What Should Parents Call Their Private Parts Around Kids?

It's the age old question -- should we censor the way we describe our private parts when talking to children or use their anatomical names?

'Ding dong', 'foo foo' or 'wee wee engine'.

What do all those words have in common? According to the Studio 10 panel, they're all names which have been used by parents to describe private parts to children.

But should we be using them?

Well, it's one of those issues which appears to be split right down the middle with Joe Hildebrand and Sarah Harris going head-to-head over their views on the matter.

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Should we censor the way we describe our private parts when talking to children or use their anatomical names? Source: Getty

Father-of-two Joe told the panel that he finds using the anatomical names, such as vagina and penis, to be "really creepy".

"I don't know, maybe it's because I don't like anything to do with science," he joked.

Sarah, who is also a mother to two young boys, went on to say that her husband Tom sits in the same camp as Joe and gets "really funny about it" when she refers to their son's private part as his penis.

"Why? That's what it is!" she said.

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Interestingly, the only other female on the panel, Angela Bishop, said that she too uses anatomical words when referring to private parts around her daughter Amelia.

The mother-of-one then went on to recall a recent story which made her thankful for her decision.

We have a block of apartments not far away and Amelia said, "oh look, I can see a penis"-- and sure enough it was a bloke in the apartment across the way just dressing with the blinds up.
So, asking for a friend. What do the experts think about one?

According to Psychology Today, children should always be taught the standard, anatomical names for all their body parts.

Child expert doctor Donna Matthews writes that "when kids know and are comfortable using the standard terms for their private body parts -- penis, scrotum, clitoris, vagina -- they’ve got one more protection against sexual abuse."

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Matthews goes on to write that "when children are abused, having the correct language helps both the child and adults deal with disclosure and -- if necessary -- the forensic interview process."

It's a viewpoint shared by Bruce and Denise Morcombe, whose son 13-year-old Daniel was abducted and killed in 2003.

Since Daniel's death, the couple set up The Daniel Morcombe Foundation, which aims to teach children about their personal safety.

The foundation also provides a safety guide for parents aimed at children in years three to six. In it, the guide stipulates that private body parts should be referred to by their anatomical names to teach children about body ownership.

Feature Image: Getty.