Little Girl at almost age 3 and is just starting to form sentences and phrases. Big Girl at age 5 has a good grasp of the English language including many popular slang words and phrases. When I hear Big Girl use slang phrases in correct context with emotion, I often wonder where she gets them? Do you know where? The answer is obvious.
From me. Most of the time. But not always.
Recently Big Girl’s response to any request I made that she either didn’t want to do or like to do was “Whatever Mom!” It was irritating. I cringed every time she said it. And I thought, “Where did she get that?” And then I heard myself say it. With the same tone and in similar context. I am working to rid my response of, “Whatever!” and sure enough, the times I hear it from her have decreased.
Then there are the rouge phrases that Big Girl picks up from television cartoons. One day her response to me was, “Duh! Boring!”. I KNOW I don’t say that! Turns out that it is a favorite phrase of a little pink pony.
The use of slang words is pretty benign. And more likely than not, as time passes the use and choice of slang words will grow and evolve with my girls. It becomes a problem when the slang word repeated is one deemed a “bad” word.
I learned that I lived with parrots in the house the day I became frustrated. I mean on fire angry. And used a very naughty word in the English language (I will omit it here but it rhymes with “duck”). Little girl repeated immediately! My husband glared at me! The moment passed and we moved on with our day.
I thought she had forgotten about it until I heard her say it months later in the exact same scenario that I used it. And she said it again and again! I speed dialed a wise friend who works with children to determine how to correct the damage I had done. Her advice: find a replacement word or phrase. And when a frustrating scenario arises, use the replacement word or phrase with gusto. So I have been walking around saying “darn it” every time I stub my toe or drop my fork. It has worked! I got Little Girls attention. Now I hear her say it. And best of all, I haven’t heard any words that rhyme with “duck” from Little Girl since.
Do you use slang words and allow your child/children to do the same? How to do encourage your child/children to speak properly in your language?
Have your little children ever repeated “bad” words that they heard you or someone else say? And what did you do to prevent it from happening again?
This has been an original post to World Moms Blog by Angela Y of San Francisco, California.
Photo credit to mdany who holds a Creative Commons attribution license.