Your Kid Found His or Her Genitals
Remember when you were pregnant and all the things that no one had told you about horrified you? Oh, the indignities! Well, guess what? Toddlerhood will bring some fun surprises that you’ll learn about the hard way. This week we’ll spill the beans on one aspect of curiosity that may leave you with raised eyebrows!
Your kid found his or her genitals. Yup. Hands down the pants, giggling and laughing will ensue as your toddler discovers that he has a penis or she has a vulva. Don’t let this freak you out, though! In fact, try not to react any differently than if he or she discovered a hand or foot. At this point, your little “private investigator” is doing just that — investigating the mysteries of yet another body part, and is getting some preliminary idea of the physical differences in gender (though that won’t be too clear for another year or so). Don’t scold or shame, because allowing this developmentally-appropriate exploration will help develop body confidence, and a healthy attitude about sexuality later on.
Now is a great time to start teaching the concept of privacy. Once a boy discovers his penis he will hold on and never let go. Teaching kids that there is a time and place to explore like, say, bath time, gives you a chance to teach your child about healthy habits and healthy bodies. And it’s never too early to stress than no one else besides your toddler, Mommy, and Daddy should be touching private parts!
Scary Mommy Tip: Box wine. Ha! We’re kidding. Toddlerhood is a fun and crazy ride that will definitely leave you feeling overwhelmed and under-prepared. Don’t be afraid to lean on friends and family for advice and always remember to laugh! Finding humor in parenthood will help you keep your cool and calm when you need them the most.