Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Hot Dog Has A Second Name

We are talking a lot these days with Lukas about appropriate language and the use of so called 'Potty Talk'. In our house, this talk creeps up at inappropriate times, such as at the dinner table.

It should come as a surprise to no one that he is using terms such as poopy-poopy headstinky fart butt, and penis pants in his excited conversations.  After all, he is 6 years old, in a first grade class consisting of 75% boys, and reading a lot of Captain Underpants books these days.

Yeah, Captain Underpants.  If you haven't heard of the series, they are actually pretty funny early reading books - but the protagonists, 2 third grade boys are, ahem, highly inappropriate in their actions.

We have had a number of conversations with Lukas recently about what words are okay to say out loud, and when.  But it seems like we have been fighting a losing battle.  And when we got word a couple of days ago that he had to spend some quality alone time from class for shouting out some potty talk during quiet time Mrs. LIAYF and I decided it was time to level a bit stronger punishment to get the point across.

No Captain Underpants books for 2 weeks!  BOOM!!

Of course this met with a look of extreme disappointment from our son.  But really, and this is part of our dilemma, he wasn't too devastated by this.  He gets over disappointment quickly.  It's his personality, and will probably serve him well throughout his life.  It's not exactly easy to discipline a boy with this attitude though.

The two week length was an attempt to give it more weight, so we'll see how it goes.

That being said, here's a word of advice to any other parents out there facing a similar situation with their young kids. Try NOT to find related topics funny.

For example, a couple of nights ago after having one such long conversation with our son, I took him up to bed and had him pull out a book to read to me, as part of his nightly routine.  He is getting extra reading time in each evening.  On this particular night I had him pull out a book of his choosing. He picked a title we had recently picked up used.

I knew it was used because there was a name written in Sharpie on the back.  Lukas studied it, then.....busted out laughing.  

Apparently the book most recently belonged to someone with the last name....wait for it....Weaner. 

Sounds like Wiener.

I couldn't help it, I laughed too.  I tried to hold back, but Lukas picked up on that and that made him laugh even more.  "That's NOT funny!" I tried to tell him.  But it was no use.

It was not only funny, but ironic too.

"Why is the word wiener even funny?" Mrs. LIAYF asked me in all seriousness tonight, after Lukas had gone to bed.  I just laughed.  

"Because, it is."  was all I could come up with.  "Because it is."


Post Post Modern Dad said...

Not a fan of the Captain Underpants books because of the potty humor and intentionally misspelled words. I understand the reasoning behind it, but there are so many other great books out there that engage kids. It's a constant struggle in this house because we can't control what they check out of the school library.

And you just have the one school age kid. Try having a conversation with a 3, 6, 8 and 10 year old around the dinner table when one of them says something even remotely related to a bodily function.

Dave Lesser said...

Haven't read Captain Underpants. But I love potty humor! My wife does, too. We laugh with our 5 year old about poop, boogers, etc. She (usually) gets when inappropriate language is inappropriate. Most of the time, it's just not that big a deal. And it is funny! (But I totally get stricter enforcement if things have gotten out of hand.) Good luck!

Mrs. LIAYF said...

As you can tell, I'm not a fan of Captain Underpants either. And, I had an enlightening talk with one of our best 5th grade teachers (a teacher who really likes Lukas), and he's also not a big fan of the books. He thinks there are much better books out there for the 6-10 year old set, and I agree. Since Lukas is still an early reader, I will have to throw myself on the mercy of our local children's librarian this weekend!

p.s. Our household is big fans of the "How to Train Your Dragon" series, and have read all but the last book (which has either come out recently or is due to come out). The hero is an underdog and treats his friends with loyalty and respect. It's a great series for this age group.

Larry said...

My 7-year-old is crazy for Captain Underpants. It encourages him to read and write. So, I don't mind the language.
Btw, I wrote a post about it. If you get a chance, check it out: http://larrydbernstein.com/the-love-of-books-my-children-are-readers/#comments

Mrs. LIAYF said...

@Larry - Just read your blog - great post! So glad your kids are excited about reading and love books!

Lukas loves books too - we read to him at an early age and before he was a year old he would sit for hours just flipping through books. We added to his library ever weekend (thank you Goodwill!) and he loves every new acquisition. I read to him every night, and on weekends, and plan to do so forever (I may stop when he goes to college). He has a library card and loves browsing the stacks - he will sit on the floor looking through the new books oblivious to everything around him.

Since he and dad recently discovered Captain Underpants, they have had a fun time reading, and laughing, together about the ridiculous antics of the characters. I admit that athey are very silly, and lots of kids love them. However, the arrival of these books in our house was directly related to an sharp increase in inappropriate classroom-disrupting behavior at school.

I'm of the attitude that no words are out of bounds, but that we need to learn the proper time and place for those words. Shouting them out during class, or singing loud songs with them during math time, are not ok.

I also like to link discipline with the source of the problem. So, while it made me sad to banish any kind of books off our reading list, my hope is that it will make an impression on our guy about his classroom choices.

Now, if Lukas wants to make up a goofy fart song that he wants to sing at home, or recess, or after school - more power too him. Although I might not find it as hillarious as he does, the fact that he made it up and loves working with words would be enough for me. :)

Mrs. LIAYF said...
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Slamdunk said...

Captain Underpants is a big hit in our house as well. I think us Dads have permission to laugh with this stuff--it is in our genetic code.