Maybe this is a generalization, but just about everyone says a few curse words now and again. I don’t know about you but before I had a child I had a cowboy mouth, my favorite word being the F Bomb. I think it makes me feel better to toss out an F bomb now and again.
Even if you watch what you say, kids are going to hear foul language somewhere or another. I was watching Modern Family and I heard Damn it! at least one time. Sooner or later your little darling is going to say a curse word and what are you going tot do about it?
This situation was presented to us in a very real way this past weekend. Since giving birth, working on my potty mouth has been a full time job for me, but I think I have gotten it under control. Every now and again one will slip through the gate, but overall much better. In fact, I actually was complemented on this by my husband less than a week ago. It was nicer to hear than “Have you lost weight?” But as careful as I have been of late, I guess I have said one or two words that have been brought to my attention: Damn it!
Yes, the other day my little darling started throwing Damn it! around like confetti. I did what most moms would do and I ignored it the first time. Then there was a second time and I told her that “we don’t use words like that”. Then there was a third time where my sweet angel not only used the words, but used them in the correct connotation, specifically “Daddy, I don’t want you to read me books, I want Mommy to read me books. Damn it!” insert hand slap. Yes, yes it was a crowning moment for me as a mother.
So what do you do when your little angel suddenly becomes a sailor? You do what any 21st century parent would do and you Google that shit! Here is what I found:
- Don’t laugh or giggle– This seemed obvious to me. I also did not find it too terribly humorous that a 3 year old was screaming damn it! at 8pm at night. No thank you! I would not find that hilarious in any setting. Still I guess that is what internet articles do, state the obvious.
- Don’t Overreact– We might have failed at this one just a teensy tiny bit because the shock was so intense. The first time she said it we did ignore it, but I think that only added fuel to her fire. The second time she said it we addressed it as “That is a bad word and you should never say bad words”. The third time she said it (all in one day by the way) was when we got upset and might have over reacted with a bit of fussing and yelling.
- Watch your own language– Another one from Captain Obvious! Like I said, I have been working on my own potty mouth since she was born. I really did not need Google to tell me this. This really made me want to show Google a nice finger gesture I know.
- Tell your child that is not a nice word to use-Sometimes this sort of logic works and sometimes it back fires in your face. When we told her that it was wrong to use that word she just figured out how use it better in a sentence.
- Play With Your Child OR as I like to Say, Play it Out- One article I read said to use play therapy to relieve tension in the situation and redirect your child’s attention. Umm no thank you! In fact the article was so full of shit I couldn’t even finish reading it. I guess I’m not that hippie dippy play it out kind of mom. I wanted to handle up on the situation and let her know right off of the bat I was serious.
- Sit Down With The Child and Brainstorm New Words To Use When Angry- I like this idea a lot in theory, but we didn’t use it at the time. If ol’ potty mouth keeps it up though we will have to come up with some creative ideas other than Darn it.
- The Swear Jar– this is a great idea for an older child who is really got a problem with foul language, but not so age appropriate for a 3 year old. Besides money means nothing to her at this point and I am OK with that.
- If the Child Continues to Use Foul Language then Use a Disciplinary Tactic– Finally some real advice I can use which is ultimately what we did. The child went to bed without getting any books read to her, a fate worse than death to her.
I did not see “wash your kids mouth out with soup”, but I’m sure it is there somewhere on the internet, not that I recommend it, but it did cross my mind. So there you have it, this is by no means a comprehensive exhaustive internet search of “What to do when your child curses”, but I have now saved you hours of time by reading this abridged version. Most of it was pretty obvious anyway. I guess it just reaffirmed that I wasn’t a bad parent and that I did know what I was doing, but isn’t that always the way when you are a parent and your reference desk is Google?