Parenthood law # 23: Your kids learn to talk by repeating what you say


Teaching your kids to talk is a double-edged sword.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve already been embarrassed by what Eliza has said, mostly because it’s so obvious she’s repeating something she learned from me.  Something bad.  And it only seems to be getting worse.

Luckily for me, there haven’t been any recent instances of her saying “dammit!” like she learned about a year ago.  I taught myself not to say that word.  No, now she is much more into poop.

We’re trying to train her that “poop” talk is not funny, but somehow, especially with her friends, it is the funniest word she knows.  They will sit and giggle and just say it over and over and over.  It doesn’t help that yesterday, she was playing and just kept saying, “Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap” when she couldn’t get things to go her way.  I instantly knew she must have heard me say that (apparently it is my replacement for “dammit”).  It was such an ironic moment because I keep trying to tell her not to use potty talk, but I do it obviously often enough for her to pick up the word and its proper usage (though I don’t think she knows that crap is a worse form of the word poop.  Yet.)

It’s the classic lesson of “do as I say, not as I do.”  It’s often funny to hear your kids repeat the not-so-great things you say, but it’s also scary.  It’s like every sentence you speak goes on the record and could be repeated at any moment (most likely when it would be the most mortifying).  So, now I can add “crap” to my list of no-no words.  I’m quickly running out of options.  Maybe I’ll start saying “drat” or make up a word, like, “snaggle!”  I need to come up with something before I fall on my proverbial “double-edged” sword.

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One Response to Parenthood law # 23: Your kids learn to talk by repeating what you say

  1. Brigitte "Mom" says:

    I am reminded of one of the most saintly women I have ever known (besides my mother). . . Helen Ingham. She, having been affected by polio, had to have her car modified in order to drive with her hands only, On one fortunate occasion, I was a passenger in the front seat while she was driving. Someone cut her off and she had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting that car. Instead of cursing, she exclaimed, “Bless you, bless you, bless you!” I learned a lot from that gloriously, saintly woman. Those things that I wished to emulate, I have had to conciously change. Practice makes perfect, (I’m still practicing.)

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