Cat and Nat swearing

All the things we need to re-teach our kids

They’ve picked up bad habits in quarantine

Cat and Nat tackle motherhood with wit and wisdom. Find them at or @catandnat.

Recently, two of our kids went outside the house to backyard camps. Before they left, I had to have a reminder lesson with them about life. The thing is, we’ve been stuck inside the house, and they’ve been stuck with us, and we have language that we use — and it’s rubbed off.

So before they left the house I had to say, “Remember, no swearing and no sex talk. You cannot call Nat ‘Newt the Skin Flute.’ You can’t tell people what a skin flute is. You can’t tell people about sex or anything naughty. You can’t report about the movie you watched on the weekend that had strippers and drunk people in it. You cannot say ‘Goddammit’ when you drop something and you cannot say ‘F#$% you!’ ”

After playing Fortnight for 400,000 hours, I had to tell my kids that you can’t call your teacher or your friends, a noob or a bot — don’t call them that.

Now that they are going to be venturing out of the house again, they need to start speaking normal English, proper, appropriate English.

You know, when the teacher gives you a pop up quiz, you can’t say, “What the hell?” or “What the F#$%!”

So here I am, I’m walking out the front door after we just had this whole talk and the five-year-old goes, “Mom, Max just said f#$% you!”

We’re outside on the front lawn — neighbours!

And he goes, “I did not say f#$% you!”

And I’m like “NO!!! No other child is saying f#$% you!”

So here’s the plan, we need to pick 10 days when we’re together and we need to not swear. We need to put our kids through rehabilitation.

At school, you get sent to the principal’s office for swearing!

This fall, the challenge for teachers will be huge. I’m glad I’m not them! I appreciate them. I think they need to be a little lenient because the kids have been stuck with us, and we’ve been losing our minds.

Do you know what they say during hard times? I believe it’s like “give yourself grace.” Give yourself some time to understand that it’s okay if your child is five or four and swears at you or people.

We need a little bit of grace. The teachers have to have grace. They probably swear now. Maybe it’s a new part of the vocabulary. We’ll have a quiz on how to spell all of the bad words.

I have to re-teach my kids that you can’t yell and scream. You can’t do that high pitched scream when you’re frustrated in the classroom. It barely works in my house but it doesn’t work in the classroom.

You can’t punch people out when you don’t like what they’re doing.

I worry that they’re not going to remember how to be human at all.

To the teachers out there who get our children, if they throw some goddamnits and f#$% you’s, it’s not at you….it’s under their breath. And we’re working on it.

And if you drop a couple of f-bombs, I totally excuse you as well.

I also had to tell my kids that pretending to do shots isn’t appropriate. They’ll find some beakers in science class and go “Look at this, I can shoot it.”

They don’t actually take shots, but they watch me. They pretend. They pretend to pop champagne.

They take their clothes off all the time. They’re going to have to wear clothes at school. When they’re hot, they have to keep their pants on, and their tops!

And they need to stop humping like the TikTok dances. Air humping is a big problem in our house. We’re going to have to put a brace on their hips to keep them straight. No pretend doggy-style. You can’t do that either!

They’re going to get kicked out of school. We are so screwed.

We’re giving ourselves grace. The teachers are giving the kids grace. The kids are giving the teachers grace. It’s a beautiful word.

And the middle finger is not a form of communication. We’re going to have to tape their fingers down, along with a brace for the humping. Really, we should just put a muzzle on them for a little while. But first priority, we should really stop swearing for a little while. We’ll work on that.

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