I do it. You do it. We all do it. My friend Kelly over at Southern Fried Children prides herself on doing it (although I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say it out loud in person).
I remember when I was my kid’s age and I said “shit” out loud for the first time. There was no one in the room with me and I STILL felt guilty for saying it. That feeling was shortly replaced by the feeling of complete pride in myself for having said it. But I would have NEVER said in front of my parents or written it down for their to be permanent proof.
But when my kids do it, I’m not so fond of it.
Don’t get me wrong, my kids don’t run around dropping the F-Bomb on a regular basis. Or at all that I’ve heard. I’ve heard rumors that they’ve said it and I’ve seen proof on the oldest’s phone and Facebook page.
Swearing has such a sexy allure for kids.
Here’s one of my favorite swearing stories that happened last year.
H#2 and H#3 went up the stairs and of course, since we were out of their line of vision, a scuffle immediately broke out.
Next thing I know, Cassie is screaming down the stairs:
“MOM!! Sydney called me an ASSHOLE!”
WHAT? What did she say??
She called me an ASSHOLE!
NO I DIDN’T!!!
YES YOU DID!!! YOU CALLED ME AN ASSHOLE!
I did NOT call you an asshole.
Yes. YOU. DID!! You called me an ASSHOLE!Okay, Cassie.. we get it.. she called you an asshole now will you PLEASE stop saying it?!
The first time I saw “unsavory” language on H#1’s phone I thought long and hard about how I wanted to react. I didn’t want to draw unnecessary alarm to it because that’s the exact WRONG way to handle it but I didn’t want to ignore it, either. I approached her and told her that I had seen the texts and wasn’t happy about the language. Of course, she immediately got defensive. So what now?
I explained to her that I understood that using cuss words was “fun” but that I didn’t want her use of them to define who she was. Do you really want people to think that the most intelligent thing that you can say is a four-letter word? What if one of your friend’s parents grabbed their phones and saw what you had texted? What do you think they would think of you? Do you think that maybe they’d label you and not want you to hang out with their kid?
I think she understood a little bit more that yes, it’s “fun” to say the words but that there can be more permanent consequences from doing so.
Our kids live in a world of “once on Google, always on Google” and that’s hard for them to comprehend. They think nothing of putting stuff out on the Interwebz with no thought what so ever of the future ramifications.
That’s our job as parents. Constantly monitoring. Constantly educating.
But we also have to remember that certain things like cussing, are just a rite of passage. We just have to be there to diffuse the bomb. F or not.