Sure... that "laissez faire," whatever works mentality works sometimes, but there is one area in particular that my own "here's how I'm going to handle this" strategy has been failing big time: Potty Talk with a capital Shit. My 4 year old has been swearing like a truck driver and literally nothing I do or don't do works. Last year, it was all Poop and Pee all the time. J's teacher suggested every time he says Poop or Pee out of context like he has Turret's that I quickly swoop him up and take him to the bathroom as if to say (and actually say), "Oh, you're saying Poop. That must mean you need to go...." Yup. That worked for a week. Then there was the "next time you say that, time out/toy taken away/done playing/no TV blah blah blah" phase. Then there was the "do nothing" phase.... which maaaaaaay have lead to bigger words being spewed like "Stupid. Dammit. Asshole. Shit." And his number one favorite, which he actually will only whisper because he knows just how bad it is: "Fuckit" (Said as one word).
Now before you go judging me and wondering where this angel gets this foul and massively inappropriate vocabulary, allow me to assure you that if, I repeat IF it comes from me it would never be on purpose and only during moments, at least for me, when I'm driving and people don't know how to signal or stop short or drive. really. at all. (Yes, I'm working on my road rage). And it's certainly not from watching Real Housewives or any of that garbage. In fact, if it comes from his exposure to media at all, then the fucking Backyardigans are really the ones to blame... But I digress...
Though his language has been a little extreme, I can say proudly (er, um... as proudly as a mother of a child with this problem should be) that this is language he DOESN'T use at school, but DOES use in proper context. Case in point, the other day: I had to return something to Zara. The manager and sales associate were being complete biatches and extraordinarily rude. When I walked away from the counter in a huff (with J in tow), he asked me why we had to go, I said, out loud, so the two B's could hear me: "Because they're NOT being very helpful."
J: Mommy, were they mean?
J: Mommy, should we call them assholes?
I laughed. Yes. I laughed. And in my opinion, the fact that he was able to identify the store manager as an asshole means he is good at reading people. That will save him years of bad relationships. I mean, he was a little off on wanting to call her "Dammit" a few minutes later, but I totally caught his drift. AND yes, I know this is not okay to encourage this behavior which is WHY, I pulled his preschool director aside the other day and told her about my little fouled mouth friend and asked her what in the fuck I should do...
So, her advice: Tell him that we have a new plan. From now on, when he needs to say not nice words, he must go into his bedroom or bathroom, shut the door, and say them to himself. It's private and those words are hurtful and not acceptable, especially not acceptable when you're saying them to your mommy. He must not use this language only in private.
Well, when I picked him up from school and he called me a stupid poop head, I seized the opportunity and told him the new plan. You have never seen a child so excited to get home and close the door by himself. For about 30 seconds I heard, "stupid. shit. dammit. asshole. fuckit. awful. poo poo. pee pee. throw up." Then he came out, took a deep breath and said he was all done. Not ONE bad word has been uttered outside his room since and I swear he has been in a great mood for like 2 days straight. This may have been the best parenting advice I've gotten yet.
We'll see how it fucking goes...
Speaking of parenting advice, here's some of my favorite nuggets of advice I pulled together for Momversation & YouTube. Enjoy ;-)