Erica is a writer, editor, wife, and mom. She has always found employment with an English degree and she excels at nurturing children and animals but struggles to keep houseplants alive. Erica currently writes at

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Oh My Gosh, Don’t Say That

Last night as my 4-year-old son was lifted out of the bathtub, he said, Could you please dry me off — I’m friggin’ cold!

Unfortunately, I almost laughed my head off and had to do that look-down-and-away thing while my husband stepped in to tell the boy not to say “Friggin’.'”

But why? my son asked. Mama says it.

Well yes, but I’m all about double standards, my dear.

Everyone remembers when Ralphie's friend ratted him out for cussing in A Christmas Story.

In reality, I know that I need to watch my mouth more.  I don’t do any overt cussing in front of my kids, but lots of “frigging” and “oh my gosh” and “darned” are thrown around.  I probably wouldn’t mind my kids saying these things if they were older, but at ages four and two I want them to stay innocent.  No, they don’t know that “frigging” is actually a diluted version of the F-bomb, and that “gosh” is an attempt at avoiding blasphemy.  But in our family, it matters that our hearts stay in a pure place and I want to set a good example.

My grandpa used to say Drat Drat Double Drat! when he was frustrated (in front of us kids, anyway).

Does your family have a word or phrase that you use for frustration?  Where do you draw the line on cussing and pseudo-cussing in your house?

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Comments (13)

  1. Pingback: Playing In the Street « « TodaysMama TodaysMama

  2. Anastasia B 08/21/2011 at 6:54 pm

    I try to be very careful with my 2 year old and seemingly harmless cuss words like that. We don’t swear in our family, period. But she’s been catching on to some slang and me saying ‘blin’ in Russian, which literally means ‘pancake’ – usually said out of frustration. It sounds hilarious coming from her, but I would rather not hear it! 🙂

  3. Claire 08/09/2011 at 3:43 pm

    “Ka-flooey” is a good all purpose word in our house. Sometimes that turns into “Ka-Nooey”. I try not to curse in front of the kids, but they hear certain words on TV “Pissed off” – urgh. I hate it. I’ll let “damn” or “dammit” go once in a while, but the kids know not to say it. We have told them that cursing are words to say when you are not smart enough to think of something more intelligent to say, which, so far (they’re 9 and 6) seems to have worked.

  4. belladune 08/09/2011 at 8:01 am

    I try oh so hard to keep my language clean. But in utter frustration the bombs slip. My 3.5 year old will routinely say “Dammit” when mad or frustrated and my 6 year old says !what the Hell!”when surprised. Not as bad as it could be at all. So I just try to correct them into more gentle versions.. “Darn it” and “What the heck?” Now the question remains, how do you teach children that giving their friends ultimatums is wrong, when I do it all day (you know “Keep that up and I’ll take your toys!”)

  5. Karen Michaels 08/08/2011 at 2:27 pm

    We try very hard to ‘keep it clean” but all of my non-kid friends just don’t seem to have it in them! I’m trying to explain how adults do things that kids shouldn’t do to a 3 year old! LOL. At least the worst thing he says from me is OMG, thinking its oh my gosh. He starts preschool in a few weeks. Hoping for the best… 🙂

  6. Alyssa M. 08/08/2011 at 1:24 pm

    YES!! I can’t stand when I son says “Darn It!” I don’t like him saying it and my hubby says “It’s not cussing.” I consider it cussing because it’s another form of D*** it. I’ve cleaned up mine a lot since he’s going on 4 and the hubby has cleaned up his but has been using other words instead. Oyyyy, the joys of parenting! 😉

  7. vanessa 08/01/2011 at 8:50 pm

    YES! I say holy crap and now that is what the girls say. oh well my mom said Holy Hell or Hells Bells when we are growing up and now that is our favorite term too 🙂

  8. Erin Oltmanns 08/01/2011 at 6:36 pm

    I cleaned up my language when my daughter repeated “skid mark” over and over when it slipped out of my mouth during potty training. But now she’s blurting out, “what’s all this crap?” and I’m realizing that even my cleaned up language doesn’t sound so charming when rolling off the tongue of a 3.5 year old.

    The best is when she came home from visiting my Dad and kept tossing out “dammit” when frustrated.

  9. Ellen Rowan 08/01/2011 at 9:58 am

    I could make a long list here of words I wish my kids wouldn’t mimic of mine. “That sucks!” “Crap!” are just a couple. My nephew teased my 10 year old the other day for saying “Holy Guacamole!” LMAO!

    How about that my 12 year olds fav song is Cee-Lo Green’s F You? (Confession: I listen to the REAL version when the kids aren’t around)

    • Erica Fehrman 08/01/2011 at 10:04 am

      Oh man, that Cee-Lo song really gets stuck in my head. Especially when in traffic 😉

  10. Rachael 08/01/2011 at 8:35 am

    Dude. My 1st and 2nd grader are saying “That sucks!”. I of course used that word freely growing up and probably still now.

    When we were at the beach last week my 2 year old said to a guy passing by: “Hey freakin’ dude!”

    And the one I hate so far is b-hole. I can’t even type it because I hate it. I’d rather say a-hole at this point.
    Their language has gone to the hills ever since they entered elementary school! It’s killing me! (and away from my children I myself have a sailor mouth) I’m still trying to figure out how to put the smack down on this!

    • Erica Fehrman 08/01/2011 at 10:07 am

      I can’t even imagine what will come home from elementary school. I saw my first centerfold in first grade. Where are you now, pervert Tommy?

      • Carina Wytiaz 08/02/2011 at 2:38 am

        They come home with so much stuff from school, holy cow.
        Speaking of cows, here’s what happened the other day…

        “My brother said a bad word!”
        “What word did he say?”
        *whispers* “The “c” word.”
        “Aaaand what word is that?”
        *whispers* “You know…*crap*”

        Well, child, at least you think it’s still crap…