When Kids Swear

When Kids SwearAs I’ve admitted before: I swear. I’m not dropping f-bombs right and left, but I’ll let loose with a “damn” and “Good God” now and then. And while I don’t particularly want my children to swear, I assumed if they let loose with a similar PG explicative, I could gently remedy the situation without undue fuss. I forgot about school.

Lately, Joseph has been coming home with a vocabulary that would have made my Navy vet and boat captain grandfather blush. The first time it happened, my mouth dropped open, my head buzzed, and I felt the words leave my numb lips. “Where did you hear that?”

I think I get bonus points for not saying, “Where the HELL did you hear that?”

Joseph shrugged and named one of his school friends. I know this little boy. I know his parents. They’re fantastic. He’s a good kid—he doesn’t get into trouble, enjoys the same Legos and video games Joseph does. And if he said this little two word collection to his parents, I’m sure they’d be as flabbergasted and appalled as I am.

So where are they getting it?

Is it other kids at school? Those “older” nine-year-olds on the playground? I’m not sure.

I sat down with Joseph and told him that the words he used were not only inappropriate but display a sad lack of imagination. I told him he wasn’t in trouble, but I don’t want him using such ugly words. He nodded, unembarrassed and replied, “I don’t really know what they mean.”

“Then don’t use words you don’t understand until you ask us.”

“Like ‘metaphor’? You keep saying it doesn’t mean what I think it means.”

“Honey, you can use metaphor all you like. And if someone gets you going, just call him a hyperbole.”

Joseph nodded and asked to go play.

I’m not sure if I handled it properly. I just hope I don’t hear that language from my baby again.