Today, I’m sharing the first of a new series on the blog that I’m calling “Seeking Advice, Advice Found,” and I am SO EXCITED to be doing so. This is one of those random ideas I got for the blog in the middle of the night that had me running to grab something to jot it down before I forgot it, and then kept me up for an hour because I was so excited thinking about the possibilities it held.
As parents, there are so many questions we may have and for the most part, for each question, there are a million different answers. So where do you start? How do you determine what is the “right” answer? For me, the answer is research and ask around – which is what this new series is going to be for.
About once a month, I will ask a question to all of you about an aspect of parenting that is all shades of gray. I’ll ask the question(s), give my own opinion on the matter, and then leave it to all of you lovely people. My hope is that the comments section of that post will fill up with helpful, supportive comments that reflect a number of different points of view. After a week has passed, I will then compile the most helpful comments into one post called, “Advice Found: [insert topic here]”. If you are a blogger, I will include a link back to your blog so that if someone really identifies with your view on something, they can hop over and learn more about you. f you have written a post on the topic in the past, feel free to leave it with your comment – I may link it up! This post will go up on a Sunday, so the Advice Found for this post will go live on May 1. I truly hope that this series can become a resource for myself and others trying to navigate parenting (and life! I am positive I will occasionally ask non-kid related questions) and a place where we can all be honest, open, and accepting.
I also want to note – if you do not have children, THAT IS FINE! You undoubtedly have an opinion on the topic – someone raised you, and they did XYZ while doing it. What’s your opinion on it? How did you parents handle it? How do you expect others’ children to behave in regards to the topic?
That being said, any negative, rude, or hurtful comments will be deleted without notice. I want everyone to feel comfortable expressing views and opinions without feeling judged or criticized. So let’s get to it!
Seeking Advice: Kids, Bad Language, and Potty Talk.
So here’s the topic for today: How do you handle bad language and potty talk with your children?
Ryan isn’t totally verbal yet, as I’ve mentioned before, but lately, he’s been picking up words left and right which is so exciting but also terrifying. I’m not going to lie – Alex and I curse. We talk often about needing to reduce it, but when your kid doesn’t talk yet it doesn’t seem like a priority. Now, I DO find myself substituting things like “fudgesickles,” “cheese and rice,” “jeeze louise” etc, but I am far from a saint.
But it’s not just myself I need to worry about. While in an ideal world I would completely shield my child from any bad language, we definitely live in a more relaxed world these days. My Spotify doesn’t bleep out words, the teens in Chipotle don’t care that a toddler is in earshot, and reruns of our favorite shows like It’s Always Sunny or Better Call Saul use whatever colorful language the FCC will allow. (not that we sit around watching marathons of these while Ryan’s around, but an occasional episode happens.) So how does a parent proceed? Do you ignore the language? Pretend it doesn’t exist? Insist they are grown up words? Idealize it by making it a forbidden fruit?
I think that our plan is to let the boys know that it is not nice language. My parents handled the issue similarly. They were bad words. Grown ups occasionally said them when something bad happened (uh, hello unstoppable F-bomb when you stub your toe..) but we weren’t allowed to, plain and simple. Even when I was in high school, when I cursed around my dad he would not be a happy camper. He taught me it’s a respect thing, and in an ideal world that is how I will proceed with my own children.
Now, part 2 – Potty talk. I definitely think this is the harder of the two to handle. Do you forbid your kids to talk about bodily functions? Do you use the word “toot” instead of “fart”? Is poop funny?
Here’s the truth: potty talk was HUGE in my house growing up. I vividly remember my dad showing my brother and I some website he found (this was back when computers were super expensive and internet was super slow) about different types of poos. My brother’s nickname was, “Fartboy.” Bodily functions were hilarious and we talked about them all.the.time. The book Everybody Poops was a popular bedtime story. Granted, my dad grew up with a family of 5 boys, so I don’t think he knew any other way. But now I’m the same way, and so is my husband. I can’t see us not talking about these things in a light, funny manner because of how we were raised and how we are in general.
Now, I do plan on teaching the boys when it is “appropriate.” I do not want Ryan going up to his Great Grandma talking about how bad his fart smelled. There are people, places, and times when that kind of talk is acceptable, and I think it’s a boundary that we’re going to have to teach the boys. But I do think that it’s a harmful bit of fun and, to be honest, kind of unavoidable with 2 boys.
Now tell me – what’s your opinion?
Join the conversation – what’s your opinion or experience? Leave it in the comments! (or if you’d rather be more private, shoot me at email at [email protected])
Do you have a topic you’d like to see covered? Let me know either in the comments or via email!