As children are growing up, it’s important for them to learn the proper names for all of their body parts. Parents and other adult caregivers almost always correctly label the parts that all people have in common—like our eyes, nose, mouth, etc.—but they often utilize vague euphemisms when talking to children about their genital parts. For example, adults might refer to them as “private parts” or “down there” or use babyish or slang terms that, unfortunately, can communicate that those parts of us are “different” or maybe even bad. Naming the vulva and vagina or penis and scrotum in the same direct and accurate ways we point out that people have a urethra, buttocks and nipples helps to normalize those parts and encourages healthy attitudes and effective communication. Also, when children know and feel good about using proper terms for body parts and functions, they can more clearly and comfortably describe any kind of pain or irritation they may be feeling in these areas to a parent or health care provider. And, should a child ever experience sexual abuse in any form, they’ll be much better equipped to explain exactly what has happened to them to adults who can help. See our discussion starters for ways you can help your child learn the correct names for their genitals and our amaze jr. Parent Playlist for more information on how to prepare for age-appropriate conversations with your children.