Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Throwback Thursday: Parenting Fail

Dateline: March 28, 2012

The Five-Year-Old, under her breathe: “[mild expletive, mild expletive], our phone is broken. [mild expletive, mild expletive].”

I knew the day when The Five-Year-Old started using that particular expletive was bound to come. Still, I wasn’t at all prepared for it. I’m a bit too fond of using that particular expletive myself, and telling The Five-Year-Old she can’t do something when I’m likely to do it myself in the next 10 minutes seemed problematic.

Still, I decided I had better try to rein her language in. A few weeks ago, my brother sent me an interesting link on a positive disciplinary technique that tries to resolve issues not by simply punishing the behavior but by changing the belief motivating the behavior. So I gave it a try.

Mommyo: “The Five-Year-Old, why are you saying that?”

The Five-Year-Old: “Because the phone is broken.”

Mommyo: “And is it really helping to say that?”

The Five-Year-Old: “A little bit.”

So much for that.

Update from March 2017: Nowadays, The Nine-Year-Old’s preferred way to vent her frustration is to say simply “curses and foul language.” I wish I could claim that our more advanced parenting methods had anything to do with it, but really she just read it in a book somewhere and thought it was funny, so she started using it. 

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