Anyone who’s read this blog knows that my little miracle baby has a bit of a potty mouth. Honestly, I don’t know where he got it from. I never curse. The furthest I go is “bullspit” or sometimes “Jesus Christmas in sandals”. Something like that. Same goes for my lady friend. She’s all class.
Thankfully, I got a newsletter from the parenting section of WebMD that gives advice on how to deal with swearing and bad behaviors. As a parent, I think it’s always good to follow any advice you get all the time, so I did what the newsletter told me…
1. Ignore it
“Sometimes it is best just to ignore the potty words. More than likely, it is just a means of getting your attention, even if it is being reprimanded. If you ignore it, they will find another way to test their limits.”
I definitely worked hard on this one. For example, the other day, my baby became furious because, of course, he didn’t like the rice and chicken dinner that he’s eaten and loved in the past. I started with begging, as I usually do…
ME: Eat your food, please.
MY LITTLE MIRACLE BABY: I’m not eating this.
ME: But you love rice and chicken.
MLMB: It tastes like sh*$#&#.
I took a deep breath and pretended not to hear him. The Ignore Strategy in action!
ME: Please, son, eat your dinner.
MLMB: Did you hear me? I said, this tastes like sh#&#&#.
ME: I’m afraid I don’t recognize that kind of language.
MLMB: I’m afraid you need to get your head out of your @&#*#*!!
2. Constructive Criticism
“Sometimes enough is enough, and you have to enforce the rules. Rather than draw attention to the actual ‘bad words’, try suggesting ‘feeling words’ or another means of expression for your child…”
I felt like this was a winner. It seemed like a less passive approach and it would give me the chance to really flex my parenting muscles of patience and guidance. I tried it out during a recent tantrum over a water bottle.
You should know that my little miracle baby loves to play with water bottles. He likes drinking the water just fine, but he particularly enjoys pouring the water all over himself and my electronic appliances. Then I have to take the bottle away. And then, of course, he throws a fit.
But this time, I had constructive criticism…
ME: You can’t have the bottle because you’re going to spill the water everywhere.
ME: No more.
MLMB: Give me the f$*#*% bottle.
ME: I see, well, I’m going to teach you how to express yourself without using that potty mouth. What you mean to say is, I am frustrated that I can not have the bottle.
MLMB: Oh my God, you mean I don’t have to use bad words? There’s another way to express myself without using bad words? Holy f*$*@# sh$*#!
ME: Now, that’s what I’m talking about. Right there, you should have just said “I’m very excited”.
MLMB: Right. Got it. Now, can I have the bottle?
ME: What are you going to do with it?
MLMB: I don’t see how it’s any of your business, but I’m going to drink some of it…
MLMB: … then spill it on my shirt…
MLMB: … then I’m going to dump it over my head…
MLMB: And if there’s anything left over, I’m going to pour it on your electronics.
ME: I don’t think I can give it to you then.
MLMB: Is bullsh$*#&#*&.
“It’s time to really pay attention to what your child is exposed too. Change the TV channel to more appropriate programs, censure your friends’ use of language. We can’t force our children to wear ear plugs. They are going to hear and see things from time to time, but if you are consistent in how you address the situation, your potty mouth days should be coming to an end.”
This is great advice. But figuring out what my little miracle baby should and should not watch has been more difficult than I thought it would be. First of all, he loves the UK kiddie TV series Thomas & Friends. Which is wonderful. A lot of people love that lovable train.
But did you know that there’s an explicit version? I sure didn’t. And I found out quite by accident one day…
THOMAS: I would very much like to borrow some of your coal for a long trip, Gordon.
GORDON: F%$*# you, Thomas.
THOMAS: F$*%*$ me?! F#$#*# you!
I was appalled, so I shut the DVD off immediately.
MLMB: What the f*&%# are you doing?
ME: I’m shutting this off.
MLMB: Over my dead body! That’s Thomas!
ME: I don’t care if it’s Abraham Lincoln. He’s got a filthy mouth. No more Thomas.
MLMB: Son of a bi$*%#!!
Sounds like none of that worked, right? Well, my son could have easily dropped the f-bomb or the s-grenade or the c-missile right there, but he didn’t.
And that’s how I know I’m a good parent.