Archive for the ‘teaching kids not to swear’ Category

I’ve been thinking about this for a few days. I believe I should come clean: I homeschooled my children because I wanted them to have the best education possible, and it wasn’t possible through the public education district we were in. Besides, the school board categorically did not want my input, so I thought something un-Christian: to-H-with-you.

Now, I tried not to teach my children to swear. Once upon a time, I could swear like a drunken sailor and was mighty darn proud of my potty mouth. Long before I began to homeschool, I began to retrain my mouth so my children would not make the same mistake I made when I was a little girl. I repeated a bad word. In context, I might add, but my dad was not impressed and “blistered my behind.” OK, he really didn’t: we were never physically abused, but it FELT like he did because I am a middle child, hyper-sensitive, and I was only repeating what I’d heard him say.

I was a “good mom” and threatened to wash my kids mouths out with soap if they ever said a bad word. (Arwen swears I made her taste soap once. I probably did. I don’t remember. I was a young mother and I plead the Fifth Amendment.) I even went so far as to change the way I swore. “O BOTHER” replaced “Oh S#@%!” to the point that the children made fun of me and called me “Winnie the Pooh.” I’m actually more of a Rabbit than a Pooh. Arwen would be Kanga and Levi would be Tigger.

What I was never very good at was NOT LAUGHING. This is crucial when raising children. If they catch you laughing, you cannot discipline. Nothing they do can ever be funny.I think Levi was 12. Arwen was old enough to know the #1 Rule by heart: Don’t Tattle. The expanded version of Don’t Tattle is this: “Is there blood?” If there is no blood, then deal with it. If there is blood, then Mom better deal with it. Usually, there is no blood and the dispute can be settled amongst kidlets.

I sent Levi and his little buddy down to the pasture to clear out the culvert. Half my pasture was underwater because some silly beaver decided the culvert was a good place to build a dam. this happened with regularity: the beavers filled the culvert and we ripped out the sticks from the culvert. The culvert ran under a narrow road that separated two ponds; the beavers did not need to make two ponds into one. there was plenty of wild space for beavers without flooding the pasture.

Arwen and her little friend tagged along with the boys. I suspect they were just there to harass and harangue. What else do older sisters do? I was never an older sister, so have absolutely no idea what I am talking about. Fortunately, my little sister is gone and cannot testify against me.

I don’t remember what I was doing. I do remember that Arwen showed up in the house, panting and chomping at the bit. I just knew she was there to tattle.

“Is there blood? No blood, go away.”

“MO-OM.” When kids say mom with a hyphen, you know they’re tattling.


Oh Boy.  I studied the innocent faces of the two girls. “Really? What did he say?”

“Welllll…” Arwen is like me and has to tell the whole story. “He was standing in the pond and pulling out the sticks from the culvert. There were a lot of sticks and mud. Suddenly, a whole lot of water came out and hit him and knocked him over and he said..” Her voice dropped to a whisper… “the ‘S’ word.”

I laughed. This little video went off in my brain and I saw my son standing on the downhill side of the culvert, removing the key piece of wood and mud, and getting slammed in the chest with a rush of water from the high end of the culvert. And he yelled out what I would have said.

OH SH%$#! Blub blub blub. Then he stood up, soaked and covered with little daphne insects, mud, crawfish poop, dragonfly larvae and mosquito larvae, and repeated himself.

I probably should have washed his mouth out with soap. Then again, he was probably looking forward to a whole body shower. In clean water. With soap.

So blame me if my kids swear. I laughed. It’s all over when you get mom to laugh.

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