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#1 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you let your kids say words like crap and stupid and jerk (as in, "He was being a jerk," not, "You are a jerk!")? My son is almost 8 and I think those words are ok at home and with us. Sometimes you just need a strong word to convey what you're feeling, you know? The problem is, it's hard for a young child to remember not to say those words out in public where they are considered bad words by some people.

We experienced the reverse situation today at our homeschool group meeting. My son came up to me and said another 7 year old said "balls." My son got in trouble for saying the word "nuts" at a very conservative friend's house a year or so ago. (We don't say that word and we don't allow him to.) I asked the other boy if he's allowed to say that word at home and he said yes. His mom was right there and she just rolled her eyes and said, "He knows better." I'm thinking from her reaction that he probably can say that word at home (maybe his dad says it). I thought it was inappropriate. So I got to experience what other parents probably feel like when my son says crap!

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#2 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 02:06 AM
 
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I don't plan to limit dd's language so I can't relate to your situation but I do hope to teach her to respect others "house"(church, playgroup, school) rules.
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#3 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 04:28 AM
 
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My children are allowed to use actual "bad" words.

We never told them they couldn't swear, but they just weren't comfortable doing it much before 10 or so I guess. They've said things like sucks, crap, jerk, blows, and the like for a long long time. We always just tried to model and talk about where and when it was fine and where and when it was better to refrain.

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#4 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 07:31 AM
 
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I do limit my children's words to time and place. If they want to sing pee, poop, vagina and penis etc. they can do that at bedtime storytime. If they want to curse, they can whisper it into my ear. I guess if things like that get out of hand with words like "jerk," it would get added to the swear words list.

This happened for the first time last night, that my almost 3 year old son had gotten out of hand with "shut up," to his sister, so it got added to the four-letter ones. So immediately I get a request to whisper a bad word in my ear, and he whispers, "shut up b&tch"

"Stupid" is commonly banned around my community, but I'm waiting to see how it goes with that one.
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#5 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 10:08 AM
 
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Oh goodness, ds says things are stupid all the time. He got that one from the Thomas videos. It's actually usually "stupid old thing." We frequently tell him he's a dingbat, and an idiot, (good-heartedly, of course,) and he does likewise. The only thing really questionable that he says is "fuckin' shit," and for the most part he reserves that for video games. We actually call testicles "balls" here and I'm wondering why that would be offensive? They really are balls after all. (I personally think ds swearing is hilarious, but I try not to let on.)

When he yelled out "Jesus Christ!" at my very Baptist grandmother's house, I asked him to please not say that at granny's house, and he hasn't said it around her since. He seems to understand quite well that it's not always appropriate.
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#6 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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ok, I'm on the other side!, we don't allow those words. I was raised in an environment where those words were used by my parent to bring me down and diminish my self esteem. So in our house, we are almost cheesy. Not conservative, but just imo respectful. It's mainly because my dh's family just didn't use those words and because of my background. So stupid, crap, jerk, idiot all those off limits. And definately no swear words. Again, at an early age I was saying the "f" word long long long before all my friends were allowed because that is the environment I grew up in, it was "cool". Not. I thought I'd never be able to drop that when I had kids, but it turned out to be easy. I know they need some words to express themselves, but imo words that are just plain ugly don't need to be around. Especially when there are so many more words in the world.
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#7 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 01:00 PM
 
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My kids can use actually "bad" words, too. I use them, and I think it's really hypocritical to say that they are "grown-up" words when there's really no reason why a child can't use them, too. My five year old has a very good grasp on where and when they're appropriate, and has for some time now. She also understands if someone tells her they prefer not to hear a particular word, or if we tell her that someone doesn't like those words. It's really not a big deal.

Of course, racist/homophobic/misogynistic language is not okay, but otherwise, anything goes.

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#8 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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Girlsmama2, you're not alone. In our house, there is no "stupid", "shut-up", or curse words. Even "dumb" or "bored" pushes it. If they are indeed bored, they are perfectly capable of finding something to do, so I don't want to hear about it. They are welcome to ask for suggestions.

Instead, we focus on using words like "silly", "goober", or "inappropriate". As in "That show isn't appropriate for us, Mommy."

