Laylee came up to me the other day with a snooty look on her face. "Hey mom," she said, "Am I allowed to say 'WHAT THE--!?' Because I just did."
I decided that no, I was not comfortable with her shouting "WHAT THE--!?" on the playground at preschool, whether or not she added "hell" to the end of it. It just doesn't sound right.
There are a lot of words and expressions I just don't want to hear coming out of my 5-year-old's mouth. She should be talking about fluffy bunnies, fairies and marshmallow peeps, not saying how much everything "sucks" or telling people she's gonna "kick their trash." We haven't had any run-ins with the big bad swear words yet and it seems that most of the time I don't know what I don't want her to say until I hear her say it.
The fun part is that all of her friends have different vocab intolerances in their homes so they're always policing each other in a confusing sort of word police convention. "Do not say 'stupid.' It's a bad word!"
"No it's not. I hate it when you say that."
"Do not say 'hate.' We're never allowed to say that."
So I try to explain that all families have different rules and we should try to respect each other. "If you want to be friends with Lucy then you need to accept her along with all the crap she dishes out. But don't ever say 'crap'."
I once had a friend whose parents would yell, "NEVER SAY THAT WORD!" after each swear word was said as they were watching a moving. It became kind of a joke and Dan and I will often say it to each other when we hear some choice nugget of vocabularic creativity.
Another problem I have is that I have different tolerance for certain words when they're said by a different one of my kids. A good example of this is the word "Gosh." When Laylee says, "Oh my GOSH!" she invariably sounds like she's taking the Lord's name in vain, a super serious offence around these parts. So I've asked her not to say it because it's just too close. Magoo on the other hand could not possibly be cuter as he furrows up his brow in frustration at a given task and sigh/hisses, "OH. GOSS!" I LOVE it. My instinct is to encourage him to say it more but every time he does, Laylee comes down like a hammer. "We don't say 'gosh' Magoo. It sounds like we're talking bad about Heavenly Father."
It's really not what they say, but how they say it that gets some words nixed. What's totally off limits at your house?