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Teaching Values To Children

Updated on May 14, 2012

Our Children Influence One Another

Our Children Influence One Another
Our Children Influence One Another | Source

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?

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, Crazy Kids
Green, Crazy Kids | Source

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

Do You Have Green Kids?

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    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Angela! It is funny that you say that. I had someone say to me once that they would not have kids because the world is a horrible place and there are so many bad people. I said that I wanted to have kids to add more good people to the world! Thanks for the kids words and taking the time to comment!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      I have four children and they also are shocked at some the words you mentioned! You sound like you are doing a great job! Glad to know we will have 5 more LOVING people in the world.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Good points, chiea-chan. I see where you are coming from. My point is less exclusion and more surrounding themselves by the kids they wish to emulate and who they want to be their role models. You are correct! Everyone needs good role models! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

    • cinea-chan profile image


      6 years ago

      How will yellow and red kids ever learn how to behave if they are somewhat ostracized and don't get to have friends who know the "right" way to behave? They may not be excluded, but they probably sense that they have less of a support system.

      What if those kids act out because they have an awful home life and need a helping hand?

      But I think it is good your kids know the hurtfulness of the word "hate". Even in the context of inanimate objects, hate is never a good thing to foster.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for reading, petenali. I totally agree with the R word, too. That would be a hub by itself! Thanks for the vote up!

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, hecate-horus for taking the time to read and comment. I am definitely learning some wisdom from my kids are well!

    • hecate-horus profile image


      6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Wow, I really like this hub; your kids are very insightful to pick up on how bad "stupid" and "hate" are. I wish we could all be as wise as they are! Voted up and awesome!

    • petenali profile image


      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Neat hub. It amazes me how people throw the word "hate" around do freely. I have heard my nieces tell their mother, "I hate you!" without really considering the severity of what they are saying.

      Another word people use which scares me is "retard" again without understanding the offense it gives to people with family members who have retardation.

      Voted up.

    • twinstimes2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Lackey 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks, Becky!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful. :)


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