Penis – It’s Not a Bad Word

She coloured quietly at her easel while Brian and I talked, wisps of red and purple going across her page, shapes forming.


My daughter exclaimed, out of the blue.

“Pardon?” What was she talking about?

“You know, penis.”

Well, obviously.

She looked up at us and stopped colouring, “but we can’t say penis, it’s a bad word.”



I could feel my heart rate go up, my eyes bug out, my hands go flat on the counter. I had so many questions.

Where did she hear that penis was a bad word? Why did she think that? How do I handle this? Do I handle this? Who handles this? Is this a thing?

It was a thing to me.

I peeled my hands from the counter and looked at her.

This was a teachable moment, one that I wasn’t going to let go because she is at an age where everything makes an impression on her. Words, sounds, music, play. It all shapes who she is.

I explained that penis was not a bad word, it was THE WORD.

I told her that was the word we use and that some people use other words.

But stressed it was not a bad word.


Because the word penis is not bad or scary or icky or inappropriate.

It’s the word.

In our house we use the proper terms, talk about our bodies, and are honest about them.

There are so many reasons for this.

I want her to be able to identify the words with her body parts as she gets older, I want her to understand her body as it changes, I want her to know what things are called so she can ask questions, and if anything should ever happen, GOD FORBID, I want her to be able to identify her body parts.

And children should not be made to feel uncomfortable for using the right words.

Penis is not a bad word.

Vagina is not a bad word.

Breasts…. not a bad word.

They are part of your body.

Own those words.

Teach them.

Hopefully the more comfortable we become with our bodies the more our children will be with theirs.

And that might just start by calling our body parts by the correct names.





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6 Responses to Penis – It’s Not a Bad Word
  1. Nic
    March 30, 2015 | 11:04 am

    I’m so glad you used that very teachable moment to inform and correct her. You know how I feel about this and I think it’s so important. I hope many people read this and gain new insight. Love it!!!

    • multitaskingmumma
      March 30, 2015 | 1:46 pm

      I love how you use these moments in your daycare to teach. I learned from the best!

  2. Jordan
    March 30, 2015 | 11:16 am

    I agree 100% hopefully others will learn from this!

    • multitaskingmumma
      March 30, 2015 | 1:45 pm

      thank you for this, Jordan!
      United in the word, Penis!

  3. Carrie Baughcum
    March 31, 2015 | 5:08 am

    The only one uncomfortable with those words are adults. If we are our kids are. I could not agree with you more about the importance of using the real word. Words have so many rules though too. You can say it hear but not there. You can talk about it at home but at school…probably not a good choice. So many lessons we get to Rach our kids. Looks like you’re on the right track with this one.

  4. Kimberly
    April 16, 2015 | 10:28 am

    When she is in grade one, the new sex-ed curriculum will include the proper terminology for body parts. So they will learn penis and vagina and breasts. They have to know. In my opinion anyways.

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