Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Day I Heard My Four Year Old Swear

I was sitting on the couch, half-listening to my four-year-old daughter mumbling to herself as she went potty (a normal occurrence).  Normal until I heard those words come out of her mouth:

"What the H*ll!" 

For a moment I thought I was hearing things (or hoping I was).  "What did you say?"  I asked her to come see me.

She repeated what I dreaded she had said.  Of course, in all fairness, she had no idea what she was saying or why it was wrong.  I explained why it was wrong and stressed the importance of her not saying it again. 

When she went to bed I cried.  I know that it is mostly due to pregnancy hormones wreaking havoc on my body at the moment, but I think it was more than that.

It reminded me of several things:

1. As parents, we only have control over what our little ones hear, say, and do ... only so far.  We can do everything in our power to shelter them from hearing bad words, seeing questionable things, etc. and they will still fail us.

2. It stressed the importance of our high calling as Christan parents.  How we should continue to monitor what they watch on television. 

3. She will be a teenager one day!  My husband gently reminded me that this is only the beginning of our teaching and training. She will be a teenager one day (heaven help me)!

4.  It got me thinking, because that is what us mommies do best.  What can we do as parents?  How do we know that we are doing our very best?


Pray without ceasing for their little souls.

Pray specifically.

Pray fervently.

Pray sacrificially.

Pray unconditionally.

Pray faithfully.


Be the example they need to see!  Do they see you praying?  Reading your bible?  Speaking kind words?  Living a life of patience and humility?


There are so many godly resources out there!  Here are a few of our favorites:

1) Veggie Tales (If you have never watched a Veggie Tales DVD you are missing out.  Just sayin'!)

2) Really Woolly Kids (I received this DVD in the mail from Day Spring and my kids love it!  We have a bible hour every morning and they always request to watch this.)

3) Seeds Family Worship Cd's  (Scripture set to music!  We have all 5 of their Cd's and have them all over the house and in our cars.)

4) Cedarmont Kids DVD and Cd's (Awesome.  Period.)

What do you do as parents?  What do you think is important?  Do you have any good resources to recommend?



  1. Wow they are indeed little sponges!!!!

    One of my dear friend said to me once that when she was about the same age she was in her father's truck and he got cut by a car and 3 little words came out on his mouth, later that day she drop her doll and said " For Fuss cake" her father *knew* what she was trying to repeat and learn to change the way he expressed himself!!!!

    indeed we Christian parents should shelter (I know some hate that word) our little one the best we can, and when they are old enough explain what those word means.

    I like all the resources you listed here...

    My tips would be "be involve in what your kids read, listen, watch, plays etc.... be part of their life... not letting them unsupervised with media"

  2. I LOVE Seeds Family Worship -- and Veggie Tales!

    I remember the time my first child called me a name under her breath. I cried, too. But, it made me think (like you said--it's what mothers do best!) It made me think..."What am I doing that would make her so angry with ME?" and it was my tone and how I addressed her during discipline. My daughter is 8 1/2 years old. She is on the brink and EXTREMELY impressionable right now.
    Yes, pray, pray, pray!!

  3. Very nice post Traci. In my many years of raising three children, I have found out that they need answers and explanations. Not just "Because I said so". With my oldest daughter I tried the "do as I say, not as I do" thing and failed miserably. Leading by example and teaching is the best way to go. My children have all grown into respectable adults.

  4. Great post Traci. We try so hard to shelter our children by monitoring who they hang out with, what games they play and what they watch on tv. But that stuff still slips in somehow. Like you said, we MUST cover them in prayer. And pray without ceasing for them. And I love your resources, they are all our faves!

  5. It's all about Grace...

    As parents, I think sometimes we forget that our children have their own "journey to faith", they will experience and do things that we rather they don't. And while, yes it is our job to lead them in the ways that they should go- when they don't- it's the showing them grace that matters most.

    Family Matters Blog has some good "grace parenting" resources right now...

    And Traci- keep your chin up! My daughter has used "d*mn it" with proper syntax and form. Oh dear.

  6. It might be a blessing in disguise, Traci, (and this coming from a mama who would still be in bed crying)
    But, if you believe that it is God's will for your little one to be sent to public school, then addressing this issue before she enters into an environment that is rife with children who will be cussing, (seriously) is helpful. Perhaps it wouldn't have been an issue you would have thought to proactively talk about. In our daughter's short tenure at public school, I didn't think to address it.

    God can still use this for the good, but like you said, we must be vigilant in prayer, saturated in the Word and lead by example.

    Much love in Christ!

    PS: I just signed up for an e-mail subscription and your e-book! Can't wait to read it! :)

  7. Great post, Traci. Goes along with another post I read this morning. We have to be intentional in raising Godly children.

  8. it seems that most of us have a similar story...i recall the time my oldest was 8 and repeated the phrase 'oh my g_ _' that he'd heard a neighbor say frequently and how it broke my heart a little bit having to explain what taking the lord's name in vain meant...they will hear things that you can't control, especially as they grow are right...the best way to protect and prepare is to be on our knees regularly praying for their hearts and minds to be fully captured by the holy spirit...thanks for sharing.


    stuff and nonsense

  9. Awww. She truly had no idea... they latch onto new words so quickly. It sounds like you did the right thing!

  10. Traci, I can't imagine my precious niece saying that (of course in innocence)! It bothers me so much when day time talk radio and commercials/television randomly busts out with those words! Sorry you had to deal with that and I will keep praying that Jesus would return before our girls reach their teen years...but in the mean time you are doing the best you can and that's all we can do. Pray for them, surround them with positive elements that point to our savior, and model the correct attitudes and speach for them as parents. Love you and thanks for the post :)

  11. This was so good for me to read! Even though Clara is not even 8 months old...we need to be thinking about this now. I loved your resources too. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I LOVE Praise Baby DVD's. Think Baby Einstein but with worship music.

  13. I really appreciate your honesty and sharing your struggles. You are absolutely right that we can only shelter and control what our children hear so far. Thanks for the suggestions!

  14. Traci - I can understand your broken heart over this, but God presented a 'teaching moment' and it sounds like you made the best of it. We cannot completely shelter our children and I think it's great that you heard her and were able to do something about it. Of course, she had NO clue what she was saying (thankfully huh????) We LOVE LOVE LOVE Veggie Tales here - I sure hope our grandkids don't ever outgrow them. Even my 'tough' hubby sings the introduction song with us! ha
    Hang in there - you're doing what's right and God will bless it. XO

  15. I have 4 kids, two of which are now teenagers. We don't swear in my home and we monitor our television as closely as possible, but there's always visitors who go to church, whose kids aren't from homes that monitor their words. There are neighbor kids who swear loudly as they're playing outside. You're right, we can only shelter and protect so far. Then grace comes in. All my parenting has to be lavished in grace. They'll be adults one day (one of mine is an adult) and they'll be out of our sheltering and we need to put our trust in God to guide them. I don't look at my parenting as THE source for my kids' growth in Christ. I'm not their foundation, so I direct them to the one who is. I do my best to raise them in the Lord, but I don't have control over them as much as I think I do. ;) But He knows all their thoughts and struggles far better than I do. :)


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