Toddlers: 24 Months+

Fascination with private parts

DS turned 2 about a month ago, and suddenly he is talking a lot about "penit" and "agina" (haha - I love the way he pronounces them). He seems kind of young for this, but he is pretty advanced in terms of language, and we started using the real terms with him awhile ago. I think we made the mistake of laughing when he first started saying the words because it was so cute, and now it seems like he says them just to get a rise out of us.

He was walking around the house the other day chanting "Penit, penit, penit" and sometimes he'll add the word into a song and giggle. He also likes to "peek" at us when DH and I are changing or using the bathroom. I've been explaining to him that penises and vaginas are private, but I also know that it's a natural curiosity for kids, and I don't want it to be this secretive thing.

Tonight though, I was changing and he told me to "Pull your underwear off." When I asked him why he said, "I want peek at your agina." This bothered me a bit. I don't want him thinking it's okay to say things like this to people. Does this sound like age-appropriate body curiosity?

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Re: Fascination with private parts

  • Normal.  Right now we enforce that no one can touch her private parts except herself (in private), mommy or daddy or teacher when helping her in the bathroom, and the doctor if she's sick or hurt.  I don't make a fuss about her seeing my body, she just can't touch it.  We're starting to phase out her seeing us nude because she's been PT'd for over a year so there's not really a good reason.  DH is pretty much not nude with her anymore but he doesn't make it a big deal at all.  Like he'll change in the closet and just have a long shirt on to cover his privates while he pulls his underwear on.  So she doesn't think it's something to be embarrassed about either, if that makes sense.

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  • My daughter went through the 'grabbing' us phase and I just made it clear that she shouldn't grab anyone's privates. She tried quite a few times.... even grabbing at my underwear like you said your son did I responded to her similar as I would want her to respond I stopped her hand and said "Don't touch!" She tried with daddy too. He will learn with you that it is inappropriate usually kids try things like this with their parents and at times with close family or friends (like my nephew tried to look down my shirt) They don't realize it is inappropriate.


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  • Ds loves his peeness! That's how he says it. The other day he was having naked time for his PTing and he said "hard peeness!" and he had a little baby boner. He found it quite funny. Dh and I were amused. 
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  • My DD is way more interested than DS... she talks about her brother having a penis and will even bend over & look at it and say - let me see that beautiful penis! haha. (chased by "let me see that booty! I shake my whole booty! --thank you, kids at daycare...)  We also just mention that no one else touches our privates but I don't really discourage talking about them in general, although if it was all.the.time or getting weird/inappropriate I guess I would. It is not that often. I would feel a little funny if one of them asked me to pull down my underwear but that seems like a great opportunity to talk about the fact that our privates are our own and there are only very certain times that other people should look at them or touch them, like xyz.

    one of my favorites is when she says 'Well, when I grow up and have a penis..."  that penis envy thing is no lie apparently.

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