Note to the Clueless People Who Say ‘Oh My G-d’ in Front of My Kids

I know (I hope!) that if you say “oh my G-d” in front of my kids, you’re not intending to offend me, so I thought I’d drop you a note to let you know how much I’d appreciate it if you kept that phrase to yourself.

It has become such common vernacular that you’re probably unaware that there are still fuddy-duddies like me that consider it to be blasphemous. Now I’m all for equal rights and freedom of religion and all that jazz, but I’m also for not belittling anyone else’s faith, which is exactly what happens when people call on the Lord’s name in vain -- even unintentionally.


This is one of those tricky ones -- not obviously bad like that F-bomb, and not as innocuous as “fiddlesticks,” and then of course you throw in the religious aspect of it and all of a sudden you have yourself a contentious issue.

I just wanted to let y’all know that every time you say “Oh my G-d” in front of my kids, a mini internal battle takes place in my head. The do I say something or not battle.

If someone says a four-letter word in front of my kids, the response is usually a hand clapped over their own mouth with a rushed, “I’m so sorry -- I forgot she was there!” or “I’m sorry -- it just slipped out!”

But it’s hard when someone says something they don’t realize is offensive to you. How do you handle it? Do you let it slide? Do you mention it right away? Will they think you’re a prude? Will you care? What if you slip up and say it sometimes -- will you be a hypocrite if you ask others not to?

Like anything in parenting, there isn’t an easy answer in my book. Because I view the flippant invoking of God’s name as blaspheme, I want to do the right thing by Him. At the same time, I don’t want to come off as a high-and-mighty righteous biotch either. I don’t feel like God put me on the planet to go around correcting everyone. Then again -- I don’t want my kids to think this isn’t a big deal.

See? Battle in my brain.

So in the end, I talk to my kids about why we don’t say it unless we really mean it, and also that not everyone believes the way that we do. I tell them everyone has different ideas about life and spirituality, and very rarely do people actually intend to be offensive. And that it’s more than ok to say to someone, “Hey, do you mind saying ‘oh my gosh’ instead of the other one around me? It makes me feel uncomfortable.”

In that spirit, this is to all the people that say “oh my G-d” around my kids: Would you mind saying “oh my gosh” instead? I’d really appreciate it.

How do you view the phrase “oh my G-d”? Is it rude or just slang? Do you care if your kids hear or say it?


Image via Norbert Schaefer/Corbis

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