UGH! My 3-year-old, Hudson, has a new favorite word in his vocabulary, and it's not one we're happy about. The f-word has made its way into his cute little mouth. What's worse, is my husband and I are so guilty of dropping f-bombs when in stressful situations. I know it's terrible, and it is such a cliché to say that Hudson is merely repeating what he hears my husband say when a driver cuts him off on the road.
The situation didn't start off as bad. He would repeat the word every now and then, and my husband and I would address it, explain how we don't say bad words, and even own up to being in the wrong if it slipped out of our mouths. It just got worse though.
One night, my parents came over to watch the kids while my husband and I enjoyed a romantic date night, and when we got home hoping to hear how well behaved our boys were, my mother had something else to say. Disturbed, she told us, "el niño esta diciendo malas palabras—todo es fooking, fooking, fooking." Basically, this means everything out of Hudson's mouth started with a big fat "F."
While most kids, from what I hear from my mommy friends, will feel ashamed and show remorse upon being reprimanded, Hudson is just having a ball dropping the f-word! I have never heard a 3-year-old enunciate a word so perfectly-- the horror! Even after consequences like, timeouts, taking away his favorite toy, and threatening to tell his teachers, it feels like nothing will put an end to his behavior.
My mother is mortified by all this. Coming from a proud Hispanic familia, where how you present yourself to the world is a reflection of who and how you were raised, this has definitely stirred things up. I decided to talk to Hudson's teacher about the matter, hoping to get some professional advice on how to stop Hudson from swearing and repeating the word. I thought she would be shocked to hear that Hudson is cursing at home, but to my horror she admitted that Hudson was cursing at school too. She said it so nonchalantly, as if it was not a big concern. I was mortified!
I thought about my mother and la verguenza she is going to feel (and make me feel) when she hears. But Hudson's teacher doesn't think it's a cause for concern. The school's policy is to ignore it until it stops—and they are certain that it will. I felt relieved. After talking to his teacher, I felt like toddler swearing is something that may happen to any familia, and she assured us it's not a reflection of bad parenting. However, we weren't totally off the hook. She said we needed to do our part to put an end to our own public displays of frustration.
So here's my three-step plan for kicking the profanity out of my casa:
- Ignore It's hard to keep a poker face, but if I feel even a smirk or giggle coming on, I leave the room or excuse myself for whatever reason--mommy has to go potty right now!
- Distract I will immediately sing one of Hudson's favorite songs, one that he can participate in. Old MacDonald Had a Farm is a perfect go-to.
- Empower My husband and I are teaching Hudson there is power in language and words. Nothing makes Hudson happier than when we praise him for learning a new word and using it in a sentence, Spanish or English.
So, I want to hear from you. Do you have a little potty mouth at home? How do you deal with it?
Do you love how Latina mommy, Yesenia Almonte, deals with her sweet son dropping f-bombs? Check out how she deals with his sibling jealousy!
Manners & Responsibility: 3 Manners Toddlers Should Know
Photo via Yesenia Almonte