Friday, 24 April 2015

What I “Allow” My Child to Say to an Adult


3775284087_08cc0f2d0d_oFuck off, Fuck you, Fuck me, Fuck it.

A recently circulating blog post 'Six things my kids are not allowed to say to adults,' lists all the reasons why some intensely prim mother will not allow her children to say atrocious things like 'no' and 'yeah' and 'just a minute' and 'I don't want to.'

There is even a great rebuttal, called 'Six things my kids are allowed to say to adults', which explains why every single one of those words and phrases is completely fine.

And here is my initial response to both: no mention of 'fuck' at all?


2332181561_a457f41213_oSo, I suggest to the author of the original: not allowed to say 'no' but 'fuck off' is totally fine? Or beyond your ability to imagine any child actually saying? Or perhaps you are completely deaf in that sound range?

Because dad's a sailor, and mom's a pragmatist, both our children explored the wacky and wonderful world of obscenities off and on throughout their childhoods. I'm not sure they had any nuns to shock, but I can tell you absolutely: kids whose parents have potty mouths don't swear as teens. At least not to their parents...

Whenever parents are suggesting they are in total control of their children's mouths, and have every right and responsibility to control what their children think and say, I think of two words:

humour and mercy

Humour, because really: get a grip, it's not that big a deal.

Some words (which mean the same things as other completely acceptable-for-company words) raise eyebrows because ... why? Because, frankly, when the court languages were Latin and French, the Anglo-Saxon words for excrement and fornication were 'coarse and common.' Ooh, our poor delicate ears can only hear Latin and French words for excrement, female body parts or sexual intercourse without causing fainting.


That is totally related to modern English in the Western world. Of course. That makes... absolutely no sense at all.

Fine. Let's go with that then.

And why not?

3072394014_454338f2fb_oIn an unrelated note, I can't tell you how disappointed and disgusted I was with modern English when I discovered that there has not been a new swear coined since the 1600s. Appalling lack of creativity here, people!

And, mercy, because: oh for crying out loud, they're children.

Children are (this is not allowed to be a surprise to anyone) immature. Their communication style is, concomitant to their immaturity, also (this is not allowed to be a surprise, either) immature.

Yes, really.

Surely, some mature and reasonably intelligent adult has it within their ability to understand the limitations of childhood and crank back the expectations for perfect, enlightened and mature communication skills at least until the child has most of the adult parts of their brain grown in... say, 16 or 18 years of age.

Maybe instead of attempting to control a child's mouth and all that comes out of it, the prissy mommy-blogger could try being the bigger person, grasping the immaturity of her children's verbal expressions, and understand them from a more forgiving mindset, like 'I know you're tired and hungry sweetie, and I know you don't want to clean up the toys you were playing with at Auntie Jeannie's. I wish we had a robot to do all the tidying, and a teleporter and be at our favourite buffet right now! I'm sorry, it's my fault we stayed past when we are tired and haven't had enough to eat yet.'

449123752_3ac94e3086_oThe child made a sound intended to communicate a message that was important to the child. If mommy 'gets it' why pretend she doesn't? Why be appalled at the immaturity of the method, when she could be instructive, supportive, helpful, kind, informative or, frankly, respond to the fucking need the child has expressed and grow up about expecting wise, mature and pristine communication from tiny, inexperienced people?

Why does mom get to be a big baby about how people say things to her, but expect the kids to be mature adults in all of their communication?