Need I say more?
Yes, those silly words that my two boys just love to repeat over and over again. It started with poo, pee and stinky bum… then progressed to penis, vagina… these words never get old!
My boys are seven and five and they still think these words are the funniest things to say. They’ll say them and just burst out into contagious laughter.
Between three and six years old, kids love saying what I call “bathroom words” to shock you. Kids find it exciting to play with words and it’s a form of asserting their own power. So don’t worry – it’s not just your child! Bathroom language is very common because children are learning about their bodies and bodily functions.
As the poop and bathroom talk fades, the interest in genital words began… which is no coincidence. This change happens when kids have a greater awareness and interest in the differences between boys’ and girls’ bodies. Boys like to affirm their maleness by repeating the names for genitals! They also like the shock value because it gives them a sense of power.
Once they grow out of the “words to shock” stage, they will understand when and when it’s not appropriate to use those words and stop using them.
Need some help getting through this phase? Here are some tips:
- Tell your kids, “we don’t use words bathroom words outside the bathroom” and walk away.
- Teach them what’s appropriate and not appropriate in public, for example, “we don’t talk potty talk at the dinner table” and “we only talk about potty words in the bathroom”
- Try not to make a big deal about it; if you give it too much attention and get visibly upset, they will continue to do say them to rile you up!
How do you handle “bathroom words” in your house?