My Potty Mouth

I never had such a bad potty mouth.  It got a little worse after I met my husband who back then, when talking to his buddies, used swears like comas in his speech. Then there were the words I used but didn’t realize for a long time were vulgar or offensive. When my daughter was born I really wanted to make the effort to eliminate these words from my vocabulary. You probably don’t need an explanation of why this would be a good idea but I am going to tell you anyway.

Potty Mouth Illustration

Babies learn language from their parents. It is really that simple. I wanted to teach my children to say what they mean not to substitute expletives out of habit or because they are angry or frustrated. If you are frustrated just say you’re frustrated, right?! But bad habits die hard and my last holdout was damn it and sure enough, one day, even though I used thousands of very descriptive wholesome words around my two year old, she had damn it at the ready one day her toy fell off the table. It was the tiniest bit funny (which I kept to myself) but mostly I felt shame and a little relieve that I hadn’t exposed her to worse. So I stopped using damn it and started substituting oh boy which eventually I stopped saying too because my husband and kids started incessantly teasing me about it.

If you are trying to stop swearing, substituting words and phases can help, like darn it is a euphemism for damn it and so on. The best thing to do though is pause and find the right word or phase to say what you mean. It is not always easy to do this but in the end it will encourage more descriptive conversations for you and your kids in your home and beyond.



I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. My dad swore (less and less over the years – he definitely used the substitution tactic, and it worked!), but my mum never did, and neither do my sister or I.

    Australians, particularly males, and particularly when they have been drinking, have filthy speech. I think it’s mostly peer pressure and a lack of vocabulary! Every other word does not have to be four-lettered.

    When baby John was first home our next-door neighbour and her boyfriend had a heated dispute and I could clearly hear his side of it through the walls. I ended up spending a lot of the night saying “shhhhhh, shhhhhh” as white noise to try to drown out the swearing – even though my baby can’t talk he’s learning language every time he hears it. I wish more people would take the time to think before they speak and to improve their vocabulary like you have. Well done!!
    Elisa | blissfulE recently John meets his GodparentsMy Profile

    • Yes, babies absorb everything! It is almost more upsetting for me to hear others arguing than being in an argument myself (probably because I know I won’t let it escalate). I don’t remember too much cursing going on in my house growing up either. It was more something I probably picked up in school, etc.

    • I like shitzu, that’s funny! My kids love saying Uranus. That is where we are starting to have discussions about how and when you can say something. Their world just keeps getting bigger and more complicated :)

    • I don’t like that one either! Also don’t like shut up which my kids picked up from family saying it to their dogs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge