It’s a joyous time when our children start talking. They don’t pronounce things correctly, which I always find adorable and funny. After a while they pick up on their parents’ language and those around them.
What is not a joyous time is when your child starts preschool and they learn all new words from their new environment.
My children all ride the bus to and from school every day. Our school system has all of the different age groups separated from each other by having the high school, middle school and the younger children start their days at different times. Thank goodness for this.
However, after my youngest children, the twins, came home from school one day and told me a few new “choice” words, I realized it doesn’t matter if they ride the bus with high school kids or kindergarteners, they’re going to hear and repeat it all.
It was so fun for the twins to get off the bus that day and whisper a couple of these new words back and forth to each other giggling amongst themselves. I approached them to see what all the top secret conversation hype was about. “Mom, Marshall taught us some bad words on the bus today.” All I was thinking was, fantastic, how am I going to put an end to this little game of repeating the bad words.
The same evening while I was looking through school work, doing dishes and cooking dinner, the twins decided to team up (as per usual) and sound out and spell these new words on our refrigerator with their letter magnets. Yes, the Leap Frog ones that you put on the device that helps them sound them out. They succeeded. It took everything in me to not bust up laughing at these two little nuggets spelling those words themselves. However I kept my composure, until later when I called my friends.
For about a week I tried everything to get them to stop, from putting them in time out, washing their mouths out with soap, to taking toys away from them that they love to play with. Nothing was working. Then I thought, if I heard them say it I would have them call one of their grandparents, who they admire so much, and tell them what it was they were saying. That seems to work for a little while. Then it would start again. I finally decided to just ignore them. Not acknowledging it would take the shine away from repeating it, I thought.
Finally something worked!
Ignoring those words is SO hard but when they weren’t getting the attention anymore, they no longer had any interest in saying them. Potty mouth begone.