Kids pick up on every single little thing you say. Everyone knows that. Whether that means they watch what they say in front of kids, well, that’s a different story. Actually, that’s a story I’ve written about before. When they do say words they shouldn’t, it’s important to teach them that the word is bad, wrong, something they shouldn’t say. Yeah, I mean, eventually they’ll say them, but hopefully that is years down the road.
Anytime Sophia says a word she knows she shouldn’t be saying, like dammit or shut up, she immediately knows what is going to come out of our mouths: “We don’t say that, it’s a bad word.” Sometimes, she’ll even preempt us and tell us we don’t say shut up, or we don’t say dammit. Hey, at least she knows she shouldn’t be saying them.
BUT, that has put me into this habit of saying “we don’t say that, it’s a bad word” anytime I hear the trigger words.It’s gotten so bad, that it’s an instinct. I say it to adults whenever I hear someone say shut up, or someone say dammit. Or anytime I hear someone curse. I’VE ACTUALLY SAID THIS TO ADULTS, FOLKS! I’ve told a grown adult not to say shut up and not to say dammit. When there are no kids present. When we’re out in the wild. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?! I hear someone say shut up and I say “WE DON’T SAY SHUT IT, IT’S A BAD WORD!”
I’m sure I get stared at like I’m completely out of my mind. Which, let’s be honest, half the time I am. Sleep deprivation will do that to anyone. But, seriously, I tell ADULTS that words are bad words. As if they don’t already know that what they are saying is, in fact, a bad word.
I’m sorry, fellow grown-ups. I don’t do it on purpose. Yes, you know what words, phrases, and vulgarities you can use, pretty much whenever you want. I’m just a dad of small children spouting off what I would say to them, out of habit. It’s amazing the habits we get ourselves into through being parents. It’s like leaving those children’s CDs playing in the car when there hasn’t been a kid in the car for 20 minutes. Or like watching Disney Junior or Sprout when you’re home by yourself. You forget what your surroundings are. You’ve lost your bearings. We want to stop. Seriously, we REALLY wanna stop. Insane habits are hard to break, though.
So, next time you’re around me and hear someone say shut up or dammit, do me a favor? Put your hand over my mouth before I can blurt out “we don’t say that, it’s a bad word!” It’s what is best, for all of us.