While trying to teach our kids the proper way to say words, they easily get frustrated and shutdown. However, if an inappropriate word slips out of my mouth (as it is almost always me in this regards, not my husband) they repeat it faster than Clark Kent turns into Superman. This was quite apparent when they were playing dress up with all of the dollar store costumes I acquired last year that I planned to use for puppet outfits that never came to fruition. I noticed that two furry hats, one bright orange and the other bright magenta, were still in the bag and instinctively said, “Hey, what about the pimp hats?” and before I could correct myself, the three year old responded with, “Yeah, I need a pimp hat,” putting extra emphasis on the word PIMP, naturally. I haven’t heard him say it since, so hopefully it’s just another thing that goes in one ear and out the other.
All of this got me wondering, what is it about certain words that we don’t want our kids to repeat? This actually happens a lot, and I’ve discussed it on this blog a few times. I mean I personally feel like words are expressions of how we feel or to describe our surroundings, so why are so-called ‘bad words’ just that? Perhaps the question is much more philosophical than I am ready to engage in at only a few sips into my coffee this morning, but never-the-less I want to try and tackle it. I guess the biggest problem with some words is what other people may think if we use them. Just because I don’t get offended by using derogatory words doesn’t mean somebody else will not feel diminished or angry at those same words.
However, even with words that have lost their derogatory value over the years, we as parents and parental figures still feel like we need to protect our little ones’s ears from such words by not using them ourselves in their presence and censoring what they watch and read. Personally I think that, since they will undoubtedly use these same words themselves when they grow up, it would make much more sense to learn by our actions when it is appropriate and not appropriate to use such language. Home: okay; school: not okay. However, I am probably in the minority, something I’ve become quite accustomed to.
So I suppose society will win this round again. Perhaps, just perhaps, I’ll find a way to explain why certain words are not appropriate, especially the word HATE, which is the only bad word in my book, and which ones are okay to use. Or perhaps I will simply need to bite my tongue a little harder.