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Shut the F*ck Up – A Poem for Clueless Parents

The other day I was at a restaurant with my kids and couldn’t help but overhear some moms at the next table carrying on about a friend (who was not present) who had apparently made some pretty interesting decisions in her life recently.

All of the friends were wide eyed, on the edge of their seats waiting for the next juicy detail. You know who else was listening to every word of her thorough news report (besides me)? The woman’s six year old daughter who was waiting for her to shut up for one second to she could get an escort to the bathroom.

As my kids get older I have started to notice just how much they do pick up on the things that the grown ups discuss when we think they’re not listening: The gossip, the trash talking, the complaints about them. I’ve been guilty of all of these at one time or another and I’m sure you have too.

So I’ve written a little poem for all of us, to help remind us that even though they don’t seem to be listening when you ask them to clean their rooms a hundred times, they do actually hear more than you ever imagined.

Think of it as the ‘Go the F*ck to Sleep’ book for adults. But instead of encapsulating all the things we wish we could say to our kids about their universally annoying bedtime habits, it recaps just a few of the situations where parents need to ‘Shut the F*ck Up.’


Shut the F*ck Up – A Poem for Clueless Parents

Our friends are divorcing? That’s terribly sad.
No, I don’t need the details or sleaze
And you know who can hear you? Their kid’s BFF.
So it’s time you shut the f*ck up, please

Your kid messed up and is feeling ashamed?
Oh man, we’ve all be there before.
And they probably don’t want you telling us all
So, I’ll ask you to shut the f*ck up once more.

You seem to have lots of thoughts on that race
And who shouldn’t be married to who.
I know you’re wrong, but your kid’s too young to talk
So I’ll say shut the f*ck up for her too.

Think her butt’s big or her pants are too tight
And that it’s fun to critique and make jokes?
Your teenage daughters are soaking in every word
So please, shut the f*ck up, folks.

I know that kids ignore us most of the time
And pretend they don’t hear what we say.
But they pick up on a lot more than you think
So start shutting the f*ck up today.


A handy ‘travel-size version of this poem is available on my Pinterest page.

Please do the kids of the world a favor and share this post so that their clueless parents can also be reminded to “shut the f*ck up.”

Once upon a time, Susanne Kerns was a Senior Account Director at an advertising agency working for two of the top brands in the world. Nine years ago she traded in her corporate life for a life as a stay at home mom, raising two of the best kids in the world. She started her blog, The Dusty Parachute as a way to dust off her online advertising skills to begin her job search. Instead, she now uses it as a way to spend a lot of time on the computer so her kids think that mommy has a job.

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35 thoughts to “Shut the F*ck Up – A Poem for Clueless Parents”

  1. Yep, yes, yes-indeedy, yeppity, YEAH!! So glad you wrote this. Of course, we’ve all inadvertently done it and hopefully realised the error of our ways afterwards and of course we mothers are only human but I must admit this happens a lot in certain circles without any forethought at all to what’s being said. I think the hardest though is when relatives/friends who are way past young-kid-rearing phase do it and you find yourself doing the wide-eyed silent mouthing of “Jeez can we talk about this later?” look!

  2. PERFECTION. This has actually been happening to my Current Legal Spouse and I lately– we will be bitching about someone in the neighborhood and look up to notice my daughter is ALL EARS. Ooopsie. Loved this!

    1. Yes, it’s shocking how my daughter can’t hear us when she’s standing right next to us but if my husband and I are talking downstairs, every once in a while we get an “I heard that!” from her upstairs, closed-door bedroom.

  3. My sister says anything and everything in front of her daughter. Which makes sense, because our mom did the same. Inappropriate jokes, judgements about other people, etc. Glad I found my way out of that hole.

  4. Haha, yes! Awesome poem. It’s so important to be mindful about what we talk about in front of your children (and I’ll admit, something I need to work on, especially as my daughter is now a toddler and saying more words and very obviously understands a lot of what I say).

  5. You’re absolutely right. I was completely stunned when my preteen daughter came home talking smack about some of the other girls at school, only to find out she was repeating the comments of a friends MOTHER. I was beyond stunned that a grown woman would not only tolerate the gossip but would also be the source of it. Get friends your own age teenie bopper wannabes.

  6. Holy tit slinger I absolutely love this Suzanne. Like really, really, really love this! It got me thinking … there’s totally a second poem that NEEDS to be written for bloggers. I see SO many bloggers exploiting their kids personal shit and trials just to get one more laugh. Me thinks they could probably use a little wake up rhyme.

    1. Funny you should say that, that’s actually kind of the theme of the next post I’m working on (not in poem form) 🙂 Not so much pointing out other bloggers but discussing the delicate balance I’m trying to keep of sharing my parenting story without stealing my children’s stories.

  7. I have known this quite a bit with my own son and so I keep him as my “recaliberation-o-meter”… so if I get tempted to say something, I remind myself he is listening 🙂 Loved this poem!!

  8. Ha, a PSA I need too. The husband and I have been talking lately how we need to watch more of what we say, because even though we know we’re kidding about something, our 4yo doesn’t.

  9. Perhaps Samuel L. Jackson is available to record this perfect sequel so those moms will hear it and get the effing hint. Oh the places you’ll go … and the crap that you’ll hear!

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