I was at a party once when I heard this kid tell his mommy in such a harsh tone that ‘she was stupid’. I’m not sure if it was the child’s outburst that appalled me the most or the mother’s reaction. She simply looked at him and nodded her head! I’m not saying she should’ve pounced on him and thumped the daylights out of him (although I was tempted to) but a head nod is simply not the best reaction!
I estimated this kid to be around four years old and I imagined that by the time he is seven, he will be using bona fide curse words even grown up people can’t be caught dead using!
Children begin using words that raise the hair on the back of our necks after they’ve heard others use those words, or after those words have been aimed at them. I imagined this woman always alerted the maid on her ‘blissful stupidity’ that the boy thought it was okay to use the word.
Grownups use this kind of language when they’re upset, and the behavior trickles down towards their children. Because harsh behavior spreads like a bad cold from adult to child and then from child to child, just about every child on the planet is exposed to name-calling, or bad words sooner or later.
“I simply never let them watch anything I suspect will cause problems later. As a stay at home mom that is easy for me. I also try not to use any words in their presence that will tease their interest. Kids feed on every word they hear,” says stay at home mom, Jessica Tushabe.
It is not the child’s fault that they have acquired harsh language anymore than it is their fault they have a runny nose. In most cases, children do not even know what these words means literally. Most times, the tone in which the words are used makes an imprint on them.
According to www.handinhandparenting.org, that electric emotional charge irritates the child’s delicate internal system, and makes the words stick like little globs of dirt in their innocent minds. Then, when the child is feeling isolated, threatened or upset, out comes this little pre-fabricated routine of harsh words and tones, exactly the way he once heard them.
If you react in an angry manner, you won’t succeed until you’ve handled your own depot of feelings.
I am not an expert but there are questions, the answers to which will help you neutralize the situation so that you can be of real help to your child.
Legendary comedian Bill Cosby was quoted, “It was because of my father that from the ages of 7 to 15, I thought that my name was Jesus Christ and my brother, Russell, was Dammit. “Dammit, will you stop all that noise?” And, “Jesus Christ, sit down!” One day, I’m out playing in the rain, and my father yelled, “Dammit will you get back in here!” I said, “Dad, I’m Jesus Christ!”
Kids are not cut out to be mean or offensive. They simply repeat word for word what we said or what we shouldn’t have said. Try to remember: the child will turn out all right! Kids just need some guidance and patience; you don’t have to assume that a few bad word incidents mean they are on the road to disaster!