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friends children say "Oh my god" all the time...

16132 Views 43 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  stormborn
In my family, it is not okay to use the phrase "Oh my god" as slang language to express displeasure or frustration. I know that others are comfortable with the language, and I am not even interested in debating whether it is okay or not okay -- I am just not comfortable with it in my home, and feel strongly that it is disrespectful toward my faith.

Problem: My best friend, who does not share my faith, says it constantly. And everytime she does, I feel half sick. I've thought about asking her not to use that phrase around me, but always ended up concluding that this is my problem and not hers - and that I'm not going to make it an issue.

Well, now both her kids are using the phrase constantly, around me and around my kids, and its almost more than I can take. I asked her 3 yo. ds to wash up for lunch, and his response was a loud and sigh filled, "Oh MY GOD!"

What I'm wondering is, who's problem is this exactly? Should I say something to my friend? She is normally SUCH a sensitive person. I'm wondering if maybe she just doesn't realize this language is offensive to some people? I don't know! Or is this strictly my problem. Maybe I just need to find a way to deal. What do you think?
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My kids arent allowed to say OMG either (and they dont, at least not while they are at home). I dont say it and neither does my dh. Thats right up there with G*d Damn!t.

I wish i had some real advice, but i dont. i would find myself thinking alot like you in this case, which of course isnt helping you right now.

warmly, Lisa
It's a big pet peeve of mine to hear kids say this in a flip way.

Any kid who says it in MY house gets gently corrected by me..."You mean, oh my GOSH." I don't care if their parent is standing right there. Even my kids have begun to correct their friends!
I used to use the phrase all the time, didn't even realize it could be considered a problem. When I was taking baptism classes for my dd (I was 27 y.o. at the time) was the first time I really thought about it. When dd started talking, she started saying it also, and I decided to correct my error and use oh my gosh instead. I don't know if that would be acceptable to you (I know some people have a problem with that as well) but if it's not, you could ask your friends and kids to use that instead. If that's not ok with you, just mention it to your friend in a non threatening manner. Like, this bothers me to hear, could you please try to not say that.... if she/they slip, try to let it go, but it should reduce the occurances.

My guess is she's not even considering it could possibly be offensive, I know I never thought about it. It was used in our house, and my parents are both pretty active in the church.
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Thanks Michelle. "Oh my gosh" is fine by me. Its a good suggestion, I still feel weird about the situation though. Once I was at the park with this same friend and all our kids. *My* ds ate some sand. I told him, "Sand is yucky," and she got a little freaked out. Told me that she never wanted her kids to hear/use the word "yucky." I thought she was being just a bit controlling. In fact, thinking back -- I still think she was being a bit controlling! Her kids *are* going to hear the word "yucky," KWIM? So I guess I'm worried about doing the exact same thing and making an issue out of something that isn't my business to try to control.

At the same time, like you said -- maybe she just never realized that some people find it offensive and maybe telling her could help her out some in other relationships as well, or help her kids out. Who knows?

Lisa, Skellbelle -- its nice to know others feel the same way I do. Most people probably think I'm nuts -- I'd rather hear the "F" word or the "S" word out of my kid's mouth than I would like to hear him taking the lord's name in vain!
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I say this, but I guess I don't say it very often, because my DD has never used the phrase. To me, since I'm not Catholic or Christian, it's no different than me saying "oh my gosh" or "good grief". However, I would expect a friend to mention something immediately if it offended them in any way. There is always something out there to offend someone, and if people aren't willing to set boundaries and let those boundaries be known by those around them, they can't expect anything to change.
from adults, but ESPECIALLY from little kids, it just rubs me the wrong way. i think it sounds horrible. joe said it a few times, he heard it on, of all things, trading spaces, nearly every person says it when they see their new room.
: i told him how sad hearing him say that made me & he now says oh my gosh. in fact he yells at the tv when he hears someone say it.

as to the OP, i think you are well within your rights to ask that they not use the phrase, not only in your home, but when you are together. if your friend is a real friend she will understand.

i like what skellbelle said:
Any kid who says it in MY house gets gently corrected by me..."You mean, oh my GOSH." I don't care if their parent is standing right there.

that is polite & it should work. good luck!
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This could be a perfect example of "different rules for different families".

How many people go around substituting the word witch for the b word that is one letter away? Do any of you care if that's offensive to real witches? I see it all over the boards here.

I could sympathize with people not liking G damn, but I honestly don't see a problem oh my god. In fact I say oh my goddess all the time.
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Perhaps your friend doesn't know that it is offensive to you. I can remember the first time that I found out that the phrase, "OMG" was offensive to anyone and it took me by surprise.

To let me know, the person talked "through" her child by telling her child that she couldn't repeat what I had just said.

I took the hint and am now more careful...although, I've been less careful in general lately because "PC" has been bugging me in general...but that's besides the point.

