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. 


About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at, or musing about books and the writing life at
This entry was posted in Funny Stuff My Daughter Says, Miscellaneous Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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