Wednesday, 4 April 2012

"Bad" Language

My use of language is colourful sometimes, especially when driving.
From "idiot", to "dick", Charlie has heard it all and asked about each one.
I feel it would be really hypocritical of me to use these words at certain times, completely spontaneously, and not expect him to do the same.
He came away from a recent kiddie interaction talking about "bad" words, and my hackles went up.
I love how Russell Brand said (incorrect quote coming) "There are no "good" and "bad" words, it's all just language" (Just like we shoot ourselves in the foot here in Ireland talking about good and bad weather. We get mostly "bad" weather - let's just refer to it as weather, and stop talking ourselves into Seasonal Affective Disorder!)*
So, I don't like words to be referred to in any category, much less do I want a stock of "forbidden" words. I want Charlie to grow up knowing and understanding words used in context.

There's a difference between...

- Shit!
- What happened?
- I stubbed my toe

And...

- Shit mom, you really burned that pizza.
The former I'll allow, the latter I won't.

We use expletives in this house, in context. I could not ask my child, growing up hearing these, not to use them too. That's life. I'm not Mary Poppins.

We've spoken to him about "Jesus Christ" and who would be offended hearing it - how we wouldn't mind so much, but some people we know would never be happy hearing it. He's understood and accepted that, as he accepted the rule about nose-picking, bum-scratching: ok at home but not in company/public.
Of course, we emphasise that you should try to phrase things better, but if you can't help it, it's ok.
Taking away the shock value will hopefully dilute the "power" these words hold, and hopefully he will grow up with a colourful lexicon and a great vocabulary. I'll let you know how it goes!

*If you are a sufferer of SAD, I know it's an actual condition - that was a joke!

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