Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crossing The Line

There are some lines I don't cross.
I'm wondering, do you have lines, too?

Last night on Twitter I professed my disdain for hearing adults telling children to 'Shut up!' after my husband said it to our 6 year old boy.  He very rarely says it because he knows how much I hate it. But I never say it, ever.
I think it is a horrible way to speak to a child. It is just too harsh. I tell the kids to be quiet, a lot, but I always use words other than...

Another thing I never do, ever, is swear at or in front of my children, or anyone else's.
It's not only that I don't do it, but I can't do it.
I've drawn such a strong line in my mind that I simply cannot cross it.

But as I tweeted about it, I thought this makes me sound like I'm saying I'm a perfect mother.
Well, I'm sure it comes as a great shock to you, but I am not.
I yell, I scream and I smack. I wish I didn't, I rarely smack but these are things I do that I am not proud of.
They are just as bad, or worse than the things I do not do.
Clearly I have double standards.

I think for me it's about the way I was raised.
My parents never said 'Shut up' to us, and we were never allowed to say it to each other...we did, but we were always in trouble for it.
My parents also never swore, still don't.
My parenting style is quite similar to my mother's however I am more affectionate and she had more patience.

Do you have lines?
Are there some things you simply cannot say or do?


  1. Nah. At 13 and 11 they've pretty much seen me cross all the boundaries.

    Swore I would never utter the words: "Because I say so." Then Boy 2 came along and could out-logical-argue me by age 5. So that one fell pretty early.

    However, one of the most important things I do do is apologise if I cross these lines. Am not perfect but can say sorry when I stuff up.

  2. "Don't be stupid"
    Cannot, just cannot use the word "Stupid" in relation to children. Just can't. xx

  3. Shut up, get lost, idiot, stupid... all on my no fly zone,won't accept the kids using them either. When Miss13 was at kinder she told a mother off for saying shut up & only realised at 12 that it wasn't actually a swear word. I do my best not to swear but sometimes one or two words have slipped through. One was in conjunction with idiot (directed at a truck driver during road raging) Miss then4 was aghast that I'd said a naughty word "idiot", she missed the real swear word lol

  4. I do - quite a few words that are not allowed to be uttered in our home.

    "Shut Up" is a cardinal sin in our home - right up there with "Stupid", "Idiot" and "retarded". Alexander doesn't realise that they're not swear words (I have tried to explain it to him, as he does hear it at school) and he will pull up anyone who says it in his presence, telling them that that's not a nice word to say.

    I refuse to say anything that can hurt their feelings. I know that I'm coddling, I know I am. But I can't help it. The thing I'm most proud of in my life is the way we speak to our children.

    I do snap sometimes, and I do raise my voice at times. Far from perfect. I spend too much time on this computer and not enough time doing crafty crap (oh how I hate crafty crap) or outside (I hate sun).

    I don't think that having those rules means you're trying to pass yourself off as a perfect parent. I just think it means that you are mindful of the importance of the job, and where you can you make an effort to do a good job of it. That can only be a good thing.

  5. I think all parents have their own internal guidelines on what they are comfortable with and what they aren't. In general it isn't a good/bad thing, but just what you feel comfortable with.

  6. I heard a Dad ask his child if he was 'retarded' once. *shudder*

    I've used "shut up" in absolute frustration, but hated that I did. You're completely right - it doesn't sound good at all, and I go with "Will you be QUIET!" instead! (Although admittedly, I shout it, because my kids just keep jibbering and jabbering until I do!) And no - no swearing.

    Had friends where the father used the f-word in front of his son in frustration a few times, and when the son was around 5 and couldn't close his suitcase at the airport one day, he got so frustrated he shouted, "F*@k!" Apparently everyone gave the parents a filthy look. Ha, ha...can you imagine?!

    We all make mistakes and I don't believe anyone who says they are the perfect parent. Liars.

    Great post, Thea. A good reminder we have to watch what we say/do in front of our kids. VERY important.


  7. 'shut up' does sound very wrong doesn't it? Although I think I do almost everything else...they've heard me swear - never as an insult to them or anyone else though...then again - I guess I've never smacked or been physical with them, ever. Never had need, hope I never do. I'm lucky in this case with in built line in my head that won't let me get angry. I can be frustrated, I can talk their ears off for an hour, remove toys/time on the computer - but when I do get angry - it really has an effect.
    But I guess I'm just like that anyway - I don't get angry with anyone - hurt, sad, frustrated but never angry, never yelling.
    And that is thanks to my upbringing (not a good thing angry is normal and would save me a stomach ulcer) but it certainly means that when I do yell its affective and the kids know I mean it...

  8. The thing I really hate is people referring to their children as 'shits' or 'so and so is a real little shit'. That really does my head in. Even more so when the vhild in question is in the room at the time.

  9. I don't like shut up either. It sounds so disrespectful. But speaking of things we take with us from childhood, into adulthood and now into parenthood, is the saying "I'm bored!"
    I CAN'T STAND that comment. We were always taught not to say it, as there is ALWAYS something to do, even if it is reading a book or scribbling some drawings on a page. My parents have always been busy kind of people, so it must have really bothered them to hear their children say it.
    I like to think I'll keep that comment at bay with my boys also... wish me luck! ;o)


Just one little comment will make my day.