Yes, it’s true. I’m embarrassed to say that I sometimes use four letter words. I wish I didn’t. I try not to use them, but sometimes they just come flying out. Like right after I find my drill in the backyard, after a rain, or when I discover my 60 lb. poodle standing on the table eating my dinner!
My parents never used four letter words when I was growing up. They were great at modelling appropriate behavior, manners, and language. When I was in elementary school, my mouth was sparkly clean.
Unfortunately, by the time I had reached my teens, the public school hallways had undone most of that.
When I went off to college, my language went off the deep end. Just like most of the other students around me, my favorite adjective started with the sixth letter of the alphabet.
It was when I became a follower of Christ, that I began to realize just how offensive my language was. I began to try really hard to stop cursing, and (for the most part) I have been successful.
Unfortunately, for the most part isn’t enough when you have kids. They only need to hear one or two choice words and boom, their innocent and precious little minds have become tainted.
Obviously, it’s best to never use curse words around your children. It’s not good for their soul, but it’s even worse when one of your precious little parrots uses one of your choice adjectives in public! Yep, you’ve been outed! I hate to tell you this, but it’s just a matter of time. Hopefully, it’ll happen when you’re catching a quick bite at the local biker bar, but more than likely it will happen during your small group Bible study. That’s the way it usually goes.
So, yes, it’s best if you never use colorful language around your child. In fact, congratulations if your kids have never heard an explicit word come from your mouth. You are a saint!
But, what if it’s too late? What if you’ve already let the @#$% out of the bag? Well, that’s my reality. My kids have have already been exposed to high doses of radioactive verbiage!
What are you supposed to do when you use regrettable language in the presence of your kids? I don’t know for sure. I have yet to find that manual. The only thing I can do is to share what I do when I foul the air with stinky language.
Admit Your Mistake
Psst. Come here. I have something to tell you. Your kids know that you aren’t perfect. So it’s important for you to acknowledge your mistake. Don’t pretend that it didn’t happen. Your kids heard it, they know they heard it, and if you pretend that it didn’t happen, then you are giving them carte blanche to use those same words!
You might say something like “Oh wow, I just said a bad word.” or “Uh, oh, I just made a mistake and said a bad word.” You get the idea.
By apologizing for your colorful words, you are telling your kids that this kind of language is unacceptable, for you and for them either.
I say things like “I’m so sorry that I said that” or “I really hate when I do that” and “Please forgive me.” The point is to let your kids know that you didn’t mean to use profanity, that it slipped. You made a mistake and you are sorry for it.
This is so very difficult for me. I’ll be cruising along with nothing but pixie dust and butterflies coming from my mouth, for days on end, and then BAM! I step on a Lego and a word of great pain-driven anger shoots out of my mouth. Before I can stop it, the word flies past security and pierces the air like an arrow popping a balloon! It never fails that one or two of my kids are standing just a few feet away (of course in my tiny little house, that’s always).
Nevertheless, you have to try your absolute best to stop using those words. If you get to the point that you are cursing and apologising all the time, your efforts will seem hollow and your kids won’t take you seriously.
Stick With It
You may not be able to end those slips of the tongue overnight, but stick with this formula, and you will see progress. If you are the praying type, it probably wouldn’t hurt. Do your best, your kids depend on it!
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