January 3, 2017
Be careful what you say, because kids repeat everything
As a parent with little ears that now repeat everything I say, I’m starting to think about my communication style, especially what I say and how I say it.
OK it’s a dream of mine really, to actually think before I speak, that has eluded me much of my life. I get so excited, or fear I'll forget, that I just spit it out; it's like my thoughts simply bubble out of my mouth. Lately however, I have really tried hard not to say the things I don’t want my children to repeat. Certain phrases, slang or catch-words are off-limits in our household, and I have certainly tried to stop my children from saying them after hearing their friends or other family member’s utterances of them. But that is really hard to do.
Yes, my sweet little blue-eyed baby girl has been heard to blurt under her breath, "dammit!"
Apparently this is an parenthood epidemic even worse than catching the flu in a room filled with snot-nosed, sneezing and slurping first-graders. I know my friends all tell me it's true. Why, just the other day one of my mom-friends was telling me of her experience with her son.
“I know.” I said.
And this is where it gets tricky, as my son then chimed in, “What’s neutered?”
I could have said that’s when they remove the dog's testicles, but that sounded too technical for 5-year-olds. Besides I really didn’t want to explain the term when I wasn’t sure what the other parent would think. So taking a moment to pause, and taking a huge breath, I told him, “That’s when the animal doctor, the veterinarian, makes it so the dog can’t have babies.”
Simple. Honest. To the point. And hopefully something that was not likely to get into the great ‘where do babies come from’ debate… Except then I heard from our young guest:
“No that’s when they chop his balls off.”
There was a moment of silence in the room, followed by gales of laughter ringing in my ears, my own laughter, as two young boys stared at me like I was a crazed lunatic. I couldn’t help but wonder, what my children are repeating to someone else…
Raising children sure makes life interesting!