Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Toddler Swearing – When 'Time Outs' Don’t Work, Send Them To Jail
It’s not as if my 2-year old daughter has been watching Eddie Murphy Raw on late night TV, hanging out at the local Jr. High, or listening to rap music and throwing around F-bombs like Dora and her pet monkey Bubbles.
Nope, she’s been watching DVD’s like Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life”, Disney’s “A Goofy Movie” or a number of the so-called kid friendly movies which happen to use words like “idiot”, “stupid”, “shut-up” and “bad-Ass” in them (actually not the last one, but give Dreamworks some time and I’m sure they make a Quentin Tarantino & George Carlin animated “buddy” movie…)
Who would have thought these movies can cause a toddler to begin spouting off a kid’s version of swearing and use them correctly in context? Not me.
These days when she’s mad, angry, upset, tired, or when gravity doesn’t conform to her will she’ll yell out things like “Stupid (insert person’s or inanimate objects name)!!” or “Shut up, (insert person’s or inanimate objects name)!!”
What a far cry from her original version of swearing just a few months ago -- which was clapping her hands and yelling “HERE! KITTY! KITTY!” followed by a raspberry noise.
Maybe my uncontainable laughter at the act caused her to look for something with more authority?
Nonetheless, this needs to stop. So now I’m upping the ante with some good old fashion discipline to control this and a host of other “terrible two’s” behavior.
The traditional toddler discipline methods:
Time-Out – Which work most of the time, but doesn't quite work outside of the house.
Take-Away – Toys, princesses, crayons, Tupperware, etc.
Spanking – I still can’t do this. I’m not opposed to it and want the option just in case things get really bad, like if she pulled a knife at the ice cream truck.
Now I’m resorting to--
The non-traditional methods:
Jail – This works while in the car. I’ve told her jail is a place where people cry all day, no magic exists, and they play Mike Meyer’s “The Cat in the Hat” all day long (that movie makes her upset and cry.)
Monsters – Usually at night before bedtime I tell her that if she doesn’t behave, monsters will come and eat her legs while she sleeps. And Princesses need legs to be ballerinas.
Evil Bunnies – For some odd reason jackrabbits have started popping up around my neighborhood. I’ve told her that these bunnies can be nice or can chase bad children who don’t listen to their daddy’s.
Upset Princess Call –I pretend I’m talking with Cinderella on the phone and she asks for her Princess clothes and toys back because my daughter has been bad.
She’s been pretty upset with Cinderella these past few days. I just hope she never runs into her at an ice cream truck…