Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Words

We reached a new milestone in the home yesterday!
My son found the word "bitch" in the dictionary.
"It's not a bad word, mom," he ensured me.

Really? Do Tell.
"It means 'female dog' and it's not a bad word."
Do you think that means you should say it?
"It's not a swear word. It's in the dictionary!"

Oh yeah, I remember making this discovery myself. And he's right, of course; it's not necessarily a bad word. But it does need more discussion.

Do you think this means that you should be able to say 'bitch'?
"It's not a bad word."
But do you think that there is a time where it's right for you to say it?
... no response...

See, here's the thing; it's all about context. That word became a bad word because people misused it to mean something other than the straight Webster's meaning of "female dog."

So please don't use that word. Okay?
"Okay."
He exits the room. And I hear:
"Hey, guess what 'bitch' means!!?" Yelled to his 7-year-old sister.
Sigh.

So, then he did this:
While I made dinner.
We talked about this punishment and I asked him: When is the appropriate time to say the word "bitch" around your mom? He answered with several different answers (when talking about a dog; when talking about someone else talking about a dog; when you ask me about it; when someone else asks me about it; I don't know).
The answer? You don't.
It's not appropriate for a 9-year-old to use that word around his mom! And while I am quite pleased that my son feels he can talk to me about anything, we do need to have some clear boundaries. I don't want to know the plot to Bakugan cartoons and I don't want to be privy to his adolescent gigglefests over bad words.

Did I handle the situation? Hell if I know. I guess time will tell!

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