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AIBU to feel that my 5yo shouldn't be told off for saying "penis"

(72 Posts)
formerdiva Mon 25-Jul-11 13:29:51

My normally infallible mum took my daughter out on Saturday and met up with some of DD's friends. At one point, DD banged herself and said "ow, my penis". Her friend's mother was very shocked and gave her a rollicking, then marched her over to my mum and explained what had happened. Mum also chimed in, telling DD that it was a grown up word that she mustn't use.

I feel slightly bewildered by this. I mean, I know she was anatomically incorrect seeing as she doesn't actually have a penis, but I don't get what's offensive about her saying it? As it happens, it's not the word we use in the house (after much consideration we're using the word "willy"), but it seems a harmless enough word. I also feel slightly guilty as I've never corrected DD when she's used it (other than, obviously, to point out that she doesn't have a penis!), so it must have seemed odd to her that she was given a major telling off by two people for it.

The other Mum in question is a woman I like, and I have a lot of respect for my Mum's opinion, so it's made me question whether I've got this one wrong or not?

catsareevil Mon 25-Jul-11 13:32:16

The word is fine to use IMO. Better than insisting on some twee euphemism.

Empusa Mon 25-Jul-11 13:33:38

YANBU how weird.

JamieAgain Mon 25-Jul-11 13:34:03

The other mum is uptight. Yanbu

UsingMainlySpoons Mon 25-Jul-11 13:34:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

worraliberty Mon 25-Jul-11 13:34:12

I don't know

I'm having trouble getting my head around why a 5 year old girls thinks she has a Penis despite being told she hasn't? confused

I don't think she should have been told off unless she said it with a grin or in a way that made it clear she was trying to get a reaction.

sleepindogz Mon 25-Jul-11 13:35:13

maybe she was saying oh, 'appiness


AnansiGirl Mon 25-Jul-11 13:35:48

Odd to pick on the word, but was she being intentionally cheeky to get a reaction?
Shouting 'Ow, my penis' and then looking about to observe the effect?
Could have flustered the adults into responding by fussing about the word.

nannyl Mon 25-Jul-11 13:35:57

i think it depends if she was using it as an attention seeking thing, you know to make all her friends / children around her laugh...

or if she had hurt that area and geniunely hadnt realised that penis didnt apply to her.
If she has used this word before, and has been told she doesnt have one, then perhaps she was saying it for attention, and i agree its not an appropriate thing to be shouting for attention!

If she had hurt that area and genuinely thought it was "her penis" and was saying it as you would say "ouch my finger , ouch my toe etc" then i dont think a telling off his necessary, just tell her what that bit of her body is called

EverythingInMiniature Mon 25-Jul-11 13:36:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mnistooaddictive Mon 25-Jul-11 13:37:00

It depends on how she said it. As long as it wasn't in a deliberately attention seeking rude way then it is fine!

fluffyanimal Mon 25-Jul-11 13:37:05

YANBU. No words for a part of the anatomy should be taboo, if used in a way to describe a part of the anatomy. it would be a different matter if your DD had been making fun of someone and calling them a penis - then it is not so much the word used as the intent behind its use that is wrong.

Tell your mum that you don't want your DD to grow up thinking that a part of her body is in some way shameful and mustn't be spoken about (she got the word wrong but I'm guessing there would have been as much uproar if she had said " ow my vulva"), that the equivalent part of your DH's body is also not shameful. And tell your DD in a tactful way that these ladies were wrong to tell her off, though they were just trying to do what they thought was right.

biddysmama Mon 25-Jul-11 13:37:09

we call it a penis, my 2 year old dd thinks her clitoris is a penis, penis is a word used alot in our house as 10 month old ds likes to play with his and 2 year old dd just likes to say penis yanbu

Bloodymary Mon 25-Jul-11 13:37:48

What should she have said, 'ow my dick'? confused

Very strange reaction.

PuttingMyFootInIt Mon 25-Jul-11 13:37:56

That's bizarre.

My DSs (two of whom are under 5!), all use the word 'penis' - that's what it is, so that's what we call it.

cheesesarnie Mon 25-Jul-11 13:37:56

i had this conversation with a friend recently.she is furious that her 5 year old ds has come in from school and said penis.i said mine say penis and that i didnt have a problem with it.i had correct youngest from saying peanut!

theyre odd reaction will backfire imo as itll make it into one of those forbidden words that she now wont stop sayinggrin

Callisto Mon 25-Jul-11 13:38:22

Why is she saying she has a penis? My 6yo DD would say 'ow, my vulva' in similar situation, and has know the correct anatomical words for girls and boys since she could talk. Aside from that, I think your mum and friend sound very uptight.

HighBrows Mon 25-Jul-11 13:38:39

What the bloody hell else can a child call their vagina or penis!

Mine have always used the correct words for their body parts, the last thing I'd want is my say 18 year old dd going to the doctor and saying 'oh my fofo is ouchy...'


PS my youngest, she's 9 now used to talk about having a penis one day... She was convinced someday she'd grow a penis!

bugsylugs Mon 25-Jul-11 13:38:43

Oh I will be in trouble too. No need to feel guilty in my opinion. My ds 2 1/5 calls his a willy. Much better than fairy, princess (for girlie bits) etc both of which lo's think are beautiful and to be played with then we name bits of anatomy after them and do not want anyone to play with them!! how very confusing. I will be sticking to what they are. Do not think you are being unreasonable

worraliberty Mon 25-Jul-11 13:40:12

Most little girls I know would have said "Ow my Minnie" or any other little pet name for their bits.

I think I'd Pmsl if I saw a 5 year old girl shouting about having a penis!

superjobee Mon 25-Jul-11 13:40:52

not a problem with a 5 yr old saying penis. i think your mum and the other were a bit gung ho with telling her off even if it was fr a reaction they should have kept their heads on. if my DD said penis i'd probably laugh and have a giggle with her about it as we normally say willy or toby smile

Chandon Mon 25-Jul-11 13:42:06

I think "penis" is a bit grown up, what about "willy" ?

superjobee Mon 25-Jul-11 13:42:35

oh and DD was convinced she was a boy till she was 3 she used to stand in the middle of the dining room shouting boy and pointing at herself and willy at her jina. i think all kids like playing at being the other sex for a while grin

ThumbsNoseAtSnapewitch Mon 25-Jul-11 13:42:51

Since it is your DD and it was a one-off usage in the situation, YANBU.

I was kind of expecting you to say you had a DS who was shouting "PENIS PENIS PENIS!" at the top of his voice and possibly waving it around, which would have merited a ticking off - but under the circs, no.

Incidentally, what had she actually banged?

biddysmama Mon 25-Jul-11 13:43:42

bugsylugs, my mum told my ds when he was 2/3 ish that his would fall off if he kept playing with it and for years he was convinced that grandma used to have a penis and it fell off grin

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