A phrase we’ve been hearing in our household lately has been “Don’t say that word!” or “Mom, Alison just said that word.”
And so Josh and I have had to think about what we’re saying in front of our impressionable young kids.
Now, I don’t want people thinking Josh and I are laying out the crass words around here, ’cause we don’t. We pretty much never swear in this house, but we do readily use the words stupid, dumb, jerk, crap, and moron, among other less common things like shut up. And we don’t really want our children using these words. Because, there’s nothing quite like hearing a three year old call someone or something stupid.
So, we’ve come up with an alternative word to use for things that we find less than smart: “Silly.” Silly is our go-to word, because silly isn’t a bad word. After all, we loving call our girls silly-heads.
The funny thing about the phrase “Don’t say that word,” is that our girls will call us, or each other, out for saying “that” word, but often times no one even said anything inappropriate. They will say it about words they haven’t heard before, words they don’t know the meaning of, or words that sound like “bad” words. But, true to themselves, they never repeat the offending word when we ask them who said what word. They just tell us again, that they said that word.
The things about your kids getting older is that you realize just how much of a sponge they really are, and how much they are starting to remember things. And it’s a little scary in some ways. We have to be very careful about what influencers they are exposed to. What TV shows are we watching with them? Who are they spending time with? What things will they deem acceptable because we do? And it’s a little bit of an adjustment for Josh and I. We both have been saying words and phrases that are now “silly” for a long time. It’s hard to change your personal mannerisms and words long after it’s been engrained in as part of you, part of how you talk. But, we both feel that some change is necessary in this regard. Because part of being a parent is learning all about your weaknesses and your shortcomings.
But, while we are now calling lots of things and people silly around this house, we still greatly enjoy potty humor. And so do our girls. In fact, it is common for them to start saying the word “poopy” or “pee-pee” back and forth and giggling hysterically. And we laugh right along with them. Some things won’t change.
What changes have you made to be a better example to your kids?
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