Why Are My Kids Not Allowed to Say These Words and Phrases?
That’s a great question!
Psst! They’re also not allowed to play these games either.
And we have good reasons for it. ;0)
All my life I grew up saying phrases like “Idiot!” and “Stupid!”
I had two brothers and we loved hurling insults at each other.
No one taught me those were inappropriate expressions.
And my friends were saying these words without blinking an eye.
My heroes on TV were spewing out curse words in every episode.
And the news was always reporting on someone who “owned” another person in a debate.
Everyone was Saying These Words and Phrases!
It was like a badge of honor to win an argument because you could spew out descriptive insults faster than the object of your detestation could respond.
I never thought twice about the expressions below until I heard the word “stupid” come out of my four-year-old son’s mouth.
It sounded mean.
It sounded trashy.
It sounded lower than low.
Why Was My Preschooler Saying These Words?
Why would insults be coming out of my preschooler’s mouth?
Little kids’ mouths seem so pure..so innocent…
And yet, my son’s vocabulary was already becoming tainted by an unkind, ugly world.
Or was it becoming tainted because I was using these words at home?
I had to think through this parenting thing.
I had to reevaluate my vocabulary before I did more damage to my kids.
By my preschooler wasn’t the only one repeating these words.
The kids in our church were too!
At one of our church’s fun family events, we arrived a bit early and I let the kids play outside for awhile.
I overhead other kids talking and playing.
These Kids Were Saying the Words Too
And they were preschoolers…
About every two minutes I would hear, “Shut-up!”
Then a mean, snarky “No, YOU shut-up!” would echo in reply.
The harsh, cutting comments were flying.
My heart and ears hurt.
But I needed this wake up call.
It was a powerful reminder that our words matter.
Have You Ever Evaluated Your Family’s Vocabulary?
Maybe you should consider doing that today!
I am not here to tell you which words or phrases that should be allowed in your home.
That is between you and your husband.
But, I want to share with you our list — and the “why.”
Shouldn’t we always have a “why” for rules and standards?
Why are the Words and Phrases Spoken in Our Home Important?
We can be scathing or we can be kind.
I want my kids to work on kindness daily — you know why?
For most of us, kindness does not come naturally.
It’s something we have to work on daily.
One simple, but powerful way we can work on kindness is thinking before we speak.
Or think of it as pausing before we speak.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself when considering which words or phrases should be allowed in your home:
Download this free printable here.
- Will this encourage someone?
- Will this tear someone down?
- Do I really need to say this?
- Is this going to hurt my relationship with another person?
- Do I like someone saying this word or phrase to me?
- Why am I saying this?
- Will I regret saying this?
After you answer those questions, jot down words that are harsh, degrading, unkind, unfit, hurtful or disrespectful.
Here is the list our family decided on years ago.
Words and Phrases My Kids Are Not Allowed to Say
“Oh My G*$!”
I cannot even type out the full phrase because it stings too much.
God’s name is such a holy, wonderful name that our family chooses to use it only when we are referencing God.
Sometimes you will hear a person say, “Thank God!” as an expression, but when our family says it, we really mean “Thank you, God!”
Take a few moments to ask yourself if God’s name is precious to you, why are you allowing it to be used in a disrespectful way?
Wow, this one really gets to me!
How many times do you hear kids say this to each other?
Sometimes out of play, but most of the time it’s out of frustration or anger.
Even saying, “Can you PLEASE be quiet?” sounds ten times better than “Shut up!”
Take it out of your vocabulary for one week and see if you don’t cringe the next time you hear it!
“I Hate You!”
This is absolutely never allowed in our house.
Harboring hate in one’s heart against another person is sin — plain and simple.
Consider this verse: “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” I John 3:15.
God equates hatred with murder.
Yes, it’s that serious, so hatred is not condoned in our home.
When these words explode in frustration, someone always gets hurt.
It’s not encouraging; only degrading.
This can never build someone up…so it’s ousted from our family’s vocabulary!
“Get a Life!”
You’re basically saying what the other person is doing with their life is worthless.
You are sending the message that your views, goals and interests trump the other person and they are simply mundane, boring and useless.
Nope, doesn’t sound kind to my ears!
This phrase is definitely not the best choice and almost always opens the door to a complaining spirit.
Teens often use this when they’re frustrated over a decision parents have made.
Not allowing this phrase to be repeated in our house greatly lessens bad attitudes and complaining!
Any Slang Words Similar to Curse Words.
When you let your child use these words (like darn, crap, freak etc.) you’re building a bridge to cussing.
Once they feel comfortable using these words, adding curse words to their vocabulary won’t be such a shocker.
It will be something they’ve eased into.
Have you ever thought about these phrases?
Do you have rules for words and phrases in your home?
What would you add to this list?
Share your thoughts in our All Things Mommy group on Facebook!