We do try to teach our kids that certain words and phrases are unacceptable.
For instance, we do not stand for "OMG" or the long version in our home. Saying such a phrase will earn the offender a quick stern glance from Glory or me.
We also shy away from "stupid." No one is stupid, nor are they being stupid. It's just a stupid word and saying such a word will earn the offender a quick stern glance and a chastening from Glory or me. But if Glory or I utter the forbidden word, we'll feel bad, recognize our hypocrisy and apologize to the children, who sent us quick stern glances.
There are a few others, but the felonious phrase at the top of our "DON'T!" list is "Shut Up!"
It should be uttered rarely but pointedly. If "Shut Up" is uttered, there are to be quick and decisive changes in the recipient's tone, attitude or what have you.
But the world stops at "Shut Up" in our home.
A few days ago while we were in the van going somewhere, our three-year-old was trying to say something but his little 22-month-old brother was interrupting him. Finally, Ulie had enough.
"Shut up, Aulay!" Ulie yelled.
The air got sucked quickly out of the van. Everyone gasped. Glory told Ulie that he was not to say such things and tell his brother he was sorry. Ulie was repentant and quickly apologized. Aulay, however, kept pestering him. Still annoyed, Ulie was getting frustrated, but not one to repeat his mistakes, looked for another way to make his point.
"Slow down, Aulay!" he said. Aulay just looked confused and kept pestering away.
And Ulie just grumbled.
That was OK.