All of us have done it. Accidentally hit our toe or tripped over something and all of a sudden that infamous curse words comes across our lips before you can stop yourself. Everything in the room stops and then all of a sudden you hear, “Mommy, that’s a baaaaad word!” You want to deny you said it but you know the kids aren’t going to buy it. You’ve been busted for committing the number one Cardinal Sin of being a parent—you cursed in front of your kids. Even the best parents have slipped up and let a bad word out in a moment of pain of frustration. Many times we try to play it off so not to bring attention to it, but to our kid’s ears those words are like poison, so not only did they hear it but their waiting to see if it’s okay. Being the good parent you are, you reassure them that yes, that is a bad word and Mommy has to be punished.
I’ve been the parent who has slipped up and cursed and then felt so bad because I try to make sure I’m the example for my kids. I can remember one time cursing in front of my oldest child and for a week I would catch him saying the obscenity to himself. It took me a week to get him to stop saying it. I had to do something to make sure that my toddlers understood this was not appropriate language. I remember one time talking to one of my girlfriends and she was shocked that I put so much emphasis on it. In her words she said, “My kids know I curse, they know that I better not hear them curse.” I instantly judged her. What kind of parent openly curses around their kids but then expects them not to curse? Is that even logical? This example stuck in my mind as I decided what I was going to do to not only teach my kids but me that cursing is not allowed in this house—even if it’s an accident.
It had to be extreme enough so that my preteen didn’t laugh and that my two toddlers weren’t scared. I thought about acting like my tongue was going to get cut out but that would scare the kids. So I thought about what my mother would do in this situation. I instantly remembered the Dial soap and knew I had a plan. I called all three of my kids to the kitchen and I gave them a lesson that none of us will soon forget. I told them that not only was saying bad words bad/ but it was equally disgusting. So I told them I had to wash my mouth out with soap. They hollered and screamed in disgust as I did it. By the time I got done, the two toddlers were beside themselves shouting, “Ewwww, I’ll never say a bad word!” My twelve-year-old was less amused but just shook his head and said, “Mom, it’s not that serious.” My husband peeped his head in with all the commotion we were having and just chuckled at my craziness.
In the end, I proved my point with how disgusting using curse words are to myself and the kids. Now the kids watch me when I hurt myself or am angry and instead of cursing, I simply shut my mouth and just breathe in and out until I can regain my composure. I think I learned my lesson.