Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bad Bad Potty Mouth Language!

Well, we're obviously awesome parents, because our two-and-half year-old's new favorite catch-phrase is (usually said very loudly, and emphatically) "Frikkin' crap!".

Anyone who knows my husband might not be surprised by this.  I have been working very hard with Tom since Sly was born to get him to stop swearing in the presence the kids (I'd appreciate if he stopped swearing almost entirely, but that's another issue).  He's been pretty good about remembering, but now he tends to substitute the bad words for only-slightly-less-bad ones.  I'd have no problem if he used words like "gosh" or "darn", and would not care if my kids repeated them.  But "frick" or "a-hole" are just way too close to the original.  Now, I can't put all the blame on Tom.  I definitely catch myself saying things like "crap!" or "that sucks" when the kids are in earshot way too much.

Anyways, Tom and I tend to point out and correct each other's little slips.  And of course, Sly is taking in every little thing we say and do, so he has caught on to the fact that certain words are no-nos.  So last week when Tom was gently reprimanded by his mom for something or other that had come out of his mouth while the kids were around, Sly gleefully busted out with two other words he knew were off-limits: "FRIKKIN' CRAP!!"

We were all stunned (and highly amused, but trying really really hard not to crack up).  Since then, he has busted out in a chorus of "frikkin' crap!" on several other occasions, always with a huge mischievous smile.  He knows it's bad.

What the heck do we do about this?  Tell him not to say that?  Punish him?  Totally ignore it so as not to make those words seem forbidden and alluring (he already knows they are, though)?


  1. Do you have The Faith Explained, by Fr. Leo Tress? It's a fabulous book in general, and I was just reading the section "Bless and Do Not Curse" in Ch. 17 where he discusses that what we usually call "swear" or "curse" words really aren't swearing or cursing, they are just impolite and if there is a sin involved its anger, not swearing. I found it to be an interesting distinction. Anyway, he does discuss how to deal with it with kids. His recommendation is basically not to make a big deal about it, just to explain that those aren't polite words and Mommy doesn't want you to say them. You probably need to stop laughing when he does it too! And if he points out that Daddy does it, you can say that you're not in charge of Daddy, but you ARE in charge of him! And on that note, have you read Fascinating Womanhood? I really like that one for dealing with the challenging aspects of darling husbands.

  2. I do not have that book, but thank you for the suggestion - those sound like some very helpful ideas. I do have Fascinating Womanhood, and should probably give it a re-read at some point.

    (btw - I was pretty excited to see you commenting on my blog! I just discovered yours about a month ago, and have really been enjoying your posts, and hearing about your recent travels.)

  3. "Crap" is pretty much my "favorite" impolite word to say ... I know I'm going to have to reign that in. Like, now. I've never really said "that sucks" because *my* mom would have flipped, hehe, but Keith says it a lot. I haven't been able to convince him it's inappropriate ...

  4. Okay, I know this post is well over a year old, but it so strongly reminded me of a story that is now family legend that I just had to share...

    When my cousin Stefanie was 2 years old she was over at our grandparents when my Nana's Uncle Paul came to visit. Now Uncle Paul was a Jesuit priest and was in his late 70's at the time this story takes place. Anyway, Stefanie the 2 yr old walks right up to him and (the reason why has long since been lost) says very loudly "S**t." Uncle Paul was gracious enough not to say anything and just raised an eyebrow at his niece. Nana said she just about died of humiliation.