You might feel a bit awkward talking about private body parts with your child, especially if this is the first step into puberty education. This is OK. Getting comfortable with talking about the private body parts is a matter of practice and repetition – soon you will say penis as easily as you can say elbow!
Some families call private body parts by nicknames. You might have heard some common ones like “fanny”, “willy” or “heiny”. Some families might also consider the names of private parts to be rude, like swear words.
However, it is important that we don’t discourage children from using these proper names. Using nicknames for private body parts can be confusing for your child and might mean that they are unable to accurately identify a part of their body if a problem occurs. When you use the proper names for private body parts, you:
- de-stigmatise and normalise puberty education
- give your child confidence in communicating with you about their body
- position yourself as a trustworthy source of knowledge and support
The names of the private body parts are:
For more information about these body parts, go to How the Body Works.