When you can say Penis and when you can’t

We’ve been trying to teach our children that there are no “bad words”. We teach them that there are times when it is not appropriate to use certain words, but the words are not “bad” in and of themselves. This is a difficult message. Society says there ARE bad words. But really, words have only the meaning we give them. The next time you meet someone who speaks a foreign (to you) language, ask them to cuss you out. They might just think you are severely whacked in the head and will actually cuss you out (asking to be cussed out in many cultures can be somewhat taboo). It means nothing if you don’t understand it.

The other day I took the little ones out to see “Miz No-well-a” (Navella King). I really love Navella and try to see her when I can. She’s a very dear lady, but she’s also 76 and typical of her generation, Old School about language. This is not a bad thing, it just is what it is. Visiting Navella is a time to use discresion in chosing language.

Quentin loves all things “potty”:
“Poop”
“Butt”
“Booty”
“Penis”
“Testicals”
“Pee”
“Butthole”
“Buttpoop” (his own invented word)

This is probably extremely typical of a just-turned-four year old boy. (Not having ever been a just-turned-four year old boy myself, this is just a guess, but Kevin tells me I’m on the right track.) During our visit to Miz No-well-a, Quentin brought out each of these words and paraded them around the red carpet. Discresion is a difficult incumberment to a 4 yr old, I’m sure, but I really did try my best to explain the “no potty talk” rule to him. There’s just no stopping Quentin when he gets started talking about his penis. Sorry Navella.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “When you can say Penis and when you can’t

  1. Anonymous

    If I had socks on I would have laughed them off. Alisa, you are braver than I with teaching your young ones words. I can’t get past ‘tootie’ and ‘tooter’, never use the ‘B’ word just hinney. Pooh is for stomach, created by my daughter, as in Winnie the Pooh and our (Dad’s and my past pregnant belly) simular bellies (spelling?).

  2. Thinking

    Still trying to figure out this blog thing. I was the one to post the one about laughing my socks off. -Diana

  3. Alisa_Benay

    Diana,
    You’d be amazed at the verbage that gets thrown around at our house! Quentin’s favorite phrase is “your the buttpoop, buttpoop!”. Somewhere along the line, we decided we’d rather them learn descresion, the art when assessing the situation and understanding when to say and not say what, than just the shame of having said a “bad word”. It’s not for the faint of heart! I still balk at it every now and then (having been brought up not alound to say “gee”), then Kevin says “why can’t they say that?” and I think “hmm, I don’t know”

    I didn’t know you were pregnant. How far along? How old are your other children? Ours are all 22 month apart…22 months from 1st to 2nd, 22 months from 2nd to 3rd. Our youngest just turned 4, so we’re getting past all the baby stuff.

  4. Anonymous

    Oh I’m not pregnant, not possible any longer. We have two, Aliah 5 (she starts Kindergarten this year)and Hani will be 3 May 16. I think I’ve talked to you about my kids in the Presense Lounge forum. I said a little prayer for your Dad and your family. My Mom has corinary artery dicease, probably all spelled wrong, and has stints in almost every place possible. About every three months or so my Mom goes in to have the angioplasti thing (Spelling again is horrid)we call it roto rootered. Her options are running out and will soon be looking at by-pass surgery. It’s almost like sitting on a time bomb waiting on a stroke or heart attack. I understand what you are going through with your Dad and do pray all is OK. They are doing wonderful things today in the Medical field with regards to the heart and arteries. -Diana

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