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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hypothetical swear jar...

These school holidays have been enlightening for various reasons, but for today's entertainment I'm going to inform you all of the discoveries that I have heard...

Before I start, I should say that things really aren't as bad as they may seem. Given that my swear jar is pretty much empty though, it is a little surprising. As I sit here & reflect back on my own childhood attempts at swearing perhaps I shouldn't be. I remember the first time I swore in front of my Dad. He was a bit shocked I had cursed in front of him, though joked about it a bit & pretended to smack me on the bottom with a tennis table bat - in actual fact he put his hand in the way & hit his own hand instead. The tears came the moment I realized what I had said & to whom, possibly more from shock & shame than anything else. Mum & Dad ended up consoling me rather than actually telling me off for saying to my Dad "stop it you shit". Yeah, oops.

This morning as I walked down the hallway I heard Ben calling Jack an idiot (over something to do with what was going on in their Minecraft world) Then this afternoon he also thought he could get away with dropping a 'bloody' in on a rant about his loom band creation not holding together. To top off the days failings, Jack called Blake a retard, twice in the same 5 seconds. I really have an issue with this. Same as if they use the phase 'You're gay'. It's just not on & not okay as far as I am concerned. In fact they get pulled up on any foul language - swearing or not. So I am a little perplexed at today's expressions that have arisen.

I guess I should be glad that in the scheme of words available, that these are reasonably in nocuous. But still not a habit I want to encourage nor condone. 

This isn't the first time that I've heard a flavorsome word come from their mouths over the last few years,especially since they started kindy & school, gaining exposure of the world & other people outside our own little box. At the moment though it seems to be quite prevalent - especially today. Is it that they are all getting a little sick of the same company - each other, so the frustrations are really coming out (& they are, if the dobbing & yells of "Muuuuum.....insert various whinge/dob/complaint here" are anything to go by) So instead of retreating to one of the numerous rooms available to them they instead hurl insults at each other. I can overlook poo-poo head, not so much penis head (which came from our sweet little Blake) There's nothing quite like sibling endearments to make you feel special.

Bad language is not tolerated, especially with the school aged kids who know it's not okay.
So far it seems that losing the right to play their tab for the remainder of the day (or the next) being banned from sleepovers either here or at a friends house, banned from any internet use - including scouring YouTube for loom band tutorials, doesn't really seem to have that much of an impact. Yeah they kick up a stink when one of the above is dished out. But they get over it pretty quick. Especially when they have Lego to play with, scooters & skateboards to scoot around on, soccer balls to kick, siblings to watch on Minecraft & other forms of time occupying activities readily available.

Getting grounded isn't really working, not on a consistent basis anyway - especially if I take into consideration today's vocabulary. Though that could also have something to do with some of the groundings not being entirely followed through. It's hard to keep track of who is grounded from what, how long for, & for what offense. Sometimes I think they try to pull the wool over my eyes when they claim it was the other one who was grounded for the day, not them. Especially when which ever 'other one' has a fairly valid argument that it was not them, or they had already done their 'time'. Honestly, keeping track of the banned items, time duration & offenses for four little people is not easy. Especially with my short term memory - or lack thereof. Maybe I should start writing it down, then the child who is claiming they are not grounded at all (when indeed they are, but I just cannot remember it & they sense that weakness then go in for the kill) If it's written in black & white, or purple pencil - whatever's handy, then it can't be disputed. By those who can read anyway. 

You know, that's really not a bad idea at all...

It's probably more a childhood thing, than a direct result of how they're raised. Showing off a 'mature' vocab in front of friends, feeling important & grown up because of a few adult words. Still, I don't want a few random swear words to become regular language - even more so when it becomes public language. We do not want our kids to get a reputation for having foul mouths & being disrespectful, especially when they aren't any of those things.

Standards start in the home & are expected to be held out of the home as well - with or without Mum & Dad present. So how strict do I get with this? What to do from here? I won't ignore it - not like I would when a toddler finds a word that gets them attention & giggles. Ignoring at this age, school age, would send across the message of allowing, or at the least getting away with swearing. The last time we had to deal with swearing Ben was seven years old, now that he is approaching ten this time it seems to be needed to be approached differently. It also seems more important that we help get the message across now, before he gets any closer to becoming a teenager. We're still a few years away from that status, but I'm finding that we are entering a new phase of parenting with Ben this year. Like for every eldest child, we are always going to be crossing uncharted territory. 

I'm sure this swearing is just another fad, given it's just come on this last week. I know they swear occasionally in the school yard with their friends - I've heard all the tattle tales when they try to get each other into trouble. But on the weekends, before & after school, prior to this week, the hypothetical swear jar for the kids was also empty.

Hopefully this stage passes quickly. 

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