Words Are Not Just Words: Don't Use These Around My Children

Blogger at Late Enough

As a writer, I believe words are powerful. Words and phrases not only explain how we feel about the world but also how we feel about ourselves.

When Kate wrote about how stupid the word stupid is (I’m paraphrasing), I realized that I would love to give out a list of words I’m not okay with as people come within earshot of my children. Of course, when I finished up my list, I realized I’m less the writerly English major and more the fuddy-duddy, but whatever.

Please Don’t Use These Words Around My Children

What did you say?

All curse words. F-bomb, Sh*t, @ss, Yes, even MoFo

I stopped cursing years before I had kids mostly because I cursed so much before the age of 24 that it became boring. However, I don’t find cursing offense among adults. Boring but not offensive. I do find children cursing or swearing around my children offensive. Note: Not cursing means when I do curse EVERYONE PAYS ATTENTION. It’s kinda awesome if you were wondering.

Oh My God. Variation: God Damn It, God (with no lament, prayer or song attached)

I don’t like taking the Lord’s name in vain. Gawd, Goodness, Gosh. Yes, I sound dorky but when oh my god comes out of my kids mouths, I embrace dork. I think it's the same part of my that cringes when an American flag is left out in the rain. I’m a God Patriot, and I think we should be respectful.

Just plain Damn. Variation: Dammit

My daughter asks me: Which one am I allowed to say, Mama? Damn it or darn it? So we’re working on it, and dammit, we’’ll get there soon.

All cutesy names for penises and vaginas including Weewee and Hoohoo and continued ad nauseam. (literally)

My kids are taught proper names for their body parts. We haven’t gone into specifics about vulvas and testes yet but vagina and penis cover it enough. Are the nicknames going to hurt my kids? Probably not. Mostly I don’t want anyone to say them around my kids because I’m embarrassed. For them.

Any potty words such as Pee, Poop, Butt, Penis, Vagina used out of context

I was actually okay with poop and butt giggles for years because they’re funny, dammit (oops), until I heard my kids use them outside of the giggling context. When a kid calls another kid a butt, it’s not cool. And my kids are too young to figure out when a dutch ovens and a good mooning is appropriate.

All words or phrases that belittle: She’s a fatty, He’s stupid, Don’t be retarded, He's a {racial epithet}

My kids don’t know any of these words yet. And I like it that way.

Why yes, I am a 90-year-old lady when it comes to language and my children, but, really? I don't give a God dammit sh*t what stupid buttheads think.

PS. I couldn't bring myself to include a pet name for anyone's private parts in the final sentence. THOSE WORDS ARE THAT TERRIBLE.