Potty Talk

What is it with boys and potty language?

Jonah is currently in a “potty talk” stage (Is it just a stage? Will he ever grow out of it?) where he loves to say things like “booty” and “toot” and “fert.” (I’ll leave that last one to your imagination.)

When he uses these words, my head starts to spin and I feel like I may flip my lid.  But here’s the thing: I’m not sure if I should ban these words completely or just ignore them. I go back and forth on my decision multiple times a day.

I’m just doing my part to be consistent in my  discipline strategies over here.

I feel pretty sure that completely banning these disgusting words would never work. Let’s be real – even his 41 year old father loves them. And the sound effects that accompany them. Sigh…

I do, however, have a rule that Jonah can’t use potty talk at the dinner table. I would prefer to eat my chicken pasta in peace without thoughts of bodily functions running through my head.

I try not to use bad language in front of my kids, although Vivi would argue against that point. I remember the time she asked me this:

Mama, why you say that bad word real quiet?

I thought her question was so funny that I printed it on a coffee mug so I could have a good laugh on those mornings when she wakes me up way too early.


(For the record, I have no recollection of saying “dat bad word real quiet.” Who knows what it was…)

And the other day, she asked me if she could say bad words when she becomes a mommy. (I promise I’m not over here cursing out my children all the time, y’all!) I told her that when she is an adult, she can choose to say whatever she wants, but God would prefer us to use words that are kind and encouraging.

She responded, “I’m going to choose to say bad words.”


Admittedly, I am guilty of saying “bad words” in my head. And even though my kids aren’t actually hearing these words, isn’t it still basically the same? Aren’t I still offending the One who created me when I curse the very blessings He’s given me?

Recently, Fuller House was released on Netflix. I know many of you are probably watching it. Brienne was thrilled when it became available because she is a big fan of all the Full House reruns. I watched the first episode of Fuller House with her and found it to be just a little too corny for my liking. But I could see where a twelve year old would enjoy it.

Anyway, I’ve allowed Brienne to watch the series without my previewing it first. (Yes, I’m one of those moms who previews tv shows my kids want to watch and pre-reads books they want to read. Don’t hate.) She has mentioned several things that bother her about the show, one of which is the language.

She even asked me if I was sure that Candace Cameron was a Christian because she used the “d-word” and the “a-word.” I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer her because, truthfully, I use those words sometimes too. Maybe not on tv in front of millions of people or even in front of one person, but I still say them in my head. Sometimes things happen, emotions overtake me, and I find these words on the tip of my tongue. I think we’ve all been there.

As I spoke with Brienne about this language issue, I attempted to explain to her that we all make mistakes. We all do things on occasion which are not Christ-like.

It is important to teach our children about legalism. Living according to a set of rules is difficult to achieve. I am a rule-follower, but I know that I am unable to perfectly obey every rule.

We should explain that the Lord wants us to obey but that He bestows much grace and mercy on us when we stumble. I fail every day but He picks me back up, dusts me off, and guides me down the right path.

Psalm 145:9 says that “The Lord is good to all; and His tender mercies are over all His works.”

We should strive to instill in our children a sense of grace and mercy for others because God has gifted us with grace and mercy when we fail him.

We should desire that our children avoid acts of judgment against others who may not live like we think they should.

We should also watch the “potty talk” that comes out of our mouths as we set an example for the little ears that are listening.

And from now on, I’ll be especially careful about the words I choose to use around Vivi. Because she doesn’t miss a thing.



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