Monday, April 29, 2013

The Wiener Debate

Increasingly among mama circles, I'm hearing the discussion whether to use the true anatomical names for our more private parts, or to take the traditional route with cutsie names.  Here's one.  There are strong arguments around  leaving behind the "dirty" connotations, to avoid sexual abuse, and to encourage healthy identity with sexuality paving the way for the future. Fantastic, count me in!

I am all for my children knowing their anatomical parts and names for areas less spoken in our culture.  However...I strongly believe that dirty connotations comes from the tone and intent of the person using them more than word choice.  And, language, both for private and non-private subjects, needs to take into account maturity of the child.  "Did you know there are many names and nicknames for your body parts!" is a great segue to learning additional names when the child is interested.

What if giving your young child the anatomical names for their body parts and requiring them to use the names appropriately lead them to believe that their anatomy is complex, boring, and a bit scary.

Think of other examples where we use nicknames to simplify language for the early years.

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