Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Remember how we talked about cuss words the other day? Well, can we keep the conversation going and talk about other awkward words that have been present in Little Dude's vernacular, please?

What about the word WORM?

And no, he's not referring to the slimy critters nestled in the damp soil. He's talking about the one and only part on his body that resembles the same tube-like shape.

That's right. He calls his penis "worm"; "his worm" to be precise.

At first, when he was a littler dude, I thought it was sort of cute and chuckled whenever he said it. Not so much anymore, though. I mean, he's in school now. Do I really want him referring to his private area as such? I don't really think so and I'm pretty sure when I read his 4 year old check up sheet given to me by the pediatrician, it said to refer to all body parts as exactly what they are. But let's be honest... doesn't the term "penis" feel a bit strong coming from the mouth of a pre-schooler?

Maybe not.


Calling all moms OR anyone with an opinion!

How do you approach private part terms with your kids, especially little boys? Is it really that big of a deal? Thoughts and suggestions welcome!

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  1. When Max was little he called it his Peter. I was hoping that would stick for a little longer, but Danny had to pipe in and he now calls it his wiener! I guess wiener is better than the real term (penis)...I never cared for the real term, especially coming from the mouth of a little boy. I will tell you the worst term I have ever heard coming from a little mouth, and that's from my nephew. Amber's little boy calls it his "junk". Although Im not a fan of that term, I do have to laugh whenever he says

  2. this! I ALWAYS called it penis from the second they could start talking. It's what it is. Penis is such a weird word to say :)

    My mother had the biggest problem with it, I remember her wanting to call it "wee wee" or some other sillier thing, but it's no different than "arm or leg or lips or foot". She would blush and get all embarrassed by the word.

    I think we, as parents, have this amazing opportunity to present to our kids the best of us, and by that, we need to teach them the correct way, no shame, and hope that they make the best choices for them. situations like these, WE have more of the problem with certain areas than they do.

    Just my thoughts.....


  3. Penis. That's just what it is. As a mother of three small boys, we actually use the word A LOT. Case in point: I walked in the other day and upon examination my 2 and 4 year olds said, "Mom, why do we have little holes in the end of our penis?" Lovely teaching opportunity. They also tell me "Mom, your penis got chopped off." Ya, we're pretty open around here. Good times!

  4. We are super open about our bodies and we say penis and vagina with our kids. It isn't awkward at all because we haven't made it an issue. At first it was really weird to say penis so openly but that's because I grew up thinking words like that and sex were bad. That's why we've taken this approach because they aren't bad words at all. I think it's hilarious he refers to it as his worm!!! Lol.

  5. I totally agree with Stacia in that we should call it like it is, arm, leg, foot, penis, with no shame or blushing attached. Unfortunately little kids don't understand that there is appropriate and inappropriate times to talk about certain body parts.

    Just last night we had friends over and we were sitting in our backyard. My five year old shouts out

    "Who needs to change their penis?!" while he glided through the air on the swingset.
    "I need to change my penis!"

    I pulled him aside and he told me that things were uncomfortable down there and he needed to do some rearranging.

    Was I embarrassed? Yeah, for sure. But I think that comes from a belief that those parts of our body are more than just body parts. They are used for procreation and intimacy and I think that merits a little extra respect. I also think that we have to counter the habit of pop-culture to make everything about "private parts" a big joke. So I think that when our kid shouts PENIS in an inappropriate setting we can take that opportunity to teach them, without making them feel humiliated, that some things are better kept to ourselves.

    But really, I'm an amateur parent making all this up as I go...

  6. Believe me, he's going to have even more names for his cherished body part (seriously, is there any part of the body that has been given more names?). You should be as honest and forthright about this as you can be, so that when the time comes to discuss his penis in more adult ways, neither of you has to be uncomfortable or embarrassed. Use its correct term.

  7. I don't have children but I plan to use only the real biological words when I do. I think we raise too many children to be ashamed of their sexuality, or teach them that "sex is bad." Then marriage and sex is terrifying and makes people feel guilty. I think it's important to be forthright about those things, just make it clear that sex is good in its time and place. Keep in mind -- if the kids don't hear it from you, they'll hear it from someone else. At least this way you can control the message.

  8. oh boy, sure am glad i found your blog. with 2 boys, learning opportunities up the ying yang!

  9. I suppose the question is, would you prefer him using the proper terms for the female body parts, or to learn some "cute" stand-in? Learning appropriateness in the use of our words is part of growing up. That's hard enough without adding reaction words, words which not only describe what you are talking about but also some other feeling (revulsion, humor, etc).

  10. I am totally all about using the proper names. My parents did the same but you could tell they were embarrassed so I reverted as I got older to slang terms. I want my kids to realize they are parts just like any other parts though like Jane said - more sacred & special parts because of the some of the purposes they serve and what Heavenly Father intended them for. Of course it helps too having a baby on the way to provide lots of unplanned conversations about boy & girl parts.

  11. I heard once that a kid is less likely to be sexually molested if they know the proper names for their genitalia. Now, that is total hearsay, so I don't even know if it's true, but it made sense to me, in a way.

    I don't care if my kids call it something else; they've done that from time to time. But since I say penis, they usually do, too. They'll pretty much just follow suit.

  12. Worm?! Oh jeez... that's hilarious! We call it "pee pee" at our house, but I've also told them the real name. I just said, "It's called penis, but that's kind of a big word so we can call it pee pee." Now that Nolan is getting older (5) I've started talking about how it's a private part because we don't need to talk about it with other people or let other people touch or see it. I've told him that if he's ever uncomfortable down there that he can tell mom and dad and we'll help him. For now we've just told him that it's for going to the bathroom. Obviously there will be more explaining in years to come. We want him to be comfortable with his natural body parts, but I just don't like the word penis. Sorry, I just don't. Yes, that's the name but I'd rather say "pee pee" around kids and I don't think it's going to give him a complex or teach him to be revolted by it. After all, people don't walk around saying olecranon for elbow, or epidermis for skin. The word "penis" is taken from its scientific name: glans penis. Just because parts have a scientific name doesn't mean we have to use it (people rarely do). Using another name won't neccessarily change how he feels about it, as long as we teach about the subject in the right manner.

  13. I don't have anyone bigger than a baby, but I do think its important that they know what it's called. If he knows the real name and could tell you if something was wrong or hurting...ect... then I think "worm" is fine.

  14. worm! hahah i am dying right now. I think it is adorable. I am in love with your cute blog. I would love for you to stop by and follow me

  15. Ya. It's tough. I've referred to the "penis and scrotum" with my boys as "boy parts" ie. let's wash your boys parts. Mom has girl parts. My kids are 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 so it felt age appropriate. I have introduced the word penis, but agree that it could lead to some awkwardness in kids so little when they often don't understand when it's appropriate to talk about what. Of course, if we all just referred to it as penis, it would never be awkward. Since kids become more interested and ask more questions with age, along with introducing the proper words, I also have introduced the concept of "Private Parts" ie. we don't talk about them with everyone and certainly don't let anyone touch them.

    Funny story, my sister's husband had to go to the hospital for something to do with his penis and even the doctors and nurses shied away from the word. My sister was like "It's a penis! Say penis!" Lol.

    Another funny story, when we were little my mom (a nurse, mind you) referred to vagina as a "po-po". Imagine my horror the first time, as a teenager, I was in the car with friends and one said "Watch out, here comes the po-po!" (As in POlice)


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