Hey, just thought of something, when people say jeez, is that short for Jesus?

An idea to talk to your friend would be to talk to her about religion, the power of language and get around to the OMG thing seperate from when she is acutally using the phrase. That way she can think about it without being on the defensive.
I think all of us have the right to control what is said (and done) in our own homes. Thus, you should feel free to say "please don't use this phrase in my home", especially to small children. Its just like saying "In our house, we don't play with guns or eat ice cream in the living room... " or whatever. As long as you are polite, I don't think anyone should complain. I'm sure she just doesn't realize that you find it offensive. However, I also think we have much less control over people in public places, so I probably wouldn't say the same thing at the park or outside of my own home.
Forgive me if I repeat, as I only skimmed the previous replies but wanted to add my $.02...

I agree with the "different rules for different families" approach. If her kids say it in your house, you can tell them, "We don't like to say that in our house. Can you say 'oh my goodness' instead, please?" Even better if she overhears you - the phrase is so ubiquitous, I'm sure she has no idea it would offend anyone.

I kind of see this in the same way I saw that "butt/tush" issue (remember that thread?
) - I find the word "butt" crude-sounding and don't want it spoken in my home, but DD understands that some families use this word instead of "tush" and that's their decision, but in our family we don't use it. I've told visiting children our rule.

If it really does upset you every time you hear your friend say OMG in your presence, though, you should speak to her about it, but not at a time she has said it, KWIM?
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It may well be a different families/ different rules issue. Indeed, I'm sure it is.

Not sure you can compare it to the "butt/tush" debate though. Neither of those words is dissmissive or disrespectful of a particular faith.
Actually I was using the different rules for different families reference as a way to support a parents right to let their kids use the term if they want to. This is the perfect learning example to teach your kids that while it's ok for their friends to say it (because their parents let them) that doesn't mean they can (since you don't).

If your using the different rules for different families to support your rules for all even guests, in your house regarding language then does that mean you don't expect your children to follow your speech rules in someone elses home? And you don't care if the friend says oh my god in front of you when you are visiting their home? After all their home, their rules per this interpretation.
How is Oh My God disrespectful to any faith?


I can see the other usual god refernces like the G damn one ect, but oh my god?? Ya totally lost me on that one.

I still haven't seen any replies to the witch instead of bitch thing. That is much more disrespectful than Oh my god IMO.
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I thought I was so old fashion but this is also a pet peeve of mine. Also my dh's and both our famalies. My dd's preschool teacher years ago use to say that all the time, at first my dd would look at me like
. We just explained to her that mommy and daddy prefer not use those words, but for other people it might be okay. My dd has started saying Oh my Goodness. As far as the *itch and witch thing I do not use that only because it is just too close to the actual word and carrys the same tone as saying the B word. For me it is the tone that both are said and the meaning and feeling that the word is conveying. To be honest even me saying Oh My Goodness I think is pushing it. But that is me and has alot to do with my upbringing.
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Arduinna... I'm not sure I have ever used witch when I meant bitch. I learned it was offensive to some people here and now I know I won't. I will admit though that I am unlikely to notice someone else using it and correct them simply because it just doesn't hit me the way some things do. (Not to say I think it is trivial, but it's not going to nab my attention the way some words will, ya know?)

The 'oh my God' issue has to do with the very specific request not to take His name in vain. Which is to say to use it frivolously, in any fashion other than when you are actually refering to Her or addressing Her.
Being one that uses the phrase, OMG, alot, I do realize that it can be offensive to some, so I try to not say it, but it's such a habit that I often don't realize I'm saying it. I don't think of it as bad as I'm an atheist, but I do know it might be offensive to some. I realized that I must use it a lot when my younger dd started saying it last year. She has stopped as I've explained to her that some people don't like it and her good buddy has told her that it's not okay to say. I've tried to be more aware of it when speaking to people I think might be bothered by it.
I think it can be taken differently. Personally, I never thought anything of it- but now that I know it offends people, I'll try to be more careful. I think I say, oh, my gosh anyway.

If people don't know it bothers you, you have to say something so they do. People have many different faiths or none and it is hard to always know if some phrase is offensive.

It never hurts to clear the air if it is really important to you. Good luck!
I think that even if your friend is very sensitive she would appreciate an explanation of the use of OMG according to your point of view. That's for friendship is for, we should accept and tolerate the differences. I'm a pratictioner Catholic and I had use the OMG always, wich means for me that there's a situation in which God has the last word because it is out of our control, so perhaps it is just the "when to use it". I also use to say "If God's will" after every statement which involves the future and my beloveds, even when we go to sleep we say "untill tomorrow if God's will" and some people had said that I'm too fanatic, but those are my beliefs and I think I am not offending anyone. I will be happier if someone, specially a friend, will tell me something that I do and bothers her.
Thanks Eggie, that has always been my take on the phrase, which is why I never got the problem with it.
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