that he’s a male.

We taught him “penis.” Something about that just makes sense.

I tried “private parts.” Seriously.

All my daughters could make of that was “pie,” which seemed just about right.

I’m a bit lost here. Are you whooshing us, or are you really as stuffed up and inhibited as you are (evidently) displaying?? ‘Naughty bits’?? What?? :rolleyes:

As the (single) parent of four children (of both genders) I always erred on the side of naming their various bodily bits by the actual name of those bits: for example, a foot was a foot, a chin a chin, a penis (and testicles) were self-named, and a vagina was equally so.

When you start apportioning euphemisms to ‘some’ parts of the body rather than others, you let yourself in for a whole shitload of problems and issues, IMHO.

What’s wrong with ‘vulva’? It’s accurate, and fun to say! (I’m thinking ‘labia’ is harder for a toddler to pronounce).

Why should any part of her body be unmentionable? I realize that some people think that you have to instill shame in them while they’re young, but do try not to be those people.

Technically, vagina is not the name for the outer, visible part of the female genitals. If you’re going to use Latinate anatomical terms, you might as well get them right.

I’m for calling a vulva a vulva. Who cares whether a three-year-old says it? I never had a cutesy name for my penis.

Depending on what car you drive it may indeed be fun ;).

We’ve always distinguished between “vagina” and “urethra” because I have b/g twins (and vagina rolls off the tongue better than vulva). But it did scandalize my Aunt when my daughter referred to her urethra.

I still remember the day my daughter called out to me from the bathtub, with great joy in her voice, “Mommy! Mommy! I have 3 holes!”

Does it have to be just one term?

My kids know the correct anatomical terms, but in conversation (as in ‘don’t forget to wash your…’), it’s usually been ‘privates’, ‘private parts’ or just ‘bits’. I find the term ‘private parts’ doubly useful, because it carries the implication that in many contexts, it is conventional not to wave those parts around for all to see, or casually discuss them.

For my kids, the whole area was the butt (we didn’t choose, it evolved that way). The only words we’ve really needed to use are butt (back end), penis, and groin (which is a wonderfully unisex word for when you get hit in the tender bits - isn’t a shocking word when a three year old blurts it out). We’ve used vagina when explaining babies, etc. But groin seems to work remarkably well for most conversation. Vulva and labia are words I don’t use myself often (I think once I went to the doctor and mentioned when I start my period, my labia feels painful - how often does one need to talk about one’s labia?)

Someone once asked Miss Manners this question. She replied that children should know the proper terms and also the proper euphanisms to use in public. I’d got with vulva and private parts.

Although we used the unisex term po-po when I was growing up, I think private parts is the choice I’ve liked best so far.

While I understand your hesitation to talk about this stuff with your mom and sisters, I think you might be wise to get them involved in these “how to raise a girl” questions sooner rather than later. Because it will only get more complicated.

I honestly can’t remember what girl parts were called when I was little! Boys had doodles, and nipples were zaks. I asked Mum recently what the girl parts were called and she can’t remember either.

In my family it was simply “Privates.” That went for boys’s parts and girls’ parts below the waist and above the thighs, front and back.

I’ve always been a sports fan, but I had no idea what was meant by a groin injury until I was probably 16 or 17. And even then, Mom just explained it as “He hurt his Privates.” Not a great explanation, and I thought all those guys on the DL with ‘groin injuries’ were just being pansies.

So maybe my Mom’s ways aren’t the best.

A little boy came crying up to his mother here in the library a few weeks ago yelling about his sister. “Mama! Mama! She kicked me in the promised land!”

I had to fake a reason to go back to the workroom so I could howl with laughter. My god, I laughed so hard tears rolled down my face. You had to hear the delivery, really.