Saturday, July 25, 2015


As JED grow older and their exposure to things grows, they pick up strange things along the way. I remember how stunned I was when a 3-4 year old Evan, while playing with toy planes, flew two towards each other shouting "Evasive manoeuvre!"  or when Muffin, on seeing the BBC logo on the screen declaring "This is the BBC World Service!". Along with all these funny and occasionally useful snippets of information, they do pick up things that we have to clamp down on.

Mostly it's got to do with attitude and language.

They watch mostly American television shows and the occasional Chinese animation. And both have issues that we have to temper.

1. Language.
There are words that we ban outright because 8 year olds or 5 year olds shouldn't be using language like that. Evan was stunned when he got smacked on the back of his head for declaring "I am DAMN full!" . We told him "damn" was not a word to describe how full he was and "damn" meant to send someone to hell or criticise badly. Either of which, it wasn't appropriate for him to describe the state of how much food he had eaten.

This however, was something they pick up, not just from television but from the kids in school. Muffin, while unsuccessfully fixing his Lego, uttered the expletive "Ah... F*#k!" to our horror. Evidently, he picked it up from an older kid on the bus.

So these are the outright words that we have to constantly police and Evan, being in a boys' school, seems to hear them in THX surround sound.

2. Words.
Then there are the more insidious words that we have to catch. Words that are inherently harmless on the own but when uttered with juvenile arrogance never fails to make the blood boil.

i. Jordan: Fine (with the eye roll)
ii. Evan: Whatever (while turning his back to you)
iii. Muffin: Boring
iv. JED: Sentences that begin with "I WANT YOU TO..."

Pt iii. is the most commonly used. Every.Thing.Is.Boring. And they whine about wanting gadgets that others have or the television. Our current retort is that if what we do is boring to them and they don't want to do it then we won't do what they want to do which we find boring. On top of that, there are always chores and homework that we can find for them to do to cure boredom. That is usually met with an extremely sullen and reluctant silence.

And with Muffin, we can't issue the awful threat of rubbing chilli on his lips/ mouth for using inappropriate language because he actually likes the stuff. 

If necessary, we'll try soap. 


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