The other day Big Brother called out to me in a very proud tone “Mommy, Mommy I have something to tell you.”
“I have something to tell you.”
“What is it?”
“I gave (Little Sister) a snack to help her poop easier!”
I looked over at Little Sister and saw she was eating a dried prune. A special treat Big Brother extracted from the trail mix we have in the cupboard.
You should have seen the look on his face when he told me. I think he was feeling like quite the helpful and caring little guy.
Hot Topics for the Playground
Initially I wondered where he learned that little nugget of information. Are they talking about the health benefits of prunes and fibre on the Backyardigans these days? Maybe prunes are a hot topic on the playground!
Unfortunately, not everything that comes out of Big Brother’s mouth is as cute and funny, but I thought I’d start with a positive one because this next thing I desperately need help with!
Language Gone Awry
So lately when Big Brother is angry, usually because he is being sent to time out for various 4 yr old reasons, such as full out running and purposefully tackling Little Sister to the ground, or the occasional helping himself to things he knows he’s not allowed to have, he’s been using some not-so-nice words to express himself. Bathroom words are always a big hit with him but my least favorite piece of vocab is SOB.
I’ve tried a whole slew of tactics and am completely failing at correcting this behavior. Talking about it, time-outs, favorite toys being temporarily taken away, toys being permanently taken away, bedtime with no stories, no cartoons at all, cancelling favorite activities, to name a few. We’re not getting through to him. As you can see I’ve gotten more and more desperate.
If I Ignore it Will it Go Away?
Ignoring and not giving the behavior any attention, which seemed to work well when he was a toddler no longer works either. Generally speaking a more immediate consequence is preferable to me than one that is prolonged until later on, because at 4 he really lives in the current moment.
The Problem Persists
The reason I say I’m failing miserably in this area is because the behavior only seems to be getting worse. He’s smart and he knows it really pushes my buttons. It is quite possible that fantastic picture of me from Thursday’s post was taken during one of these times.
I finally realized I needed to seek advice about how to work on this when the other day after many times in a row of the use of this language I thought to myself- should I put him in the dark garage? Knowing that he doesn’t like when we go out into the garage and it’s dark. Fortunately, I didn’t actually do it but I felt pretty disappointed in myself for thinking it.
Desperately Seeking Wisdom
Knowing there are many before me who have met this parenting challenge, and that there is so much wisdom to be learned from others. Please tell me, do you have any advice for me? Using one of Aly’s terms which I thought was so funny, I’m blegging (blog begging) you to share your ideas with me.
Not only do I not want my son to carry on speaking disrespectfully to me, I know it is harmful to him too. It is not socially acceptable for children to be saying SOB. This only makes me even more determined to find a solution that works for us and I’m comfortable with.
Kick Judgement to the Curb with Support
I know sometimes sharing parenting advice can be intimidating because parenting is challenging enough and we don’t want to be judged for it. If there is one thing I have learned from having this blog it is that there is a whole world of genuine love and support out there that flows in when you open yourself up.
As parents I think we are all trying to get to the same place and we just have to find our own road of getting there. This is one path I could use some help with. I hope to sort through thoughts and ideas of others to create something that will work for my son and me.
I hope your week starts off beautifully, and that August brings much happiness your way!
What are some ways to correct inappropriate language with pre-schoolers?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts in the comments.