Three Words Your Children Should Never Read

what are word for?

Image by Darwin Bell via Flickr

A good writer has a number of tricks that he or she uses to stimulate their mind so that the words start flowing from their fingertips onto their pad of paper or computer screen.

One of my own is to start writing about something that is completely unrelated to the topic that I need to write about. It is like stretching before exercise except instead of doing jumping jacks I start writing something frivolous and silly.

Earlier this week said stretching exercise led to a sort of incident. Let me set the scene for you:

I am sitting at my computer with a set of headphones on and am lost in the music and the moment.  I have to write a 1,000 words on a topic that makes dull and boring look like a rave. So I am gearing up by sipping down a monster cup of Joe and dancing in my seat.

Since I am feeling pretty good I figure I’ll take a quite moment to check out a few blogs and then I’ll start writing. So I click on over to this post at Absence of Alternatives, read through the comments and type out a few potential responses of my own. I quickly decide that they aren’t really funny and proceed to delete them, but then I discover that someone has snuck up behind me.

Someone has crept up behind me and read the three words that are left there. Someone wants to know what I mean by using those three words. Someone wants their father, the man who is supposedly an adult role model to explain why he used those three words.

Ok, that eleven-year-old boy didn’t have any sarcasm in his voice or any sort of edge when he asked what I meant. In fact in retrospect it is clear to me that he is still pretty innocent so give me bonus points for getting that right.

But that didn’t stop him from asking what I meant when I wrote “Suck Me Harder.” This ranks right up there with the time he and my oldest nephew found porn on YouTube. They had been looking at sports bloopers and found the “porn bloopers.” That was all sorts of fun, especially since they stumbled onto it during the 90 seconds that no adult was in the room with them.

Anyhoo, when he asked me what it meant I told him that it didn’t mean anything and that I was doing a writing exercise that involved using lots of different words.

The kid scrunched up his nose and said that he didn’t think I was being entirely honest. I stared at him and asked if he has ever heard me use those words together. He told me he didn’t think so but he wasn’t sure because I have said “sucks” before.

If there were a judge here I’d state for the record that I am confident that I haven’t used those three words together in speech. It is not how I talk. That is not the common parlance of my county but that is a line of questioning that I think I’ll simply ignore because there is no reason to go down it.

Instead I’ll issue a written reminder to myself to be more conscious of what I am writing when the kids are home. I’ll also have to congratulate him on his ninja skills because the little managed to walk into my office without my hearing or noticing his presence.

Several years ago I told him that when I am not around he is responsible for protecting his little sister so those ninja skills are something that are both necessary and useful.

For now I am going to hope that his ability to forget what he read is intact because in a short time that is a skill that is going to be necessary and useful because he won’t want to associate his old man with those words.


(Visited 469 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Chopperpapa January 7, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I find that I can’t write when my kids are around. Besides, if I do they complain that I’m on the computer. It’s also this very reason that I still don’t use curse words on my site.

    People think that’s silly of me and talk like a sailor on there’s. I’m convinced they’ll regret that one day.

    • Jack January 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      I never forget that my kids might read everything I have written and expect that some of it might be awkward for them.

      I am ok with that. When they get a chance to dig into this they’ll get a different look at me than they have now.

      I don’t want them to be totally embarrassed, but if they are mature they’ll understand that dad had more than one side.

  2. Jonathon January 7, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Hi Jack

    Saw your comment over at FBBB site so popped over for a quick visit. This engaging post is a reminder of how much the world has changed in the last 50 years. When I was a youngster at school in the 50s and 60s we had fun learning new (profanity) words but unlike kids today we didn’t have computers and access to the internet.

    Slightly off topic here but I have a built in spell checker in my head as I read online so things like ‘quite’ when writer meant ‘quiet’ and other common errors jump out. Reminds me of a French teacher’s response to one smart ass in the class who had suggested spelling didn’t matter. He simply posed a simple question. “If you left one letter out of the word ‘shirt’ would that change the meaning?”

    • Jack January 7, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      Hi Jonathon,

      I think that I have the same spell checker built inside my head too. I won’t claim not to make any mistakes, but overall my content is pretty clean.

      That is really attributable to that mental spell checker we just referred to.

      I like the story about the French teacher.

  3. Joe January 5, 2012 at 8:05 am

    We have a rule in our house for the kids: Never ever repeat what you hear at your grandparents’ house in school…or anywhere for that matter.

    Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

  4. Julie January 5, 2012 at 7:47 am


    My 7 yo reads it (or hears it, sorry to say – my husband is a contractor) and says,”What does X mean?” in earshot of his 3 yo brother. All night long I hear “X” chanted around the house. Next day the preschool calls to say my 3 yo is using “language.” OhGodOhGodOhGod. With a sigh of relief I hear it’s “jerk” or “dummy.” ThankGodThankGodThankGod.

  5. Absence of Alternatives January 5, 2012 at 6:59 am

    You know how kids use POS to mean “Parents over shoulder”? (maybe not any more) We need our own code COS or something. After reading this post, I realized the whole situation was not as funny as I thought it would be… I am very sorry Jack… We all want to prolong their innocence as long as we could, an uphill battle really in the age of Google Image and YouTube… Here’s to a good save!

    And, get one of those 3M Privacy filters!

    • Jack January 5, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Don’t be sorry, I am not upset. I take responsibility for what happened and I am ok.

      He has lots of friends with older siblings so some things are being talked about out of earshot of parents. Changes are coming and I just need to be prepared for them.

  6. Harleena Singh January 5, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Just what kids that age love doing Jack!

    I can well understand what you must have undergone and felt to have your snoopy son around and write those words! It happened with me once, when my teenage daughter saw me read some matter not meant for her eyes! I too had to divert her attention to other things and got away with it.

    However, kids nowadays are much smarter and cleverer than we think them to be. They sure know a great deal more than we did when we were their age. Some parents do believe in even being open and having open talks about such issues and not hiding things from them. I guess depends from one parent to another.

    Thanks for sharing and the reminder to be careful 🙂

    • Jack January 5, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Hi Harleena,

      I try to balance my response. They need to know that we need some privacy and that not everything is meant for their eyes but at the same time I don’t want it to become attractive to them.

      That whole forbidden thing, you know.

      I am a believer in being open to a point, they don’t need to know everything yet.

  7. Ann January 4, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    This made me shudder. I’m SUCH a hypocrite regarding what my children like to call “cuss words.”


  8. Jeff January 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Ouch. This is EXACTLY why I advocate against kids being taught to read.

  9. Tracie January 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I have leaned not to do the headphone thing when my daughter is awake, because she is a sneaky ninja, too (and a nosy over-the-shoulder reader).

  10. Cathy January 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    As I just posted:

    outta here now…

Leave a comment

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like