My phrase of choice at that fearful moment is: Oh sh*t!
Well, guess who picked up on this little phrase...yep, my little Micah.
Micah has been saying this phrase for quite some time now and it's usually added with a slap to his thigh or a chups of his teeth. It's the strangest thing because I do neither of these actions when I say my choice phrase, yet he still has learned to do these things when he says it.
The fact that he knows what context to use it in is the funniest part for me.
Once upon a time, when I would drop something or slip and fall, Micah would say, Oh Oh! Now, he just says, Oh sh*t! or just sh*t! It's amazing how he connects the phrase with the appropriate action...
When Micah is in the bath, I will sit on the floor next to the tub. So once I get him out and wrap him up in his towel, I have to figure out how to get to a standing position from the floor, while carrying Micah the entire time. If I don't keep a hand on him, he will surely run into the living room and pee on my floor, so I have learned to just keep both a hand and an eye on him. A few times, I have slipped just a little bit, not enough to drop him, but enough for him to realize it and use his/ catch phrase. Immediately, he starts cracking up with laughter. It takes everything in me not to laugh along with him, but I'm not really trying to promote him using this language.
When Micah is watching his favorite shows on television, there will be moments where something irritating happens. Swiper stole Dora toys or some random thing like that. He'll get so upset, he'll slap his thigh and say Sh*t! And he looks so irritable when it happens too. He'll even shake his finger at Swiper and say No! Bad butt! (Yeah that's another phase that he's picked up! LOL)
Grandma was feeding Micah a banana and a piece fell to the floor. He looked at the banana, chups his teeth, and said Sh*t! That time, I had to turn my head and laugh. Tears were rolling down my eyes, but I refuse for that little boy to see me laugh and think it's acceptable. Grandma immediately asked me what he said. I played clueless and denied what I had heard. I think she knows but she just can't believe it.
So what do you do when your child is adding such spicy language to their vocabulary? Do you just ignore it or confront it head-on?
I was reading an article in the Parenting magazine and it offered these tips...
- Don't laugh. It may seem funny at first to hear such language fall from the lips of your babe, but letting her know that only encourages more of the same. Don't quote your child to another adult for a laugh either, at least not within your child's hearing.
- Don't overreact. Acting shocked or horrified teaches that the word is powerful, thus giving your child incentive to repeat it.
- Ignore the first incident. It's possible that your child has no idea that she's uttered an inappropriate word and may simply be repeating a new word much as she would any other new word. Paying no attention to the word can help it disappear from her vocabulary.
- Remind your child of the rules. If your child repeats a forbidden word, state firmly, "We don't use that word in our family."
- Set a good example. If you curse or swear, expect your child to do the same. Modeling appropriate verbal responses to anger helps your child learn socially acceptable language, too.
Hey, it could be worse...he could be using some really bad curse words. Not that it condones this behavior, not at all, but it's just that I feel a little better knowing that it isn't something that would have people gasp in shock and horror when they hear it come out of his mouth.