Little kids can be clever. It’s fun to make them put their brains to work.

One mom told me her son had gotten into the habit of using an unacceptable phrase. All her lecturing and punishing didn`t work.

Then he made the mistake of using it while Nana was babysitting. Now Nana, being your typical grandma, was always telling him how smart and wonderful he was. Because of this he tended to be extra good for her. That is, until the time he said it, “Oh, %*@#.”

Nana didn`t lecture or punish, she simply said, “Oh my, I don`t play with boys who use that kind of language. What do you think you could say instead?”

After much thought he came up with some clever alternatives: “Oh crud.” “Oh shoot.” “Oh man.” And Nana`s favorite, “Oh criminy.” Not a real word, but they liked it. They laughed as he said it over and over.

He had to put his thinking cap on to come up with it, and that`s what Nana wanted. She wanted him to think before he said things that would get him in trouble.

Jim Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute