Parenting 101: Shh! The Kids Are Listening

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With my sons Asperger’s diagnosis came the need for me to watch what I say around him. I still have the occasional slip up and drop the F bomb in his presence  but overall I’m careful. He knows he shouldn’t repeat the bad words, he just doesn’t understand why. It’s not just the curse words we have to watch out for though. We have to watch how we explain things and answer his questions. We have to be matter of fact with him, or else who knows what he’ll do or tell others.

The most recent “incident” has me caught between laughing my butt off and waiting for a phone call from the school. 

While I was at BlogHer in August there was an Adult company handing out mini “toys“. I forgot that I had one in my bag and there it sat in my bedroom, still in the wrapper. 

I’m usually very careful about what’s readily visible in my bedroom since my son is always rummaging around in there. Tonight he was looking for something and I didn’t think much of it. He came out of the bedroom very excited, holding a wrapper in one hand and the adult toy in the other. I was paralyzed for a few minutes.

“Look mom! I found a vibrating pen. Can I keep it?” I stayed silent while I tried to choose my words. What do you do in that situation?! Then my observant child followed his initial inquiry with “Where’s the writing part?”

Knowing he most likely wouldn’t understand the actual purpose of the “vibrating pen” I opted for a more delicate approach. I grabbed it away, told him it’s not nice to go through Mommy’s things and gave him a cupcake. Hey – don’t judge me, it works!

This was an awkward situation, but luckily it happened in the privacy of our home. The next one I wasn’t so lucky. While driving to Maryland to Ruby Tuesday John was singing a song – a very inappropriate song by Rodney Carrington, mind you. Dameon was curious about it, asked a few questions and then dismissed it. It wasn’t until the waitress came to our table that I cringed and wished for a pair of ruby slippers.

“Welcome to Ruby Tuesday, would you care to try our Shrimp Fondue?” She said in one of those annoyingly chipper tones. We declined and she took our drink orders. As she was walking away my son – my darling, darling boy – screamed at the top of his lungs “Can I play with your fun bags???!!!” He followed that up with “If you love your country you’ll show me your chi chi’s!”

Yup.  Dad had to have a little talk on inappropriateness. Kids repeat EverythingHe doesn’t have a clue what these chi chi’s he speaks of are, but he saw Daddy finding humor in it so he thought everyone else would too. Needless to say we got some rude glares, people started whispering and I’m pretty sure the elderly lady across from us was praying. 

The moral of this story is, whether your child has a disability that inhibits their impulse control or not – watch what you say and do. They will always repeat it and it seems to happen in public!

Do you have an embarrassing tale surrounding your kids in public? Make me feel better by sharing!


  1. christine jessamine says

    Most people will never understand what it is like to live with someone that has aspergers. It takes a lot of patience and love to be close to or raise someone with aspergers. My dad grew up at a time where It was not diagnosed. He has lived his life that way, still being undiagnosed. He says extremely innapropriate and embarrasing things in public, whether its racist or sexual comments. I can understand what you are going through somewhat. It’s true about any kid repeating what they hear. Usually a good talk can help

  2. says

    This post had my cracking up! So hilarious!!!
    My daughter has possible bipolar so I get where you’re coming from. AND that they may not totally understand what other kids their age might. So funny though!

  3. says

    I can so relate. I used to help run a school for children with chronic illnesses. We had quite a few children with Aspergers. It was challenging, but seriously warding, and often a lot of fun.

  4. says

    When my daughter was four she wanted a candy bar. I told her no. She started screaming at the top of her lungs, “Don’t beat me! Don’t beat me!” I don’t know where she got that since she had never been beaten in her life. I got quite a few glares from that one.

  5. says

    Oh boy, can I relate with this! My 5 year old has really picked up on things we are saying and repeating them! The other day I said, What the…but didn’t finish the sentence but he did with the F word! Yikes!


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