Friday, November 15, 2013

The F word...

.... made an entry in our home. Yeah the real one.

Last night over dinner N asked me 'Mama what does F*** mean?' She rhymed it somewhere between the real thing and the word 'hook' so I took a while to absorb the question. That and the fact that the kids are not eight yet. I cannot even begin to explain what I felt. Here I am insisting on the 'aap' instead of 'tum' and freaking out if I hear a 'shit' from them and they're onto this!

A 'talk' followed. I told her I was glad she'd asked me what it meant, that it was a 'bad' word not to be repeated, ever. However the damage will remain. I cannot possibly erase it from her memory. In all likelihood it would be even more securely planted since I warned her off it. And I'm afraid it'll make an appearance in a moment of anger or stress.

The thing that worries me more is that she picked it up from a child from our society. I've mentioned earlier how I'm not comfortable with the twins' playing with older kids, yet I don't know how to stop it. This is the kind of thing I was worried about. Not that bad language is okay at any age but the older ones seem to revel in it.

I considered talking to his mom but the other mothers warned me off. Apparently they'd spoken to her earlier but she didn't share the concern (they're kids, they will pick up all kinds of stuff, she maintains). So now I'm in a bit of a quandary. What should I do? Tell the children to stay away from that kid? That's not feasible since our's is a small society with limited playing space. Besides, the children like him. He is a likeable kid and he's just 10. But what if they pick up more bad language or worse start believing it's acceptable to use it?

Should I talk to the kid directly? I know him well enough. That's a thought I might follow through. Talking to the twins and warning them off bad language and bad behaviour rather than off bad kids seems like the best thing to do but it's hard, really hard to get it across to them. How does one explain that a kid who is friendly, who teaches them cricket, who races with them each evening, who's the epitome of cool is not so cool after all.

Sigh!

But then who said mothering would ever be easy.

9 comments:

  1. If u ask me....

    1- Talk to your kids
    2- Sound that kid off about the language

    besides that u can do nothing....u can not certainly tell the kids to not play with him..its not done...may be u can speak to the kid's Mom...no harm in talking to her...make a point!

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  2. Yeah maybe if many people talk to the mother the message would get across.

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  3. Aah!! I faced this last year! Aaryan was back at home for his 3 month winter break. One day, 3 kids came and told me that A has used the F word. I spoke to A. Now the thing is that the F word as in 'Trucker' is used by big boys among themselves, and is an accepted norm among kids. Though teachers frown upon its usage in school. So he picked it up too. While I told him all about good language and foul language, also reiterated that it is good to know about bad things but that doesnt mean that one has to implement them in real life. I told him that he cannot use these words in front of any elders and kids here.
    Guess, telling the kids and may be talking to that boy will help!
    Agree, parenting is a tough tough thing, especially in today's times!

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  4. Shilpa.. Good to hear you've been there. That's the problem - the 'accepted norms' are so strange these days. I hope the kids never accept them.

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  5. Tough to fight peer pressure!
    Best wishes!

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  6. Ouch! I feel your quandary :( I think speaking to the mother is ideal. If that fails, then talk to the kid.

    Do update us on what you manage to do.

    Good luck.

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  7. Magiceye: thanks..I need those wishes.

    Shailja: yeah will do.

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  8. There's one thing you can do.
    Call the kid over for snacks/juice at your place...you can call a couple more if you want, but it would be better if you talk to him alone.
    Feed him and tell him that the twins really like him and so do you, but you don't like him using such words in front of the twins. Be sweet and gentle about it.
    You can't stop him from using it completely, but at least he will think before using it in front of your children.
    Hope it works...I haven't tried this kind of a tactic myself, but it is something that I would do if the case comes up.
    Good luck :)

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  9. Sounds good. Will certainly give it a shot.

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