Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Stupid" and Accountability

When I picked Laci up today, her teacher told me that she had a good day, but...  When Laci heard the "but", she ran out of the room with her hands on her ears.  She only had 2 stars instead of 5 or 6 that she normally has.  She tied for the most but she didn't not get a piece of candy because she was caught saying the word "stupid".  My heart sank when I heard that.  Not that Laci said "stupid".  But because I know I use the word "stupid" way too much in front of her.  I know I set a bad example.  Obviously, I don't call her stupid but I call myself "stupid", other people and situations "stupids", etc.  Charlie and I don't swear but saying "stupid" is bad enough.  The other day I heard Laci call herself stupid. 

After her teacher told me this, I found Laci in the hallway crying.  Once Laci starts crying, it is hard to get her to stop.  We sat in some chairs in the lobby for awhile until she calmed down.  I wasn't sure how to address this with her.  She was already shaken up.  I wasn't sure if she was more upset about getting in trouble or not getting the most stars.  I told her she wasn't in trouble and she needed to calm down.  In the car on the way home, I told Laci that I needed her help in not saying the word "stupid."  She visibly got upset again.  But I didn't talk about her.  I told her that I do it too much and I need someone to help me stop.  I was hoping that she would see the connection on her own, without having to admit it.  Then I let it go for awhile.

At bedtime, I brought it up again.  This time, I reminded her that I needed help not to say bad words and that we could help each other.  It was a good reminder to me that I need to be held accountability for my own actions because they follow up and watch every word we say.  And by holding myself accountable, she is also being held accountable. 

Speaking of bad words, I realized how young they learn the "Oooohhhh, he said a bad word..."  She is always telling me about so and so in class saying a bad word.  I usually ask her what the word was and it is usually "doody butt".  That makes me chuckle because it is so innocent but I reminder that just because someone else says it, doesn't mean she should.  The other day, Charlie and I were talking and I said that "it wasn't my duty."  Laci reprimanded me and said "Oooohhh, you said a bad word.  You said "doody!".

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