DH and I model the same language we expect from the kids.

Trust me, my kids feel and communicate the same things as other kids. But my kids say "I feel really angry, Mama!" instead of "That sucks!"

But no, I don't consider "penis" or "vagina" or "vulva" to be bad words. They are anatomical names and I use them when teaching them about their bodies. And yes, they "pee" and "poop".
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#9 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 02:02 PM
 
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We don't limit the words our children can use, but we don't allow name-calling. We also teach our kids that certain words aren't appropriate in certain social settings.
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#10 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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I have pretty lenient rules about "bad words" at home. I've got a potty mouth, I work hard to control it, but I leak a f-bomb on occasion. : My son will remind me not to say that word, and we don't allow the real bad words to be said.

I do allow crap and we joke around with potty words. Nothing is funnier to a 5 year old boy than a good, old fashioned potty joke.

He does know that we are more lenient at home than most, and is perfectly capable of NOT saying those words at preschool, church, other people's homes. It's more of a "letting loose" thing sometimes at home.

Oh, I wanted to add that we don't ever allow name-calling.

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#11 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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I am not worried too much about what the kids say as long as it is in moderation. If its overused or used inappropriately, then a limit is set.

Except: The word Hate--- I can't stand that. Its funny because it was one of the words I wasn't allowed to say when I was a kid and oh my, I "hated" that rule and thought it was sooooo stupid .

But when the kids say it it drives me batty. Though sometimes I still use it and have to correct myself. . .yes. . .in front of the kids!
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#12 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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I don't mind much the words my kids say. I care about how they're used. Most "bad" words my kids hear daily, my 18 month old actually said "aw shit" the other day when I asked him to do something.

So yes, they can say things like that, but we do talk about appropriate places to use them. My 5 year old kept getting in trouble at daycare for saying "butt" so now we limit that to only being used when he's not there. That's a little extreme for me, but her house, her rules.
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#13 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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Mine are older, but when they were young I kept away from "language" (i.e. f***, s***, etc.). I remember the first time my son "swore". We were watching a Yanks/Sox game, and he was particularly angry at Pedro and asked me if he could use "language". Hell, yeah! So he screwed up his little face, and started "You, you, you...... matzoh ball!" HAHAHAHAHAHA

ANYway.... I have never allowed "shut up". Ever. B**** and A****** aren't allowed. Basically, nothing addressed at a person. But if the computer crashes, a good, loud F*** is warranted. Stubbing a toe and screaming "S*** S*** S***" is okay.

Both know that they don't swear in front of grandma/grandpa. And #2 learned very quickly that Auntie doesn't appreciate a well placed "Bite me". Which we use all the time.
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#14 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 02:38 PM
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I talk to DD about what's appropriate usage, but I get very irritated when she tells ME that certain words are bad words because her preschool teacher has taught them that.

"Mommy!! We don't say HATE (or stupid or whatever)!!" And I'm like, what, I said it appropriately!!
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#15 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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Another thing is about intent. We don't do any real serious name calling, but there sure is a lot of teasing name calling. "Gawd, you're such an a**!" or "He's being such a dork right now." My kids have called each other things in play that I cannot type here LOL.

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#16 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
Another thing is about intent. We don't do any real serious name calling, but there sure is a lot of teasing name calling. "Gawd, you're such an a**!" or "He's being such a dork right now." My kids have called each other things in play that I cannot type here LOL.
LOL, my partner and I have called each other things I couldn't type here! We tease with "bad" words all the time, and DD joins in on that.

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#17 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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My older ones use some of what we call "rude" words (things like stupid, jerk, shut up) at home and with friends on the phone. I'm pretty lenient about them. 12 yo dd has started inserting a couple of damns and h*lls into her vocabulary (usually after asking permission to swear, which cracks me up )

Dd2 is the family bad word police. She loves to gasp loudly and reprimand us for using "inappropriate language". I admit that on occasion, I have dropped a string of f* bombs along with a variety of other colorful language. I try hard to clean it up a little -- using "Sugar" instead of "SH** and "Fudge" instead of the big ol bomb word.

