07/31/2012 06:33 pm ET Updated Sep 30, 2012

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Will Hurt Me

My kids are just getting acquainted with curse words. You can only shield them for so long; they inevitably learn the words that we all want them to avoid. In the beginning, my oldest son would throw a word or two out, directed straight at his younger brothers. When I caught wind of this, I banned the words in our house. This has now led them to say "you are the S word" to each other. While not exactly the word itself, isn't the intention the same? When I tried to point that out, my ever clever sons replied "I meant smart, that's the S word." Sure it is.

Words are crazy powerful things. You know that age old adage "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?" I beg to differ. Words can be extremely life-altering. I tell my boys all the time that it's not only how we act, but what we say to one another that can make a difference. This goes both ways, of course. I try to model positive and friendly behavior in the hopes that they feel encouraged to do the same amongst their peers. It's a work in progress, my friends.

Vocabulary has come up quite a bit in our house. My 8-year-old found a copy of Tom Sawyer and wanted to know about the "n word." We talked about it a little bit, and my middle son came in on the tail end of the conversation. He is too young to understand all of the historical ramifications of the word, so I just told him that it is hurtful. Now he has taken to telling his brother "you are the n word" when he really wants to sting him. Again, the kid has no idea what it means, just that it's off-limits. But you know what? I'm not going to stand for it. If the intention is there, the hurt remains.

The Olympic Committee did the right thing by ejecting Michel Morganella. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, this was someone that used his power in the most damaging way. His actions have reactions. In this case, shattering his Olympic dreams and also affecting his coaches and teammates.

If you want to tweet, go right ahead. But, don't be an "I word" about it.