Saturday, June 30, 2007
I found this book at a library book sale. I perused it, and noticed Dr. Brazelton used proper names for private parts. No problem. I bought the book, stuck it in the toy cabinet, and forgot about it.
In our house, everything "down there" is private. It's generic, and works for both genders. "Wash your privates," I'll tell my kids in the tub.
I like the word "privates" because it reinforces the nature of the area. When I talk to my kids about safety, the word "private" is a real winner. "Do you know why these are called "privates?" Because they're private, only for you. No one else can touch them." They understand this. They talk about it and remind each other.
But back to Dr. Brazelton. This morning I found Chaya (7), reading the book. Her brow was furrowed and her lips were moving, trying to sound out unfamiliar words. It was a no-brainer what page she was on. Later in the morning, she came to me.
"Mommy, I didn't understand some of the words." I realized we were having a pivotal moment. "Okay," I said. "What words don't you understand?" She opened the book and pointed to one, a little embarrassed. "No problem, sound it out." So she did. "Do you understand what that is?" I asked. She pointed to her privates. "That's actually the name for a boy's private part." She made a silly face. Then she tried another one. I had to suppress a laugh as I whispered the correct pronunciation. She whispered back, "At first I thought the word was veggie." We laughed.
I asked her, "Which words do you like better? Would you like to use the real names, or do you want to stick with "privates?" She was thoughtful for a moment. "I like the word "privates." It's more tsnius (modest)." I was impressed. "I think you're right," I added, "The words you just learned are also private. Don't go sharing them." She said she wouldn't.
This was a positive experience for both of us.