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'Ako Ay May Kiki' Asks Parents To Teach Their Kids To View Body Parts Without MaliceUsing cutesy terms for genitals does more harm than good.by Kitty Elicay .
After the success of Ako Ay May Titi (I Have A Penis), another children’s book called Ako Ay May Kiki (I Have A Vagina) aims to teach young girls how to properly protect and care for their private parts.
The story is written by Glenda Oris with illustrations by Beth Parrocha. It is published by Lampara Books.
On its Facebook page, the local publishing house shared their excitement for the upcoming storybook. “Habang bata, tulungan nating kilalanin ng ating mga anak ang kanilang mga sarili,” Lampara books wrote.
“Hindi sa pagdidikta kung ano ang magiging sila, kundi sa pagpapaalam kung ano ang meron sila. Kasama dito ang mga bahagi ng kanilang katawan na dapat nilang alagaan, pahalagahan, at ingatan,” it added.
Why it’s important for kids to call their private parts by its proper names
According to experts, when parents use “cutesy” terms for their children’s genitals like “pee-pee” for penis, “flower” for vagina, and “boobies” for breasts, this signals a sense of discomfort and shame and can do more harm than good to a child.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
“If we’re using cutesy names because we’re embarrassed or ashamed to say the actual terms, we’re perpetuating the idea that some body parts are dirty, bad, or shameful,” says Lydia M. Bowers, a sex educator, to HuffPost.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also encourages parents to teach their children the proper names of genitals, just like they would the other body parts. “This teaches that the genitals, while private, are not so private that you can’t talk about them.”
Calling private parts by their proper names helps prevent child abuse
Ako Ay May Kiki tells the story of a five-year-old who “happily shares what her own mother has taught her” about her body. It also touches on important guidelines for parents in preventing child sexual abuse and reinforcing hygiene habits.
With the help of books like Ako Ay May Kiki, parents can have an honest, open conversation with their children about their bodies. It also provides an “opportunity to discuss sensitive topics that may be difficult to initiate with their children, shares Dr. Sandra S. Hernandez, a consultant for the Philippine General Hospital – Child Protection Unit and Director for Research at the Child Protection Network Foundation, in a Facebook post by Lampara Books.
“As a Child Protection Specialist at the Philippine General Hospital, I evaluate children who are suspected to be sexually abused and who complain of pain on urination or vaginal discharge,” Dr. Hernandez writes. “A lot of the children I examine have poor perineal hygiene which makes them susceptible to urinary tract infection and vulvovaginitis.”CONTINUE READING BELOWRecommended Videos
She adds, “They also do not know the correct terms for their private parts. When asked what they call their genitalia, many reply with embarrassed smiles, mischievous giggles or nervous silence.”
Dr. Hernandez underlines the important role of parents and caregivers in educating children on their bodies and sexual health.
“They should be taught the correct term for their private parts and that these should only be touched by their mothers or other caregivers. Children should also know that they can tell their parents about any unpleasant experience,” she writes.
As Ako Ay May Kiki puts it, “Nobody’s allowed to see it. Nobody’s allowed to touch it! The only people allowed to look after it are Mama and Me!”
Find answers to all the questions you're embarrassed to ask about your baby's private parts here.
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