A neighbor child who attends school with Lili got into trouble for swearing, and told her mother that Lili taught her the words. I don’t doubt that Lili knows them, and I would be foolish to think that most kids never use them around friends. I remember how cool it seemed to cuss. It’s like a right of passage.
Lili knows it’s wrong, and that they are adult words. I might be the minority, but it just isn’t a big deal to me if my kids swear, especially as they get older. I expect them to know what is appropriate and what is unacceptable- for example, if we were heading to a movie and it was sold out, and my 12 year old said ‘This sucks’ not only would I agree, but I wouldn’t punish him. If my 15 year old says to his 14 year old brother, ‘Help me clean this shit off the table so we can all eat dinner’ it’s fine. It’s a word. No one is insulting anyone. Yes, there are better words that can be used, but really, it’s just not a big deal to me.
In April, Lili will turn 10. I really don’t want her swearing, but I am not going to punish her for the occasional slip up. I’ll correct her, and ask her not to say those words, especially in front of her younger siblings. But unless she’s being mean and calling them names, or every other word out of her mouth is an obscenity, I’m going to let it go.
So back to the issue of Lili teaching another child bad words- the kids all walk to and from school, and apparently Lili was doing that old trick where you tell someone to hold their tongue and say ‘ship’ and ‘apple’ so they sound like shit and asshole. The child went home and was doing it, and the mother came knocking on our door to tell us that Lili taught this to her child.
I distinctly remember being in elementary school (just like Lili is!) and doing the exact same thing on the bus rides to and from school. Well, we had said ‘My father works in a shipyard cleaning ashes’, however it’s totally the same concept.
It’s just something that kids do!
Regardless, even if the situation were reversed, and Lili came home doing something I disapproved of and used the excuse that another kid was doing it too, I’d never go over to the other parent*. If it was against the rules at our house, my child would be punished at home, and that’s that. I wouldn’t feel the need to go place blame on another person’s child for my own kid’s actions. Whatever happened to teaching your kid to take responsibility for their actions? How many times when we were growing up did we hear ‘If so and so jumped off a bridge, would you too?’ when we tried to explain to our parents that all the other kids were doing whatever got us into trouble as well?
I don’t feel right punishing my child for this. I feel like she’s just being a kid. Aaron and I sat her down and told her it wasn’t nice to swear, and we didn’t want her to do so anymore. Do you think the situation warranted more action on our part?
*If they were doing something dangerous that could potentially harm themselves or others, that’s different.