Category Archives: Kids Questions

Mom, I Know What The “C” Word Is


We were doing the bedtime tooth brushing routine last night and M suddenly hit me with this zinger of a statement. “Mom, I know what the “C” word is.”

I immediately adopted that wary, walking-in-a-minefield attitude that all parents have when faced with adult-content topics.

“What’s the “C” word?” I asked as calmly as possible.

M leaned forward conspiratorially.


I exhaled and nodded wisely.

“And I know the “F” word too,” he exclaimed. I held my breath again and waited.


This is not normal vocabulary for our house so I started to wonder where he’s getting this kind of information. But I also started to relax that nothing too serious had been acquired yet.

Then M hit me with “And the “S” word is “shit”.” He barely breathed the word when he said it. The sheer power of the illicitness was almost overwhelming for him.

I talked with Z later about how to handle this and he reminded me that it’s something that all kids get exposed to as they grow up and mix with older kids on the playground. Kids figure out early that words can have huge power. They delight in acquiring and sharing that knowledge.

It made me think of a great, funny story that Michael Lewis shared in his book about fatherhood called “Home Game.” He reads it in this video from an Authors@Google talk. It’s worth grabbing a cup of your favorite beverage and taking the few minutes to listen. Fair warning: don’t play out loud at the office or where children can hear you.

Spinning The Wheel on The Game of Life

“Mom, how much does someone working in Starbucks earn?” whispered M the other day. We were having a rare Mommy and M afternoon while T was at a birthday party and Z worked on the garden. We’d stopped at Starbucks for a treat before heading to the library. “About $8 per hour but they haveContinue Reading

Talking College Loans … With a Nine Year Old

I blame Suze Orman. I read her Four Top Financial Lessons to Teach Your Kids yesterday and one of the points I took from it was the reminder (I’ve heard her loud and clear on this before) that parents should not pay for college with retirement savings or a home equity loan. It was obviouslyContinue Reading

Friends With Money – When It’s Polite to Talk About Money, and When It Isn’t

“How did David get to be so rich?” The question from nine year old T dropped into the afternoon catch-up with my friend and ripples of silence extended between us. In retrospect, the question was innocent enough. T was genuinely interested in finding out how our friends had reached their financially comfortable stage of life.Continue Reading

Teaching Kids About Money – Starting The Journey

“Mom, why is money important?” asked my son, T, one day in the bathroom (the bathroom being the third best place for hitting parents with big questions, with driving in the car and just-before-bedtime-kisses leading in the number one and two spots.) The toothbrush, which I’d just loaded with toothpaste, wavered in the air whileContinue Reading