When I moved to Malaysia, my youngest child was 4. People were horrified that she used words such as penis, vagina and anus, instead of the cutesy “bird-bird” or “cuckoo bird” or some bird for other for the male sexual organ, and “pei-pei” or something like that for vagina.
The bird-bird stuck with me, because a couple of years later, a family I knew was shocked to find that their young son (two at that time) had been petting the family driver’s bird-bird. The boy told them inadvertently when the family was on holiday to Jurong Bird Park in Singapore – the boy said, “Oh, these birdies look like Uncle Driver’s bird-bird.”
Children have a healthy curiosity about their bodies. We shouldn’t divert their natural curiosity nor suppress it. Instead, we should teach children the rightful place where their sexuality belongs. And no age is too young.
A penis is a for peeing and making babies. It is not a bird. A vagina has not got a cute name either. It is like a buried pipe where waste water flow out of our bodies. In maturity, it is the passageway that babies will pass through.
Both are sacred, special and not to be treated badly, and certainly not given names that trivialise them. We used to tell our children their special parts need time to grow, the way butterflies have to be wrapped up in cocoon, and they (the owners) have a duty to protect them, the way they would protect their hearts and eyes. If you don’t give your hearts and eyes silly names, why do you not your reproductive organs the same respect?
Talking about sex is not “dirty”. Nor should it be labeled as “private”. Making love is private, but the act of sex is educational. We cannot ignore it. Why do I say that?
This blog is about parenting, relationships between spouses, keep-fit and food, yet the majority of people arrive at this blog because they were searching words such as porn and rape, by far the most common search terms. From my blog statistics:
It shocked me. By far, the most popular post on this blog is Seven ways of making your spouse your porn star. I hope it changes the mind of browsers who accidentally arrive here whilst searching for online titillation: the best is who you go to sleep with every night. The best porn I have ever watched?
My partner, calling my name in ecstasy: Jac, ik ben in u.
So my view is, yes, we have to talk about sex. But talk about it in terms of love, respect and beauty. Sex education starts in the home, when we teach our children about sex in the age-appropriate way, and certainly not by using cutesy words or sweeping it under the carpet. Sex is not dirty, not something we have to be ashamed of. Shine light on it, to eradicate bad destructive and unhealthy sex.
Please read this related post: Six ways of teaching our children CONSENT
Main photo: Pinterest.