So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

It happened in the middle of a 90s movie marathon during a snowstorm last year. It is shocking to have been raised in that generation and not remember the amount of profanity in movies I’d deemed as classics. Midway through The Sandlot, a legendary baseball movie from my childhood, it happened and we couldn’t stop it.

“Ooooohhhhh Mama, he said a bad word!” my son exclaimed, proud of himself for recognizing it.

I tried to brush him off with an, “I’m sure it just sounded that way,” when he rightly pointed out that the captions on our TV that my 2-year-old had activated and I’d not yet figured out how to remove, confirmed his theory.

“Yes, they did. See, it’s right there: S-H-I . . .” he spelled out the word he had heard and read from the screen.

Our son just turned seven and he has a range of behavior, anxiety, and sensory diagnoses. I’ve learned from parenting him through Oppositional Defiant Disorder, particularly, that giving attention to this type of comment would only solidify its reappearance later. So, I just praised him for his excellent job reading the words on the screen and reminded him that he was right about it not being a nice word to say.

We moved on without another thought about it.

My son says curse words and here’s why I don’t freak out about it.

To be clear, we do not curse in front of our children. However, we can’t control everything. He may hear something on the playground, in class, or even at church (gasp!).

When you are parenting extreme children, much like any neurotypical child, you choose your battles. However, some actions taken by children not suffering from diagnosis like ADHD or ODD, may warrant a punishment or correction with a statement like our son’s exclamation of “the S-word’” while parents might be better off dismissing something like this with children with mental health diagnosis.

Our son is prone to aggressive meltdowns and outbursts of yelling and hurling insults while his brain struggles to grasp at any ability to control his impulses. If he is constantly reprimanded for small words that all boys think are hilarious (think “butt” and “poop”) than the words we’ve deemed curse words in our household would be the ones he’d revert to in these times of intensity instead, since he inadvertently shouts the things he thinks of first. So, if we’ve placed an emphasis on those words in our home as “off-limits” then he will be more likely to jump straight to those.

As a parent and a long-time educator, dismissing my son pointing out profanity when he hears it is not my first instinct. However, our son has said curse words after hearing them and we still don’t freak out.

It is more important that my husband and I choose to endure the judgmental glances of others within earshot in public as we confirm that he has identified an unkind word and then move along with whatever we were doing before the profane vocabulary. We know the repercussions if we were to cause a big scene over something like that. So, we keep it moving.

Judge on, if you must. We have to put this in the category of “We Know What Is Best for Our Child”.

Thankfully, we are two years in to his first audible declaration of a curse word and he has yet to choose to use those against us in the midst of a meltdown. We hope, like all parents, that we can validate his emotions and teach him coping skills that will allow him to mature and develop strategies that work for him as he grows up, while ensuring that he understands his first priority is to be kind. That means offering kindness in all situations, with all people, regardless of word choice.

Brynn Burger

Mental health advocate, extreme parent, lover of all things outdoors, and sometimes a shell of my former self. Parenting a child with multiple behavior disabilities has become both my prison and my passion. I write so I can breathe. I believe that God called me to share, with violent vulnerability and fluent sarcasm, our testimony to throw a lifeline to other mamas who feel desperate to know they aren't alone. I laugh with my mouth wide open, drink more cream than coffee, and know in my spirit that queso is from the Lord himself. Welcome!

These Are the Sick Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom kissing head of sick toddler

I’m still in the trenches of toddlerhood, and yet, I already know I will look back on my daughter’s preschool years with affection for what it is: sweet, fun, curious, and undeniably precious. What I won’t miss about this stage is that it’s germy. SO germy. The preschool years bring endless crud into our home. Crud that is heartbreaking when your beloved child’s body is working hard to fight it off, but that also works its way into other bodies. The adults in the home who have jobs and responsibilities, run the entire household and have just endured the emotional...

Keep Reading

I’m Giving My Kids the Summer Fun I Never Had

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys playing in the waves on the beach, color photo

I love that my kids hate school. Stay with me here . . . Yes, I absolutely love that year after year, my boys cannot wait to ditch school for summer break, that they endlessly bemoan the academic year and cannot wait for June.  I love it because it is normal. I love it because it means they enjoy being at home and implies that I make summers fun for them, or, rather, allow summers to be fun for them. I love it because I always dreaded summers when I was growing up. Dreaded them with knots in my stomach...

Keep Reading

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime