I got a message on my answering machine about Killer this week. It was his teacher telling me he’s been using bad language in class and she is having a hard time stopping him because he thinks it’s funny.
Well, I was horrified! Swearing in class?! At FOUR?!? I immediately made a chart for him and explained that if he came home with bad language marks on his chart, he would lose privileges. We talked about funny words to say instead of “potty words” and he agreed that “button” was an extremely funny word. He went to school the next day and came home with a star. Yay! It was working! He was praised for his behavior and I felt like a rock star.
But the next day he didn’t get a star. And the teacher wrote what he said on the chart.
He said, “Butt.”
Butt? Really? I got a frantic call for help from a teacher because a kid said “butt”? We made a behavior plan and chart for “butt”? Now, I know it’s not the most polite word, but I thought he was dropping f-bombs at snack time or something. “Butt” is an enormous relief.
The irony of me encouraging him to say “button” before knowing his naughty word of choice was “butt” wasn’t lost on me either. I might be confusing him and making the situation worse. Butt, button…2 letters and a world of difference.
Butt. I remember when I was just a year or so older than Killer, I would sit on the playground with my friends and we would shout, “Damn! Damn! Damn!” When the monitor would come over to yell at us, we would clarify that we were actually talking enthusiastically about “beaver dams”. Worked every time.
Maybe I just have to teach him the art of saying “BUTT-on”.