The Cowboy Pastor’s Wife: Do you make a fuss if they cuss?

Norma Elliott

Isn’t it funny how a bad habit seems to stick quicker than a good habit sometimes? Why is that? Probably because the bad habit requires more drama and kids notice drama. The pot licking dogs got in the door and stole dinner off the counter…you chase them off, while poppin’ them in the butt with a dish towel….cussing while you do it! Little Johnny decides that looks pretty cool…and exciting… and besides he loves chasing dogs, so there he goes….cuss words and all. And it doesn’t help that his two year old cuteness made you laugh and now he just thinks he’s cute….he thinks he’s stinkin’ cute! The final straw is that you decide he needs to do it again so you can YouTube, Insta, and Facebook the whole thing and have it go viral! So as you replay and show all your friends lit’l Johnny is now a star!! Ahhhh ain’t he cute!?!


And in a couple of years his vocabulary and rudeness will grow with him. Whose fault is this? Your own and now no one wants their kids to hang out with Johnny because he’s rude and has a potty mouth that would shame even the gas station toilet!

And yes, my boys did get their mouth washed out! It wasn’t considered abuse, or terrible! It was considerate!! It was considerate of the men they would become and of others around them. Even real men know you never cuss in front of women or children. I will never forget the time my husband got up from eating dinner at a restaurant and asked the teenage boys, at the next booth, to quit cussing. It went something like this, “Fellas, I’m going to ask you not to cuss in front of my boys…” And their response was actually polite. “Yes sir.” That’s all it took and we didn’t hear another inappropriate word out of them.

I can imagine now a days, although not always, young men that have never learned to respect their elders, may even cuss out a dad, with the same request. To which, it’s time to take them out back and show them a few things. I’m old school…you’ll get over it. I imagine washing kids mouths out may be a thing of the past as well but here’s how we did it.

Mouth Washing 101:

1. Lit’l Johnny, I’m going to explain to you that is a bad word. It’s not a good word or a kind word, it’s not considerate of others and you don’t need to use it. In fact if I hear you say it, I will wash your mouth out with soap!

2. Lit’l Johnny is feeling quite spry and he’s been out cowboyin’ all day with dad. One of the day hands lets a word slip, when he was kicked in the wallies by a calf. Johnny thinks ..”he’s a pretty punchy guy, so when I get to the house to wash up for dinner…I’m gonna share my new word with mom and dad!”

3. “Lit’l Johnny, did you understand that I told you not to say those words? And even in his nod…. that neither resembles a yes or no….you know he understood you fully…. it’s time for soap and water.

4. Tooth brush and liquid soap…just a dab will do! Let the brushing begin.

Now some people will say, “How can you do such a thing?” and I can respond that same question back to you. “How can you do such a thing, to not discipline your own child?” I’d rather do soap and water now than pay bail later. I tell you what, the counting thing…full name thing….the “next” time thing that you’ve already repeated a billion times doesn’t work. Why not try something ole’ school, it worked for us.

Let me leave you with this as a challenge to us all…

2 Tim. 4:12 puts it like this, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Always love hearing from you but please don’t send your empty soap bottles…