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Old 02-08-2007, 12:34 PM   #16
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I really don't get it. The human body is something that should be celebrated, and talked about. Embarrassment over it can only lead to bad things, whether it's discomfort with their own bodies, leading to low self-esteem, or much worse problems later on.
Definitely. I've babysat probably close to 100 children at this point and the ones whose parents explained these things to them never ran around saying inappropriate things. I used to watch this girl twice a week, and one day I went there and her mom said "I didn't realize it, but today Sammy was watching A Baby Story, so we had a little talk about babies. If she asks you more questions, just tell her the truth in a way she can understand." Sammy was the most well behaved three year old I've ever dealt with, and she certainly couldn't have cared less about babies, penises, and vaginas once it was explained to her.

The kids whose parents thought they were too young to be curious, they were the ones who acted out in the weirdest ways, punching girls in their "boobies" or always wanting to drop their pants.
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:57 PM   #17
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I find this whole topic highly erotic.
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:04 PM   #18
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!!!!OMG OH NOES if THE children learn about the dirty, sinful thing that is their bodies at an early age, they're guaranteed to get STD's and then get hooked on crack and then influence others to do the same and then we'll all be overrun by dirty (by dirty, of course I mean syphilis-infested, but we can't talk about that because it's icky) crack addicts by 2084 and think of the global warming (that's another dirty word) that would ensue from all the crack smoke!!!
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:27 PM   #19
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Honestly if I had a four year old I wouldn't want him or her running around saying vagina as my preferred display of behavior from them, but I certainly would much prefer that to any of the degrading terms that can be used. If you talk to them correctly about it they will use it in appropriate settings and at appropriate times. And if they don't, well sometimes kids will just be kids and it's usually harmless.

My mother comes from a different generation and honestly I don't ever remember her using the word vagina when I was a kid (certainly not my father, lmao). It sent me the message that somehow there was some sort of shame involved with my body. Looking back now I realize that. It is tough enough dealing with body image issues when you get older as a female. I think it's quite healthy to use the proper terms with kids-it makes them have a healthy view of their bodies and they will be less inclined to use the vulgar terms, perhaps. From what I have read the play is about feeling good about ourselves and our bodies as women and not feeling shame. What could be wrong about that? Men should support that too and teach it to their daughters AND their sons.
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:48 PM   #20
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So you would be okay with your 4 year old running around saying it?
No. But I would explain to her why she shouldn't "run around" saying it. And I'd rather her run around saying vagina than be afraid to use the proper term for something that's a part of her body.
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:52 PM   #21
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Do you want your 4 year old going around saying the word all over the place?
So four year olds can generally read the word "vagina" as in this example?
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:17 PM   #22
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It's a shame that the theatre felt they had to give in to such pressure.
Actually this reminded me of when one of my sons was around 4 and was passionate about trains especially Richard Branson's high speed red Virgin trains. We were in a cafe one day and he saw a Virgin express whiz past in the distance. He shouted at the top of his voice "look mum there's a Virgin" A group of old ladies at the next table looked aghast and started tut- tutting that a young boy shouldn't be talking like that. When they realised that he was only talking about a train they then complained about how Branson shouldn't have named his business "Virgin" I did later explain to my son that perhaps it was best he didn't shout out the word in public as some people thought it was a bit rude. To be honest you can't really explain the term to a 4 year old.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:48 PM   #23
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^ That's one of the best parts of having kids, the amazing and hilarious and occasionally embarrassing things they innocently come out with sometimes.

All three of our kids know both 'penis' and 'vagina,' and they've never run around gleefully shouting those words or collapsing into giggles over them. If you present it without fanfare as simply a term for a body part, they won't see it as anything to get worked up about. Our oldest son knows they're also relevant to sex, but at his age that's not particularly interesting and certainly doesn't change his sense that they're unremarkable words.

I think using "alternative" words like 'weewee' or 'hoohaa' or whatever actually tends to have the opposite effect from what's presumably intended, i.e., promoting an attitude of modest avoidance. Kids can tell a babytalk euphemism from a Real Adult Word right away, and they'll know immediately that the "real" word must therefore be a "bad" one, which is exactly what creates the tendency to delight in loudly saying it over and over.

Explaining what the play is about to an older child would actually be harder than explaining the word itself to a younger one. But then older children are always asking all kinds of questions about things they heard on the news, saw on TV, read about in a novel or whatever ("Mommy, what's rape?" etc.). It happens; you just start with the most basic and straightforward honest answer you can think of (which is usually all they'll care to know before losing interest, anyway) and go from there.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:55 PM   #24
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Doesn't that woman know you are supposed to blindfold children before taking them out in public? Geez, people these days don't even know these basic rules. What is the world coming to?


Seriously though, isn't part of raising children answering those tricky questions when they come up? If you don't want to have to answer them, don't have children. As far as the aunt here "having" to answer the question -- bull! All she had to do is say "ask your mum or dad." Any aunt worth her salt knows this!
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:57 PM   #25
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I'm just thinking about this and the whole Gardisil vaccine issue. Maybe if you are afraid to even use the word vagina in front of your kids and to have them use it in a healthy way, you're less inclined and/or able to discuss sex with them when they get older. I would think there might be a connection there. Of course it should all be age appropriate, but the word vagina can always be that. After all, if you are that embarrassed by the word vagina where the heck do you go from there? And if they get a message of shame about their bodies from an early age, how well equipped will they be to deal with sex and sexuality in a mature and responsible way?

Of course it doesn't mean that you don't also teach kids modesty- I definitely believe in teaching them to be appropriately modest about, and respectful of, their bodies. But there's just something about this whole vagina sign thing that reeks of the message that women should feel shame about a body part. It's disappointing that a women would send that message to a girl.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:08 PM   #26
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Last fall, i was watching a Canadian Football League game on tv with my four year old and my seven year old. The announcer said "Welcome to the home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Taylor Field in Regina!" [Yes, Regina is pronouced "that way."] And i said to my sons "That's where daddy played junior football...in Regina." And my four-year-old said "Hey, mommy has a Regina!"

Despite that little confusion, my kids know what a vagina and penis are. They only bring up the words when they need to, for whatever reason, reference them. But i bet they would bring them up way more for the wrong reasons, and probably not around their parents, if we told them they're "unmentionables."
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:45 PM   #27
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^ Exactly. It's just a body part, jeez.

The theatre should have changed "vagina" to "pussy", the concerned citizens would have been begging them to change it back before the paint was even dry.

Seriously though, my daughter knows the words (penis & vagina), she's 5...and she doesn't go around saying it. If she did I'd be a little concerned, but then again, if she went around saying "hoohah" or "poochie-poochie" or whatever silly name you want to put on it I'd be concerned too. Honestly I think the silly names make it worse...penis is just a word, but ding-dong or johnny-whacker are kinda funny. Wouldn't giving it a funny name make kids MORE likely to say it/talk about it?
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:10 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Do you want your 4 year old going around saying the word all over the place?
Did you?
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:29 PM   #29
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Do you want your 4 year old going around saying the word all over the place?
No. Just tell them what it is, and tell them it's not appropriate to say it all over the place. They can learn that much.
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:42 PM   #30
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I would probably laugh myself silly if I had a four year old who ran around screaming "Vagina!" Then again, I'm an evil bitch.

Guess what? Vagina is a clinical term for a part of a woman's anatomy, and sooner or later children should learn these terms. You can't foam pad the world.
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