"What Dat Called?"- When kids ask about body parts

We don't call an elbow a 'Noo, noo', so why don't we consider it odd to call other body parts, that we all have, by funny names?

I have to say, I never gave much thought to what Iabel I would encourage my children to use for their own private parts... now I have children, it seems to come up a lot! 

I also never thought it would be something that was used so frequently inside a home. But oh, how wrong I was. 'Potty talk' is possibly one of the funniest things in the world to a preschooler, primary schooler (and let's be honest most teenagers too - the language used just becomes more advanced).

But here is the thing about 'potty talk'... what makes it funny to children is that level of taboo. It is funny to say 'poo, poo' because poo poo isn't a word you're supposed to say when not doing this act itself. It is a little bit cheeky. Or at least that is how kids see it.

Now I ask, Why do they see it this way?

It is a bodily function that we all do and need to for daily life, like drinking water, eating or breathing. So why the association that it is crass or rude?

History! We can thank our predecessors who lived in a society that kept any and all bodily functions, body parts etc. behind closed doors and underneath layers of clothing.

Society has become so much more liberal and yet, it is still considered by many, normal, to teach their children to call a body part by a nickname.

Now I am a believer of 'each to their own', but I also do wonder if many parents have ever given it a lot of thought...

The reasons why we call 'a spade a spade', so to speak is because:

1. I don't want my children to feel any shame around these body parts. They are part of life and when they change and grow, I'd like to think that they will be happy enough to come and talk to me about their unease or shock or excitement, because I have always made them comfortable enough to do so.

2. I want my children to be confident in their bodies and proud of their bodies. To me this means that no body part should be given a funny name because they are all there for a perfectly good reason and they are what makes us human.

3. If my children are ever sick, in an accident or heaven forbid something more sinister, I would like to know that they can confidently name the anatomical body part that is injured, hurts, stings etc. whether it is an elbow, a knee or anything else.

4. Puberty is hard enough, I do not wish to add to this with my children learning the names and functions of body parts potentially for the first time.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that I'd have a conversation about exactly how babies are made with a four year old. But should I be asked this question, by my very inquisitive child, I would try and find a way to answer it as honestly as I could making sure that I keep it at a level that is age-appropriate.

I should also mention that although we call 'a spade a spade', my children are still young and of course find 'toilet talk' hilarious. So we have firm rules. I love a good joke and therefore, can see the funny side of a child giggling till their tummy hurts over the word poo poo. But I also know that this is not something that is received well in the local supermarket. So I have explained very clearly to my children that you do not use these words in a silly way if we are not at home or in our own car. Nor are my children allowed to use any words as a mean term towards anyone when at home or in the car.

But we do use the words whenever we are being serious. For example if something hurts, when we are in the toilet or when we are seeing the doctor.

So far this has worked for us and because it isn't something I thought about much until my eldest started talking, I realised some others might be about to start these sorts of  conversation with their child now.

At the end of the day, every child and family is different and it is important that an approach is adopted that you are all comfortable with - but be comforted by the fact that your child isn't the only one that gets the giggles at the mention of the word poo! 

Your hands-on helper,


Rach x