Tuesday, November 15, 2011


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?
He exits the room. And I hear:
"Hey, guess what 'bitch' means!!?" Yelled to his 7-year-old sister.

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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