Dd2 is also a big fan of body humor at the moment, and "butt", "hiney" "nipple" and "naked" are among her favorite words. She's also been known to let loose a "Holy Crap!" in the middle of prayer service (not a shining parenting moment, I tell you).
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#18 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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My daughter is free to use whatever words she chooses. Because I want her to make informed choices, I've talked to her about the importance of considering her surroundings and audience before she speaks and what the possible consequences might be for not making good choices. She also knows that there are some words -- racial slurs, using gay as a put down, using slut or whore as a general insult for a woman, etc. -- that send a message about the speaker's opinions. Since those words don't reflect what my daughter stands for, she wouldn't choose to use them.

She very rarely curses and I figure that when she does, she probably has a good reason for doing so. Of course, if someone asks her not to use a certain word around them or in their house, it's just common courtesy for her to try to not use it and to apologize if it slips out.
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#19 of 44 Old 01-04-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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I dont use those words so my kids dont use those words, my five year old did pick up fart at school and while it is not what i consider a bad word but it drives me crazy when her answer to everything is fart or whaever song she is singinging she puts fart in the middle of it, she looks for peoples reactions and laugh, I have never reacted or laughed at it just tried to ignore it but she hasnt let go of it yet. I guess If she ever comes with a real bad word ill probably just tell her honey I dont like that word, I think its ugly so please dont say it in front of me.
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#20 of 44 Old 01-05-2008, 12:39 AM
 
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I've always considered 'crap' to be on the same level as 'shit', so we don't use that word. I don't think my kids had even heard it until last week. Their cousins yelled it at the dinner table. It absolutely cracked my three year old up. She kept saying "They said CRAB! They said crab! Maybe they want a crabby patty!" Yeah maybe.

As far as jerk, idiot, dummy . . . I think those words are about to be banned. Ds is in a really obnoxious name calling phase.
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#21 of 44 Old 01-06-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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We don't allow name-calling. Curse words and such are permitted in our house, but only if DS1 can tell us the meaning. He recently switched from saying, "What the....?" to "What the hell?" ... I stop him every time, and tell him that he can say, "What the hell?" when he can tell me what "hell" means. I repeat this for other words he tries to use and doesn't really know the meanings for. If he understands the meaning, though, and isn't using the word in a mean way, then I'm fine with it.

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#22 of 44 Old 01-06-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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For those of you who don't allow name-calling, what exactly do you mean by that? Do you mean if your child calls you a name you punish him or her? Or do you just let them know that you don't want them to call you that and maybe give them something better they could say. But what if they do it again?I just wonder what people mean when they say that they "never allow" this or that. And do any of you have children that would be considered "explosive"?
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#23 of 44 Old 01-06-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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My kids do not use bad words at home and neither do we. Im sure my 13 yr old uses them with friends and I told him I didn't care, but he should be respectful of people around him. My kids are allowed to say things like stupid, butt, hate etc but they can't call each other those things. We've never had issues with the kids saying innappropriate words..Im guessing its b/c we dont use them around them, we've explained why, and we haven't really made a big deal about it.

I do vividly recall DS1 going through a solid week asking if he was supposed to say dammit or darn it...he couldnt remember which one was considered ok ...it was pretty funny at the time

No one has ever gotten punished...I think DS1 slipped twice (over a year) and I just reminded him he was around younger siblings and he needed to choose different words....
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#24 of 44 Old 01-06-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
For those of you who don't allow name-calling, what exactly do you mean by that? Do you mean if your child calls you a name you punish him or her? Or do you just let them know that you don't want them to call you that and maybe give them something better they could say. But what if they do it again?I just wonder what people mean when they say that they "never allow" this or that. And do any of you have children that would be considered "explosive"?
I try very hard to never punish, so no, we don't do punishments for name calling. It's a non-issue now because he knows it's not ok but back when he was still learning I would just tell him we don't call people names. I would explain why it could hurt someone's feelings, etc and leave it at that.

No, he's not explosive. A total drama king, but not explosive.

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#25 of 44 Old 01-06-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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I'd never heard of the word 'hate' as being a 'bad' word until I came to the USA. It puzzles me as to why anyone would object to it. I can understand that you'd want a conversation to clarify why your kid 'hated' a teacher or a rule or a lesson or whatever, but why can't they say it if they are really feeling extreme about something or someone?

