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My Child Got In Trouble For Using the 'V' Word

My daughter is a motor mouth. She's got a lively and very bubbly personality. I'll spare you on the struggle that is raising an extroverted kiddo when you're introverted. The girl will talk to anyone about anything, I'm not even kidding.

Everyone is her best friend just seconds after she's met them. She's got a bright light that I know will take her far. But that mouth? Oh man, that mouth will likely land her in trouble.

Oh wait, it already has.

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Our girl has been a bit obsessed with anatomy lately. This is normal, right? All kids go through this. I knew there'd be questions, observations, after her baby brother was born. Sure enough, right on cue. We answered all of them, too. We believe in having these conversations. I mean, what's to hide? After all, we're millennial parents, and we feel providing children with the right words not only protects them but also makes sense.

Back to the trouble. I was told something like this happened a preschool:

My daughter stood up during quiet playtime and announced that she has a vagina and her baby brother has a penis.

That's it. Also, guess what? She's absolutely right.

Let's give this girl a gold star for being 100 percent accurate about her statement. It wasn't her teacher that was appalled by this, though, but the parent of another student. This parent didn't like that her son now used those words. Apparently, my daughter's classmate's family doesn't use those words in their home, and the mother didn't appreciate him learning them from my child. For this reason, the school's director questioned whether we could teach her different words since the "correct" words made other people uncomfortable.

Nope.

In other words, no. Naw. Nah. No thanks. Never. Will not. Shall not. No gracias. Nein danke. Any other questions?

I wasn't upset that my daughter said this out loud. This is what 3-year-olds do. They say honest things at inappropriate times. It's their timing that needs to be worked on, if anything. No her vocabulary regarding anatomy.

I hold firm that it's better to let our children know about their bodies so that that we can have discussions freely and without shame. Where is the harm in that? When I was growing up, we didn't use the correct words for anatomy. We used pocketbook, butterfly, wee wee, pee pee, between'y and other random words that I actually said well into my teenage years. I remember the first time a friend used a word that wasn't "butterfly," and I just about passed out. That is not OK. I'm not telling any parent how to run their home or what words to teach their children. We're all doing the best we can raising these wee ones.

But you know what? I will never apologize for teaching my children the correct words to use. I want to normalize these words so that they feel comfortable talking about their bodies when they're older.

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I don't ever want to think about something terrible happening to my daughter and son, but sadly, if something were to happen, I want them to be able to explain it thoroughly without any mystery.

In light of all this, we have since had the "It may not be a good idea to talk about these body parts at school" discussion. But I make no apologies for my young girl's use of medically accurate vocabulary.

No matter how much it makes grown adults blush.

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Photograph by: Brittany Minor

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