Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Taking the fun out of cussin'

- Warning: There are real swear words in this post. If you think they might offend you, please stop reading.  Thank you! - 

I remember watching an episode of Malcolm in the Middle where Malcolm was caught swearing. What his dad did was to make him type up a whole list of swear words and look him in the eye and read them out loud. I always remembered that as great way of teaching a child not to cuss.

I had two 7 year old boys in my car. And as boys would do, they jibed each other throughout the drive and tried to get each other into trouble. It meant making fake calls on each other cussing.

Evan, being Evan, wanted to know what each word he was accused of saying meant and he wasn't letting me off with "it's a rude word."

So, I tried the truth instead. I explained every single one to him. Thankfully, they weren't the really difficult ones to explain.

To state from the outset, none of them were used on him. 

It started with
1. The middle finger- I told him sticking it up at someone meant to show the guy his penis.


2. Bastard- As boys are wont to do, they mishear everything on purpose. So when Evan exclaimed "busted!", it was misheard as "bastard!" to his exasperation. And then, I told them bastard meant a child without a dad, both boys' reactions were "So mean to be mean to someone with no dad."

And the kicker was

3. Fuck- They didn't actually use it. Since they realised that I was explaining cuss words to them, they asked about something they saw scrawled on the wall in the playground. My version went along the lines of 'that's how Daddy and Mommy made you.' The two seven year old clowns in the back seat couldn't get past how it sounded like 'duck' and started going "hey, you know that word that sounds like 'duck'?"

Did I say driving with 2 seven year old boys meant a great amount of face-palming?

But the general consensus seemed to be that swear words were over-rated and couldn't figure out why people would want to use them.

Hopefully, by demystifying these swear words to them, they won't think them as attractive to use. I'm not sure. I'm not a boy. But I am a pretty big fan of explaining things to them properly instead of the misinformation they're bound to be exposed to in school. Packrat concurs on this point. He said in boys' schools, the amount of misinformation is actually more than accurate information. Humph. I can imagine the amount of 'hum-ming' and 'haw-ing' that's going to happen as we explain to them the birds and the bees.

Anyway, I did end the entire conversation on cuss words with the cursory "Please don't use these words because they aren't very nice and are hurtful to others." Plus the short version. "And it's rude." And they did reply with the cursory "Ok, we won't use bad words."


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