Last fall, Zip was watching “Free Willy,” and heard the phrase, “Shut Up!”
It was used fairly innocuously, but that didn’t stop my boy from adopting it as his favorite power word. No sir, he bandied it around and slung it at us whenever he found the opportunity. It didn’t help to tell him that it was offensive, that’s why he was using it.
During our road trip over Thanksgiving, we tried using reverse psychology to get him to knock it off. He’d tell us all to shut up, and we’d laugh and say, “no, you shut up!”
This made him furious and he spent half the trip saying, “No you Shut-upa-ME!!!”
We’ve continued to remind him that it’s not a word we use in this house, and he’s continued to fling it at us when bringing out his big guns.
This past weekend we went to visit my mom, and he tried it out on her. She used her role as the fun playful grandma to her advantage and, momentarily, stopped in her tracks, looked at him right in the eye, and said firmly, “We Never, Ever, use THAT word in THIS house!”
He didn’t say it again.
We all know it’s just who he is – he’s sweet and lovely, and a bit crass – but it’s still our job to try and civilize him.
Recently, a neighbor told me a trick her friend uses with her son. Every time he curses, she makes him brush his teeth. There’s no argument. It’s all on him. We’ve decided to employ it here too.
My boy may have a foul mouth, but, he’ll have a lovely smile.