Very early in my first child's life, I added a new item to my list of things I didn't ever think about before becoming a parent: figuring out how to refer to my kid's genitals. It didn't take me long to realize that there are lots of reasons for teaching kids proper body part names, and so I committed to doing just that.
I will be the first to admit that it was hilarious and bizarre to hear my two-year-old daughter shouting "VAGIIIIINA" as she ran through the house. And my poor teenaged stepdaughter was pretty uncomfortable with that, at least for a while. But in all honesty, it felt really good to just normalize that word. It also helps me keep track of who's been talking to them about this part of their body, in a way that isn't how I talk to them, and that's incredibly important.
I don't remember what words I was taught for my genitals when I was growing up. I don't think my mom used euphemisms like "cookie"; maybe she used "privates," but the fact that I still squirm a little when I say "labia" and "vulva" indicate that they weren't words that were used very often.
I don't want my kids to squirm when they use the proper names for their body parts. They're just body parts, and no one should feel embarrassed for using the correct word. Here's why it's actually really important: