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Why I Taught My Son How to Use the F-Bomb Right

Because. Just because….. He’s mad and hurting and eleven years old. And I’ve stopped caring what others might think about me so much and have decided to be present and help his raging heart. So when he asked if he could swear when describing his feelings to me, I said sure. And swear he did. Quite appropriately I might add. You might say it’s a terrible thing to support. But I say I think he now knows (after we looked up meanings together), that it’s a word that is safe to use with me occasionally when a well-placed swear word just feels, well, so good to say. And that it can be such a vulgar word in the wrong context. And we must be respectful when we swear, you know. I’m kidding; swearing really isn’t ever respectful. It’s just part of this process we are living at the moment.

I recently listened to a book on Godly parenting. So much good and truth in the book, but I didn’t resonate with the author. AT ALL. I know this isn’t fair…I’ve not met her, but I think she’s probably perfectly beautiful and sweet, always delightfully eloquent with her words and her manner is calm and serene. I’d envision her home to be the same…. All quite the opposite of me and mine. Because in my mind I sometimes think I’m like Calamity Jane that seems to roll in through the side door and talk out of turn too much.

I’ve often said my little family is our own little tornado that rolls through wherever we are.  And I’m the mama that perhaps fuels the storm by teaching my kids to use swear words right, shoot guns, starting marshmallow wars, racing around parking lots and other rather endless impromptu escapades that might seem like foolishness or inappropriate behavior to others… I see it as teaching them there is adventure to be had in the moments of life. There is raw emotion and tremendous passion in living fully alive. And I want my family to know God by living fully alive. By teaching them that He is always the Eye of our storm; whether we create it or life does it for us. He is there, with more than his eye on us. His Heart is forever stamped on us. And that we can still have fun and love Jesus like crazy.

I suppose I am realizing I just don’t know how to do mild and sweet. I know fast and full, full throttle and crash, but I am the Mama God gave to these kids. So we do loud and sometimes tornadic, laughing almost all the way. We pause for awe and wonder, snowball fights in the moonlight, raw tears in the midst of real heartache and pain. I’m authentic and real and very, very flawed before my kids. And YET. I am forever leaning forward in the pursuit of showing them an active, loving and ever present God that must smile and sometimes shake his head at our antics. And at the Mama that looks up the word “Fuck” with her son and follows that with reminding him that God loves him exactly as he is right now. And to always, always remember to love; that love can reside simultaneously with hurt and anger.

With God in the lead, we are learning to not hide our hearts, but to get things out and process through them. We have God boxes and dictionaries, counseling appointments and date times, endless conversation and many, many apologies and requests for forgiveness. But the pursuit of healthy hearts, authentic relationship and learning to do intimacy really well is a journey. And that our home is a haven of love, safety and authenticity. And I suppose at least for now, my Jesus loving family might raise a couple eyebrows with our rebel kind of love, but make no mistake… the goal is a wild and full love we learn to offer and receive… within the walls of our home and to the rest of the world.




About Erika Barrett

Endlessly curious and a strange mix of too simple and way too complicated, I'm in awe of the beauty and glory this life offers, celebrate resourcefulness and finding simplicity in life. I am a certifying LifeCoach, specializing in helping others find a way forward towards crafting a life of joyful purpose. I'm also Masters Level Practictioner of Splankna Therapy, which is a mind-body-spirit therapy model. I'm a currently single mama to three beautiful souls, and I love to be outside, adventuring and exploring, laughing, playing in the water and hugging those around me. I'm a believer that life is rich when we become aware of the little moments placed before us and embrace them fully-the joy, sorrow, beauty, love and pain. Life is too short to be so serious, yet there is so much devastating brokenness all around us that feels crushing. My writing is about a journey into wholeness and restoration. For me, you and those around us. So won't you join me in diving into our experiences and hearts? Feel free to share a thought or many, and please, please, love those you're with.

4 responses »

  1. It’s beautiful, friend. Just beautiful. And let us not pretend that for many of us the “F” word is just one trigger away. 😉 much Love to you & yours.

    • Sarah- thank you! For your words and for reading. And for who you are!

      I think there is so much we all need to stop pretending about…. 🙂
      Love y’all too!

  2. Erika,
    I really enjoyed reading this and have to say that sometimes that’s just how we roll at our house. I did sit down with Alexander and we both looked up the meaning and agreed that he may use it when speaking with me when he’s angry, frustrated or upset. Sometimes that’s the only word that works. Thanks again for a very good read.

    • Erika Chowning

      Thanks for that Jami! I’m sure Alexander thought you were a pretty cool dad for that. But more so for keeping it real. 🙂


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