As my son enters the tween stage, he has begun to model his peers more. This has added new pages in his vocabulary, including some colorful language. Since not every parent agrees about what constitutes offensive language, chances are kids are going to come home uttering unacceptable language.
To combat this effectively and without a lot of drama, I find setting boundaries for him about is acceptable works best. Kids need guidance as part of growing up to learn to discern how to speak in certain situations.
I find I am more concerned with my son showing compassion and kindness. So the main boundary we have set here is if an offensive word is used to hurt someone’s feelings it is not tolerated. So I pay close attention to his intention when he speaks. If he says “this sucks” I keep my cool. If he says ” you suck” that is a clear violation of the boundary.
A lot of our discussions center around respect – making the principle more important than the rule. It would be impossible to police every word. So the expectation is the principle of respect will guide him when we are not around.
Let’s face it, vulgar words are part of the thrill of growing up so as long as its used as a way to color language and is not part of aggressive tendencies, them its best to be flexible. Learning good judgement takes time, and sometimes to learn we must fail. So as long as I keep in mind he’s learning and I try to remember how it felt to be young like him, we should be able to traverse these rough waters.
Article By Nuria Almeida
Photo By talar_man