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01:06 PM on 09/28/2012
Stupid wasn't banned until it became way over used.

I could never use ridiculous substitutions for penis. It's not like they are referring to it all the time. But I have boys the girl version seems a little more formal but again how often are you going to be using it?

Despite the "every one wins" attitude infiltrating young kids' activities they are still obsessed with winning. I'm all for down playing it but to make it seem like a bad word seems excessive.
12:43 PM on 09/28/2012
I'm really not a new-agey, hippy type person at all, but even I have come to understand lately that the words we use do start to frame our way of thinking of the world around us. If we talk about things overly-negatively, we start to view them that way, etc. I'm trying to correct my own vocabulary and phrasing because of it. So, I try to correct my kids when they start sentences with, "I hate." There is a season for everything, including "hate," I suppose, but I don't want it thrown around casually. Too many things that are merely "not preferred" or are "inconveniences" can end up being a major bummer if we dwell on how much we "hate" them. I guess sometimes intead of merely being a vehicle for our thoughts, the words we use act as their very framework.

However, proper names for anatomy are always proper in my house.
12:12 PM on 09/28/2012
LOL, this story is a hoot! I was giggling to myself as I read it. I have 5 children, 4 girls, 1 boy. There are a few words/phrases that are unexceptable in my house and penis and vagina ARE NOT included, my children knew the proper names very young (my 2nd youngest daughters use to say va-JJ when she was little, easy I guess. My son knows he has a penis. G.D is not allowed, shut up and I can't. . I don't know and because, is also not accepted as an answer, although I still hear them frequently. And ask that they explain. Does this mom really realize they are going to hear these words and children are like little sponges and will absorb everything they see and hear in the course of a day. It is up to her to explain what the words mean, not ban body parts, lol. Still got the giggles!
01:21 PM on 09/29/2012
Are you actually saying that "I don't know" is not an acceptable answer in your household? That's stupid (pardon me). Are you actually suggesting that all answers have knowable answers in all situations? The reality is that "I don't know" is acceptable, depending on the situation. Don't teach your kids that it's better to give a wrong answer when they genuinely don't know.

You may find yourself in a difficult situation when one of the kids asks YOU a question for which you don't have an answer because you won't be allowed to answer "I don't know." (Or you can simply run the risk of being the typical adult hypocrite and use it and when the kid asks why he/she can't answer that but you can, you simply say, "Because I'm the adult and I make the rules.")
04:46 PM on 09/29/2012
"Jimmy, why did you hit Susie?"

"I don't know."

This is an unacceptable use of "I don't know."

"Jimmy, what does E = MC squared mean?"

"I don't know."

Acceptable use of "I don't know."

There is a difference.
07:07 AM on 09/30/2012
There are many available reference materials for answers, No we don't say I don't know, We say lets find out. Mostly this I don't know answer is for my younger children who try as they may do know why they have done something wrong, that is when "I dont know" is truely not exceptable. If there is a question, why say I don't know, why not say lets find the answer. There is no reason to give a wrong answer when material is available to find a correct answer, but that was not my point to begin with, my point is I don't know is not an acceptable answer when one of my children have done something wrong and they blame it on poor "I don't know" That is when I don't allow those 3 words. Yes I am suggesting that all QUESTIONS have ANSWERS. Just like everything you do has a consequence good and bad
06:58 AM on 09/28/2012
Wow. I cannot imagine NOT teaching my child the correct terms for his/her body parts. Since a very young age, my son has heard the words "penis" and "testicles" used properly; it not only helps him understand what is going on down there, but if there is a problem - say, someone didn't do as good a job wiping him during a diaper change - then adults know exactly where to look. Since I've had a daughter, I have noticed that it is much more difficult to teach her the correct words. Not only does it seem that there is a lot more going on down there (more parts in a smaller area), but the words themselves, sadly, seem to be more taboo. While my dad was the only one cringing when we used the word "penis", a whole host of family members recoiled when I said, "vagina". For a while we just used the blanket term "lady bits", but the more verbal she's become and the more she's asked questions, the more I've tried to give her the correct terminology. Yes, this does produce some humorous situations. When she found out that she has a "vagina", she sat there smiling, saying, "Gina! Gina! Gina!" But at least she knows. And the more she hears it now, the more comfortable she'll be with it and the less funny it'll become.
I learn something new every day.
12:53 AM on 09/29/2012
As you say, the famale anatomy is somewhat more complicated and my feeling is the vagina, being inside the body and used for reproduction, not urination, would be better suited when first teaching the child after another term for the female ureter is found. Penis is easy to comprehend, vagina, not so much.
05:50 AM on 09/29/2012
And I would have pointed out the ureter if that is what she had been pointing to, but she wanted to know what the opening was below it ... her vagina. I didn't really tell her what it was, though, as she is 2 and a half and not really ready for that.
Jan Baer
06:53 AM on 09/28/2012
It is hilarious that adults even think they can "ban" words for young children. Words have power and using words that are "banned," if they have gotten a rise out of some adult, have even more power. We have body parts and bodily functions--those words don't have to be "charged." A friend's son was repeating bodily-parts words he had picked up at preschool on his way home one day. His mom said, "Those words are for nursery school." I loved that! However, if a very young child uses a word derogatory to someone or a group of people, I ask them what it means. Usually, they don't know. Then we talk about the word and why it is hurtful to someone and why it isn't appropriate to use with others. Then I change the subject to something about the day. That usually goes well. (Battles with little kids and big adults seem a little unfair--until you realize you have set it up but can't win!)
01:34 AM on 09/28/2012
I don't have any other than the obvious cuss word. Some words have a time and a place though.
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12:03 AM on 09/28/2012
Jesus Christmas, this Jade sounds like a right pain in the backside.

