Eyes, Ears, Nose – and Penis!

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By Rachel, Colorado Mom

I attended your Parenting Safe Children workshop a few weekends ago. That day, I went home and played a game with my 2-year-old son. I asked him to point to his eyes (check), ears (check), chin (check), knees (check), and then his penis. He gave me a blank stare. I was actually really surprised that he could point to every body part except that one. So I started right there and taught him ‘penis’ and ‘testicles.’

Since then, we’ve talked about it a few times. It was difficult in the beginning to bring myself to say the words out loud. But with practice it has gotten easier. My husband and I have also told him that “nobody touches his penis without his permission.” In the bath, I let him decide if I wash his penis or if he does.

A Teachable Moment

Last night we were reading a book that had a page with a cartoon character and all the body parts were

labeled. I recognized this as a great “teachable moment.” So we pointed to all the character’s body parts (this character was just wearing underwear, so no private parts were labeled). I asked him to point to his penis. He pointed and said “penis” and also correctly identified his testicles. Then he told me “Nobody touches my penis!” I was shocked that he picked it up so quickly.

Talking to my son’s teacher

After my son had so readily told me “nobody touches my penis,” I figured I had better let the teacher know that we were talking about this at home. She appreciated me letting her know and repeated to my son, “Nobody touches your penis without your permission.” Again, it was surprisingly difficult to make myself say the word “penis” out loud. I’m working hard on that because I want to model for both of my sons that there’s nothing to be ashamed of and that it’s something we can all talk about freely.

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