My almost-4 year old Nevaeh can bat her eyelashes at you, do a perfect Barbie-inspired ballet move and end it with a pose, and tell you several times a day that she’d just like to have a snuggle. She can also swear like a trucker.
Nothing is quite as shocking, and nothing makes me bite my lip to stop the laughter from bubbling out of me, as when my daughter rattles off something in her little voice that typically comes out of someone much older. And by someone I mean me.
Yes, undoubtedly I’m the one to blame for her penchant for dropping the F bomb and I take responsibility for that. I don’t swear at my children (yikes!) but definitely have been known to rattle off a sling of cuss words with my kids in earshot. My husband always
chaps my ass reminds me that I really need to keep my swearing in check and he’s right. I’m getting better at it (much better since Nevaeh started being my little parrot) but the question now is, how to we handle the little cuss monster I created?
A week ago, we went on a day-trip to a city an hour away with another family. My kids didn’t know their best buds were going to be there as well, and when we pulled up to the meeting point they were excited. VERY excited apparently. Nevaeh, giggling in her car seat, said with glee, “I’m so f*cking excited!!!”
Oh yes she did.
My husband and I looked at each other and did that, “Did she really say what I think she said?” So, to clarify, we asked her to repeat herself.
“Mommy, I’m just so f*cking excited!” There it is.
For the record, I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a time when I told my husband I was “so f*cking excited” about anything, so I have to give the kid credit for correct use of the word in a sentence. However, I need to figure out a way to stop this surprise F-bomb use before it happens in a public situation!
There are a few different parenting approaches one could take here. The first, of course, would be to explain to her that swearing in any way just isn’t ok, even when mom or dad does it as well. We could start a cuss jar and police each other in the household. Toys and privileges (for mom too) could be taken away as a punishment.
Others say that simply ignoring the potty mouth will make it go away. When there’s no reaction given to the use of the words, it loses it’s appeal and kids may quickly move on to something else. I’m not sure about this approach though because I’m not even sure Nevaeh knew that what she was saying was a big deal.
Another idea I’ve read is to give the kids one place where they get let ‘er rip and cuss to their little heart’s content. The bathroom, a treehouse, the laundry room, wherever. I kind of like that idea – that way I can explain there is a time and a place for cussing (and sometimes it feels real good to rattle off something that even Howard Stern would blush at!)
So what’s a (cussing) mom to do? I need to be a better role model for sure and put a lid on my own swearing. What approach works best for stopping this kind of language with a preschooler?
I need help, and fast. Nevaeh starts preschool in a few weeks and if she drops the F-bomb in front of her teacher or peers, I’ll be mortified.
I’m so f*cking excited.