it’s called a penis

I’m sure there might be a few of you that were uncomfortable reading that title. Growing up penis and vagina were taboo to say in the house. We had nicknames for them, like thing thing, pocketbook. Somehow ,she equates the word with I’m about to run out right now and engage in sex….on the spot…right there….in front of her.

I’ve even used it to my advantage when she me taking too long to get off the phone…I just say Penis, Mama. She hangs up immediately and I still die laughing.

It was cute at first, the giggles and the embarrassment. I carried it with me to college and I began to wonder why was it embarrassing, it was part of me.

Why are the words attached to our genitalia so taboo?

I have two handsome sons and I teach them the names of their body parts.

Not nicknames.

It’s called a penis. Granted it comes out more like “Pea-Nuts” but they get the point. My mother is still uncomfortable with it, she’s still embarrassed.

For me, if I make the words such a bad word then won’t they equate their private parts are a bad thing?

My goal is to create a line of communication where any conversation surrounding their private parts and their bodily autonomy is heard, loud and clear. Bodily autonomy is teaching your kids about their bodies and their right to govern their bodies. It gives children the confidence and ability to say no when someone is doing something that makes them feel uncomfortable. And that starts with teaching them to be comfortable to talk about their private parts.

These are the realities of parenting. Sexual abuse with kids is very prevalent. 20% of sexual abuse victims are under the age of eight. It’s another taboo topic in the black community that we don’t talk about and just sweep under the rug hoping it will go away all the while leaving behind emotionally traumatized victims to suffer in silence.

If my sons feel awkward talking about their private body parts, for example if they giggle when talking about those private parts they’re more likely to be embarrassed about asking questions and less likely to come and tell us when someone has done something inappropriate to those body parts.

These euphemisms reflect our discomfort onto the child. My boys are obsessed with their privates at this stage, they tug and pull on it and laugh with glee. I’m guessing it’s what boys do from other mothers I here from.

There is no shame there in that space with them.

And I aim to keep it that way.

But until then


Do you have nicknames or do you teach real names for body parts? If not, why? Let’s chat, Mama!



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