Thursday, November 20, 2008


My sweet Gracie brought home a book yesterday from school that was written for middle-school age boys. There's no bad language in the book, or even anything risque, but I told her I had concerns about her reading books that were written for older kids. Mainly, from what I saw, it deals with the theme of popularity, or more specifically, unpopularity, and has some forbidden-but-not-vulgar words like 'moron' and 'jerk'; words she has never used, but certainly not words I would encourage. The subject of popularity is unavoidable in the life of a child, but my child specifically doesn't see people in that way yet, and I guess I'm just anxious to preserve these years of innocence before the pre-teen years descend. I may be overreacting about the book; one friend of mine said it was fine.

There are quite a few words that my kids know that they are not allowed to use, but they're not mainstream vulgar words, they're words like 'stupid', 'hate', and 'butt'. I know plenty of people whose children use them, but I don't let mine.

The funny thing is, they substitute code words for them that are worse than the actual words themselves.

For instance, if I hear Katie tattling, "Oooooh, she said the S-word!", I know that she means 'stupid', but the lady in line behind me at the grocery store might automatically assume she means something worse. Same goes with "He called me the b-word!" Nice.

I'm thankful that they haven't yet latched on to the word 'fart', otherwise we might have an 'F-word' declaration in the grocery store...that's never good.

And now a completely different story that is halfway related:

Last night, in the kitchen, I was asking Tommy about school, and he reported that his friend Z had gotten in BIG trouble because he said a bad word to the teacher. He also reported that he didn't know the word, but that it started with a B and it made the teacher really mad.

I'm sure it did.

About this time, Grace piped up and declared that she knew three curse words.

Me: Really? What are they?

Her: Stupid, and idiot, and a boy at school told me one that's really bad and it starts with a 'D'. Do you know what it is, Mama?

Me: (knowingly) I think I do.

Her: Well, it doesn't make sense, because the word also means something else.

Me: Oh, yes, it's a homonym, isn't it.

Her: Well, it's just weird, because, I mean, we eat at that restaurant a lot with the same name.

Me: (searching memory for dam-related restaurant names)

Me: (coming up blank)

Her: You know, Mom, Dickey's Barbeque?

Me: Oh Good Lord.


  1. HAHAHAHA!! Thanks, I definitely needed the laugh... Oh Good Lord indeed.

  2. Ha! Oh no! Stupid, Idiot, hate, Shut Up. All banned here, which is not to say they don't make occasional appearances with the older kids.

  3. HAHAHAHA!!!!! OMG! How precious are your kids?????
    It is hard to avoid the butt word in this house BUT my boys are allowed to say stupid or hate either. ;)

  4. I was in the car with my son and our three year old neighbor girl the other day. My son (17 months old) said "what" and the neighbor girl kept insisting that he said "a bad word". I just couldn't figure that one out!

  5. I am with you on the book. Eight year olds don't need to be exposed to preteem content. And people wonder why such young people are acting more "adult" with drugs, teem pregnancy, and just plain rudeness. Don't even get me started!

    The same words are banned from our house as well, except butt. But that refers to it's actually meaning because with a house full of boys (3 and 1 BIG Boy), fart is commonly used. Along with poop and toot. We are trying to teach them not to say those things at school. They think it is so darn funny. ANYWAY! That book thing really gets on my nerves!

  6. As a teacher I can tell you that the same applies... which words do you have which reactions to and which do you pretend that you never heard in the first place!!! I was once being observed in the classroom and we were doing a phonics sessions, I asked the children "who can tell me a word that begins with the sound F" and you've guessed it one of my little cherubs calls out the original F word!!!!!! To which I replied "you are right that does begin with F but we'll talk about it after carpet time!!!" of all the times to swear in class it just had to be when I was being observed!!! ;)


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