Teaching Values To Children
Our Children Influence One Another
Children Using Curse Words?
I have five kids between the ages of seven and two. The oldest are in first grade. The other day I overheard them talking about the ‘S’ word. I thought to myself, “Already?” I couldn’t believe we were already talking about curse words. I approached my group. I said, “What is the ‘S’ word?” My son looked at me in complete seriousness. He said, “I don’t say the word, Mommy, but someone said it on the bus”. I said, “I want to know the word.” He said, “Mommy, he said stupid.”
The S Word or Stupid
I was relieved. This is the word that was taboo? I was pleased that my kids thought this was the ‘S’ word.
The H Word or Hate
A few days later, the group had reassembled. This time my 5 year old was talking about the ‘H’ word. Again? Really? Ugh! I approached my kids again. “Alright, guys. What is the ‘H’ word?” “Mommy, it is such a bad word. I shouldn’t say it.” I let them know it was okay only to repeat to me so that I understood. With complete seriousness again I was told, “Mommy, he said hate.”
Kids Using Bad Words
Relief again! Thank goodness. These are the bad words that my 5 and 7 years old knew. It could be worse...right?
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Wait! These Are Bad Words
I pondered further. These really are bad words! What benefit do they bring?
In the eyes of a 5 or 7 year, they are bad words.
Maybe they should be bad words?
I asked my son, “How are they used?” He didn’t want to tell me. “They are so bad!” I let him know again that he would not be in trouble. I really wanted to understand what was going on here.
Examples Of How These Bad Words Are Used
“You are stupid.”
“This is stupid. “
“That game is stupid.”
“I can’t believe you are so stupid.”
“Did you see what that stupid kid did?”
“I hate you.”
“I hate dinner.”
“I hate that game.”
My Kids Know Bad Words
Holy Cow! It was worse than I thought and my kids were right. These were bad words. They might be worse than the real ‘bad words’.
What made my kids think they were the ‘bad words’? I am not sure I labeled them this way. Did their teachers? Did they?
Good Judges Of Character
Maybe my kids are good judges of character and what is good and bad.
In the preschool and grade school my kids attend, there are behavior charts. Not all schools evaluate behavior in the same manner. Our school’s chart starts at green. Any negative behavior will result in moving your name down to yellow and then red. I wish, but they do not, reward behavior and allow you to move up.
They Might Be Green, But They Are Normal
Green Kids On The Behavior Chart
This being said, my kids tell me that all their friends are green. They have chosen to be friends with the green kids! One of my sons had a friend that turned yellow one day. He told him he has to stay green so that they can have still have play dates.
My kids have been green all year. Thank goodness. They have decided to befriend other green kids. I am not saying they exclude the yellow or red kids, but I think they are already choosing to surround themselves by good kids.
Influences on Children
It is hitting home that you have your kids at home for about 4 years and then they are off to school. The influences of others start early. They hear what other kids say. They see how other kids act. They also see how positive and negative behaviors are rewarded.
I think my kids are getting it. They have identified negative, useless words as being bad. They are surrounding themselves with other good kids. They are trying to be role models to their friends who have a one off ‘yellow’ day.
My 7 year olds just had their first birthday party sleepover. They picked 3 green kids. These boys got silly but all in all, what a great bunch. They were respectful. They had a blast. They were asleep by 10. They were still nice in the morning! What an easy group.
Mom, No S Word!
Just this evening, my kids called me out for using the ‘S’ word at dinner. I am smart enough to pick a better word. Had I become desensitized to this useless word? I agreed I would not use it again.
I am not sure we are out of the woods, but we are off to a good start. Hopefully we can keep the trend up.
So far so good!© 2012 Karen Lackey