Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

$#* My Kids Say

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


Who loves a good New Year’s resolution? Who wants to really put the focus on their family's relationships in 2016? Whose kids swear like dirty sailors?

Me! Mine! All UP in this house!

Yes, I admit it. GIT Mom over here, raising my hand and admitting that my kids have started swearing at each other. Which words you ask? Basically every word in the big, dirty book…and then some.

So for the new year, I resolve that they are done with it, and I’m done letting it happen.

As our family has officially reached tween-dom and my 11-year old's world and eyes have been opened up to YouTube and other nasty real world influences, he's been educating his 8- and 4-year old brothers on the finer points of cursing. Combine the joy of blurting out a first dirty word, with the idolization of an older brother, and these boys are enjoying a master class in Grade A hoodlum.

When my kids swear at each other, it hurts my ears, but even more so, it hurts my heart. My kids may find it exciting and liberating to release a flow of expletives at one other, but I worry that there are hidden costs that could damage their long-term relationships.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 85, words have tremendous power - they shape who we are and how we feel about ourselves and each other. And as adults, it’s up to us to show our little ones how to be kind and articulate so that they grow up to be good humans.

I know I’ve been lax and that they should have stopped it already, but have you ever seen a 4-year old call someone a “penis” or a “b-sack” for the first time? It’s adorable. So I let it slide, and slide and slide, to where we are now, all the way at the very bottom of a dirty hill in need of a mouth full of proverbial soap.

So, for 2016, I resolve to stop permitting our kids to say all of the following swear words:

I hate you

I know I may let a few go. My sweetest son, Grey (8), tells me he likes to recite swear words in his head before he goes to bed. Whatever makes you happy, dude, as long as you leave it there in your bed.

But beyond that, I really believe we can quickly fix our kids’ communication skills. They’ll each get 3 warnings before they lose their electronic devices for the day. Because of their e-addictions, I know that giving them age-appropriate behavior targets will quickly teach them how to build skills and habits that’ll serve them well into adulthood, while at the same time, cushioning my eardrums.

So, this new year, it’s not going to be about cutting down on food or alcohol or losing weight. Instead I’m going to focus on 3 little souls and triple my feeling of hopefulness for the future. While studies show only 12 percent of people really stick to their New Year’s resolutions, I feel good about my team getting it together in 2016 (even if it means having weekends full of staring contests while their Iphones sit in a lockbox at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.