Honestly, how lazy is the notion of 'banning' certain words. How about teaching your children that there are times and situations where certain words are appropriate and other situations where they are not? Too much work I guess.
11:21 AM on 09/28/2012
Big ups to this post, WaiguoNuren! You've nailed it.
06:14 PM on 09/27/2012
Our English language is rooted in Great Britain, a nation with a long history of migration, war, and conquest. Each time it was invaded, its language was invaded as well. The ancient Celtic tribes of the British Isles were conquered by the Romans and later by the Saxon tribes of the northern continent, both of whom brought new languages with them. The Saxons were later conquered by the Normans, who regarded the tribes as uncouth barbarians with a culture and language vastly inferior to their own. Thus, Norman words soon supplanted and supplemented many of the Anglo-Saxon terms.

Belief systems were changing as well. The Catholic Church began converting people from the older Celtic and Saxon earth-based religions, with their more tolerant views of sexuality. As attitudes changed, the status of Anglo-Saxon terms for bodily parts and functions slipped from second-rate to obscene. To this day, the word penis, which comes from the Latin of the celibate clergy, is considered proper, while the Anglo-Saxon term cock is considered obscene.

Many of the words said to be swears in modern English—a language having far more words than any other—can actually be described as Anglo-Saxonisms. These words were part of the ordinary language of the people prior to invasion. Curiously, nations and tribes that have not been conquered by people speaking a different language tend not to develop a separate set of “improper” terms for bodily parts and functions.

©1989 Claudia Chapman/Mothering Magazine
08:30 AM on 09/29/2012
Very informative, thanks! I may be a science nerd, but I do enjoy an intersting history lesson, too.
10:49 AM on 09/29/2012
Thank you very much. I put the entire article up on my facebook page. You may enjoy it.
Who needs a stinkin' micro-bio
05:16 PM on 09/29/2012
Being German, I can tell you that "cock" has still survived in the German language (Hahn), but for something slightly different: a faucet. ;-))
Amy Wruble
Blogger, Carriage Before Marriage
04:24 PM on 09/27/2012
I'll admit, I "scrub" the words Fat and Ugly when I'm reading books to my toddler. Why plant those seeds? But I'm all for anatomically correct body part words, and have heard that teaching kids those words actually helps ward off potential predators who don't want to be accurately reported.
04:01 PM on 09/27/2012
"Stupid" is a banned word at school and I understand why. I occassionally slip at home (the computer is frequently abused by the word) but we all agree it is never to be aimed at living things.
The only words I ban are cuss words, but my ex apparently hates the term "butt" and thinks "oh my goodness" is far worse than "oh my gosh" so my child is learning hey, different words are ok in different circumstances which is probably a good lesson for everyone to remember.
Jason Ungar
03:22 PM on 09/27/2012
Winning is a tricky one. I have two under 5 so I get it.. I am not gonna be a parent who gives out 2nd place trophies. Let alone participation trophies. Your kids are smarter than that and I think it is condescending even at a young age. Of course I applaud effort as well. But suggesting there is no winning in my opinion is a big disservice for the long run. Winning matters. So does losing.
03:20 PM on 09/27/2012
Stupid and Shut Up are anathema in our house.

I came up against the other side of this recently. My 4-year-old son was in our gym's nursery. When we picked him up one of the women pulled us aside to tell us that she saw him put his hand down his pants (adjusting himself) and told him to stop that. When he replied that he was trying to "fix his penis" she told him that was an inappropriate word. She seemed so confident that we would agree. It really irked me. I wouldn't mind her telling him he needed to go adjust his penis privately in the bathroom, but instead she gave him this message that his body and references to it were not okay. Now I'm irked again just thinking about it.
I learn something new every day.
12:41 AM on 09/29/2012
I agree with you. I taught mine that some things were not to be done in front of other people. It was as simple as that. Go in your room if you need to do that or the bathroom if they are away from home, as you say. I never said it wasn't ok to do, just private and I never had any problems with private things or privacy. Everyone knew what privacy meant and respected it. Keep it simple.
Thea Joselow
02:28 PM on 09/27/2012
No banned words. Some usages earn discussion... sometimes more discussion than my kid deems the repeated use of a particular word to be worth.
Jan Baer
06:56 AM on 09/28/2012
But the dilemna is that "anything to get attention" may reinforce the urge to use the words--until they have some self-control--which is in some cases, 25!
02:22 PM on 09/27/2012
I agree. I can't imagine banning the concept of "winning" or of anatomical correctness!
02:16 PM on 09/27/2012
"obsessed with teaching their potty-training children the "appropriate" term for their genitals": um, the real terms for genitals are pretty straightforward, no need to be "obsessed" with them to use them.
Using cutesy euphemisms to call your kid's genitals actually requires much more effort than simply calling things by their real name, the name everyone else uses.