March 23, 2012

As I do

Recently, SB was playing in another room. I heard a loud thump, followed by a small voice saying, "Damnit!"

My first thought was, "Oops."

My second, "Well, it could have been a LOT worse!"

I have a terrible potty mouth. When I first became pregnant with SB, hubby joked that if we started a swear jar, we could have a good chunk of her college fund saved by the time she was born. He was only half kidding.

I have had to work very hard to control my language. With SB's speech difficulties, I was a little lazy at first. Once she progressed enough that she became a little parrot, I knew I had to be more careful.

And for the most part, I have been. Every once in a while I sill slip. But truth be told, in the heat of the moment I'm actually proud of myself if all I let out is a, "Damnit!"

The first few times SB used the word, we ignored it. We were afraid if we made a big deal about it, she would only use the word more. Kids can be like that. When they know you don't want them to do something, they are even more motivated to do it.

Then the other day, SB has a friend over to play. He was doing something she didn't want him to. She told (not asked) him to stop. And as he is three just like her, he did not listen. She responded with an exasperated, "Damnit!"

The three adults in the room, hubby, myself and the friend's mother, all had to turn our heads away and stifle our laughter. Hearing her tiny voice, as well as her tone and inflection, was truly hilarious.

But, that is not something we want our three year old to say. Nor do we want her to teach bad language to her friends. Since we don't subscribe to the "do as I say, not as I do" model of parenting, I told SB we have a new family rule. Anybody who uses a bad word has to have a time out, including Mommy and Daddy. Her eyes got huge.

"You go in time out?"

"If you hear me use a bad word, yes. You get to put me in time out." 

"Where your time out going to be?" 

"I don't know. You will have to pick my time out place."

She was amazed. She's never been given that kind of authority before. Then the wheels started turning. She walked around the house looking for a spot, and selected a corner of our bedroom, by the nightstand.

This is a house rule she can really get in to. And it will certainly keep me honest. I came up with the idea on the fly. We'll see how it goes...
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