As young children grow, they spend a lot of time wondering about and exploring their own bodies. They’ll likely have a lot of questions, and adults can help them best by providing proper, respectful names for all of their body parts and functions. Using direct, accurate terms—like “penis,” “vulva” and “buttocks”—is not only age-appropriate but also supports healthy development. Young children are concrete learners who acquire most of their knowledge through sensory experiences. It’s quite natural and normal for them to want to touch and explore all parts of their body, including their genitals. In fact, for many children these behaviors become a type of self-soothing, since touching their genitals feels good to them, which, in turn, is a source of comfort. Helping children understand that it’s good and normal to explore their bodies, while gradually teaching them that these are private not public behaviors, is the most helpful adult response. See our discussion starters for ways you can start a conversation with your child and our amaze jr. Parent Playlist for more information on how to prepare for age-appropriate conversations with your children.