I find it hard not to swear around my kids. I’m not saying I go around swearing like a sailor but I’m the first to admit that from time to time I do slip. And so when that moment came, when my four and a half year old said (with great intention might I add), “shit” I started thinking maybe it was time to ‘clean up my act’…
It’s a family holiday at Center Parcs, and there are plenty of well behaved kids all around. We are getting ready to go swimming when my eldest drops the pound coin I gave her for the lockers down the drain. Surronded by parents and their children, all excited and geering to go, she turns to me and shouts “shit mum! I just dropped the pound down the drain!”.
Obviously I do what any mother trying to save face in a similar situation would do and I immediately say (because I must show these total strangers that I am doing a good job raising my kids to be well behaved of course), “that’s not a nice word to say Ella, you shouldnt say that”.
But my daughter is no fool. She looks up at me and very calmly says “if you don’t want me to say it mummy then you shouldn’t say it too”.
Even more mortified…
It’s hard to argue with that although in my mind I’m thinking of a million excuses as to why I am allowed to swear while she isn’t: ‘only adults are allowed to say that word’, ‘when I say it its a joke’, ‘I don’t say it in public’ are only some of the lame excuses I can come up with.
But instead, I take a deep breath and decide to tell her the truth.
“You’re right. Mummy shouldn’t say that word and I’m sorry that I taught it to you”.
In my mind I am having a real moment with my first born. A real meaningful conversation she will remember always. Only I soon notice she is looking at me like I’m the biggest nerd she’s ever met and she can’t wait for me to stop speaking.
So I sum it up with probably the worse things I could have possibly said and go: “I promise not to say it again”.
You see, I may swear and teach my kids some naughty words from time to time, and that may make me a bad mum, but one thing I don’t do is break my promises to them…
Wish me luck lovely people x
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