Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No-no words

When I was growing up, our family had certain words or phrases that we, as children, were not allowed to say. Curse words, naturally, were out of the question. However, other words also banned in our home were 'stupid' and 'shut up' (my parents took this very seriously!). For some reason, my mother also used the lovely term, "stinky" for all yucky smells. If she smelled something suspicious, she would look at one of us and ask, "did you let out a stinky?" to which we would innocently reply that it must have been the dog or the other person in the room.

Jamie and I have instituted the no-no words thing in our house, too. I do this mainly because you know if we allow the kids to say bad words at home, they inevitably will say them to perfect strangers when we're at Target. And that's just not kosher.

Alright, that's really only part of the reason. I take offense to certain words and want my children to develop a healthy vocabulary devoid of offensive language. Jamie questions sometimes if I take it a bit too far, but I have a valid reason behind every word that I ban from our home. One example is the word Butt. We've always called it a bottom with our kids, and I just personally don't like the sound of the word Butt coming out of a 3-year-olds mouth. It sounds terribly offensive to me. Jamie wondered about that one, but I told him that one day when I was lunchroom helper at Mel's school, one child from her 1st grade class raised his hand to beckon me. When I asked him what he needed, he pointed at a classmate and stated, "he said the word b-u-t-t." He actually spelled the word but would not repeat it! Thereby, it confirmed my hypothesis that little children do take offense to the word Butt. Or at least we're not alone in the whole Butt debate.

I remember early on in my dating relationship with Jamie, we had gone to visit my parents and I had forgotten to warn Jamie of the whole No-No word thing in my house (granted, I was 20ish and as an adult, it's probably okay to be your own language monitor). We were having a casual conversation with my parents, and Jamie said the word stupid. I am sure I looked quite as horror-struck as I felt, because the room got quite silent. I glanced nervously at my parents, waiting for them to correct him, as they had done to me so many times as a child. However, Jamie (oblivious) kept right on talking until I couldn't take it any more and I blurted out, "you can't say that word in our house!" My parents laughed and it was no big deal, but to this day, I still do not say the words stupid or shut up in front of my parents.

So this has turned into one of those things you tell yourself you'll never do, because your parents did it, but I've carried on this tradition in my family. As a result, we do a some "cleaning up" after we hang out with other people every now and then, because maybe a word slips out that we don't like. Then I have to explain to the kids that while WE don't say those words, other families have different rules, etc.

Melody is entering the age where she is getting exposed to more and more bad language, and so we deal with it much more than we used to. She seems fairly accepting of the fact that she can't say certain words. We monitor our own language quite a bit around the house, so we know that if she does pick up a word, that it didn't come from us! However, Gannon isn't always on board with the concept of not saying bad words. He has issues with using what we call "potty words" in daily language. So, if he walks up to you and calls you a "poopy head", please know that we are still working on it! Jamie has tried explaining to me that boys just think that is funny.
Ok, so I'm laughing on the inside. :-)



T.Bone Gal said...

Good ol' Uncle Jamie. :)

Steph said...

So maybe boys like to say "poopy head" and girls like to say "pee pee head" because that's the one we've been hearing lately from our little girl! And as for the ban on "butt"--- our previous daycare teacher nipped that in the bud with her kids by repeatedly telling them (probably 100 times a day) "no butts, say however". So sometimes in our house when we're being funny, we joke around about each other's "however". :-) Gotta love the family jokes!