I say that I hate things, and I never considered it wrong. I hate soup, I hate being cold, I hate uncomfortable socks, and there are a few people I've met who I might say in exasperation that I hated. Not enough to hurt them, or to tell them to their faces, though, because I've got good manners.

I also can't see a problem with my kids yelling "I hate you" to me or a sibling, in a moment of frustration. It's extreme, but sometimes emotions are extreme. Dds have come up with some pretty interesting things to wish upon me at times, but it never bothered me. Of course, I'm bothered about why they've felt like that, but not bothered about how they express their emotions within the family. I think that surpressed emotions and being 'nice' all the time is really unhealthy anyway.

So, can anyone who hates the word 'hate' fill me in as to why and in what contexts?
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#26 of 44 Old 01-07-2008, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't limit my son saying hate. But I don't want him saying, "I hate you" to someone because it's hurtful. He's free to feel that strongly and say, "I hate school," "I hate going to church," "I hate doing chores," "I hate loud, bossy, snobby girls," etc. He can think I hate you or write it in a journal all he wants. I differentiate between having strong feelings and saying strong words, and verbally abusing other people. I don't allow the verbal abuse. My son has strong emotions. I have strong emotions. We're both very verbal. But just as I have limits for myself, I have limits for him.

I think we are pretty moderate. Most people I know don't let their kids say shut up, stupid, hate, crap, and some don't even allow dang it. I see those words as good, strong alternatives to the ones that are less socially acceptable. I try to balance allowing him the freedom to express himself with encouraging him to use good social skills. Like all of us learned growing up, freedom comes with responsibility.

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#27 of 44 Old 01-07-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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The only words that are off limits here are cuss words S***, D*** etc. The really bad one F & GD they never hear so arnt a issue yet.

I dont consider words like crap, balls, nuts, butthole etc to be bad words just not language to be used in a public setting.

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#28 of 44 Old 01-07-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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We were very careful with our language with DD1 and DS2. Both were very easy to explain to that it was adult language though. They were happy with "kid versions". Ds really likes the stuff they say on Sponge Bob. Like "fish paste!", "barnacles!", and stuff like that.
We were NOT good about cleaning up our language when DD2 started talking. Now she is known to say "Dam* it" when she is really upset about something. We try to reword it to her so she will use darn it, but it isn't taking so far. She only uses it appropriatly though. We really stress when a place is ok or not to use those words and same with some people.
With the adult language thing, I've explained that they can use them when I'm sure they will not use them around people that might be upset. Part of it is that and part of it is that it is just yucky to hear those words out of such a small person. I would prefer that DD2 never say her choice of words, but it clearly shows how she feels when she is crying and saying that. I don't think anyone will think she is trying to be cute or anything.

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#29 of 44 Old 01-07-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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wow "nuts" is a bad word? you'd hate to hear what my kids say!

they are only words IMHO. If you teach your kids to use thier words correctly it shouldn't matter. kids are only learning what is socially acceptable too. of course they are going to have slip ups! I know I have myself as an adult. (which my kids will mimic if I slip up too much! ) no one is perfect. and words are still only words.

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#30 of 44 Old 01-07-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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I'm not too concerned about what words my daughter uses. I have explained to her how people react to some words, like someone's feelings might be hurt if she says "stupid" and maybe "silly" would explain what she's trying to say better. Or that if she says certain things, people might not react well because there are things adults say that people aren't used to hearing children say, and sometimes they get upset when they hear children say those things. But words are just words.

I'm sensitive about this because it's one of the issues where my parents tried to control us through shame, and I don't want my daughter ever having that sense of shame. Like if I said something sucks, not knowing specifically what it meant, my mom would tell me precisely, with a grimace, and IMO in an way that wasn't age appropriate just what "sucked" meant, with the intention of making me feel ashamed and embarrassed. And she once said, when I used some word or another, that I sounded like a "cheap street whore". So if I'm going to err in this respect, it'll be in the other direction because that still hurts a bit and I don't want my daughter to feel that. I feel myself tensing up just writing this and it's been 30 years or so.
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