Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bad Words

Last night as we were venturing out to Costco together, Bryce pipes up from the back seat, "Is 'ass' a bad word?"  Jason and I exchanged sideward glances, I sighed, and answered. (Oh the things they hear from classmates in pre-school!!)

"Yes, Bryce, it is a word that you really should not use and if we hear you using it, you will be in trouble. But it's okay for you to ask us about words you don't understand and you will never get in trouble for that."

And then, the *best* part:  "What does 'ass' mean?"

HA HA HA HA HA!  I have no problem defining it in my head but to actually say it out loud made Jason and I laugh hysterically.  So once I composed myself I gave him the multiple definitions.

Of course at that point, Caroline pipes up from all the way in the back, "What word are you saying??"

And at that point I had to say it out loud.  ASS! Oh yeah, that was fun.  Again I reiterated that that kind of word is not appropriate to be used by children and there aren't many appropriate places for adults to use them either. This is when the fact that Jason and I never use those kinds of words around the kids comes in handy - I can tell them that mommy/daddy don't say those words since we know when it is appropriate.  Modeling is the best norming there is!  Further, I'm not one of those people who finds it very funny when a kid utters a bad word because they overheard a parent say it - frankly, it's kind of vulgar to me.  And no, I'm not squeamish myself when it comes to bad language, I've said my share of them, I just know appropriate times/audiences - something children are not capable of yet.

Again, I really have no problem talking to my kids about bad words - we've already had the middle finger discussion although I didn't exactly spell out specifically what it meant because I don't think it's necessary at this point.  But, I know it will come and I'll own up to what it means.  We've already had pretty frank and open discussions about smoking, drugs, alcohol, sex and religion - why not bad words? Plus, I want to make sure that they continue to come to us with any questions they might have about any "taboo" topics because we are the best sources of truthful information.  I don't want them to feel as though they could get into trouble just by asking about something.  I know that this will change as they age and they become more private with their thoughts, but maybe, just maybe they'll be a little more comfortable talking to us about such things than other kids might be with their parents.

I'm just waiting now for the f-bomb to come up.  Oh the joys of defining that one.  I think I heard it the first time in like 2nd or 3rd grade, so I know it's coming.  Thank goodness we've already had some preliminary sex talks.  Eeek!


Heather said...

Amen. Can I copy this post and put it on MY blog? F*** them. [My brain is a seive, hopefully I have told you to whom I am referring...]

Erika said...

Yes, Heather, I know EXACTLY what you mean. So frustrating for you!