Well, here I am. I’m enjoying a cappuccino while I listen to the sounds of my son and two of his friends play Mario Kart in the other room. They were outside for hours this morning, a rule of ours, and came in for a bit to “cool off.” No problem. There has to be a balance.

But I found myself just now listening in on the words these boys (ages 10, 10, and 9) are using while they are “competing” in Wii world. One of these boys is at our house all the time; he has literally grown up with our sons since his grandma lives in our neighborhood. He knows the rules and expectations. But the other boy…he’s new to this house.

So here’s my promise to you, momma of any kid who visits my house. Yes, I will correct your kid’s manners in my home. No, I will not judge you on his behavior.

If you do not want me to take the responsiblity of teaching good behavior for your child when he is in my own home, don’t send him here. It’s as simple as that. I completely expect, if my kid is being a jerk in your home, that you will set him straight. Because you know what, it will happen. I’ve met my sons; sometimes they’re jerks. I suppose if you judge me on my sons’ bad behavior, that’s really your problem and not mine. I’m doing the best I can, and I assume the same of you. Kids make bad choices. Kids need to be reminded of what’s acceptable and what’s not.

So just a bit ago, I heard the voice of a 10-year-old (not my own) say, “Yeah! Suck my dust suckers! I hope you brought a trash bag because you’re going to need a pooper scooper to clean up your crap after I make you poop yourselves!”

And the trash talk continued after that. No. Just no. While it wasn’t terrible cuss words, it was still trash talk. And I won’t allow it in my house. Competitive? Great. Learn how to win and how to lose with dignity. I peeked my head around the corner and saw my son and his other friend sitting quietly, clearly not knowing how to respond while the other boy loudly spouted “burns.” I decided to chime in and told this medium-sized human to either knock off the trash talk and be respectful of everyone playing the game or feel free to leave my home. I told him that if I heard more words like that, he would have to sit out and not play or he would have to go home. Oh, and I may have pointed. The pointer finger tends to get their attention better in my experience. I’m not sorry.

This kid seriously looked at me like I was an alien. I really think he expected that rules disappear when he’s out of his own home, because I highly doubt he’s allowed to talk to others like that at his house either. He, flabergasted, said to me, “Oh…I…I’m sorry.”

“And what do you say to your friends?” I asked.

“Sorry guys. I’ll stop.”

My son and his other friend then said, “It’s alright man.” And they continue to play now as I type with giggles and laughter in the background. At one point, I heard that same boy get upset when he lost a race. And the other two boys jumped in, “But look at your score! That was really good! You’ll get it this race. Let’s go!” They all laughed and continued on. Now they are headed outside to jump on the trampoline with water baloons. Successful morning in my eyes. Learning happened.

Learning and growing is continuous in my home. Once a teacher, always a teacher. Once a momma, always a momma. So yes, I will correct your kid. And I hope you’ll do the same for mine.


A mom who knows we moms have to stick together (A.K.A. ~ Bailey)


Bailey Koch

Bailey Koch is an advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves in every way. Married to her hottie hubby, whom has survived 5+ suicide attempts, and mom to two teenage boys, the oldest with High Functioning Autism and youngest with Epilepsy, Bailey is passionate about mental health and parenting through the messy realities. Additionally, Bailey is a Doctor of Special Education and works as an instructor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney preparing future special educators to be advocates for the learning of all. Bailey and her husband, Jeremy, have written and published two books. "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is written for families, at a child's level, to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression. Follow their journey, the triumphs and the challenges, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anchoringhopeformentalhealth and Instagram at @anchoringhopeformentalhealth.