Stupid Bad Guys

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Yesterday I was joking with MCB giving her a hard time arguing about the sizing of coffees at our local coffee shop. Roozle was listening to The Lorax on CD and she says,

“It’s okay to be mad, Mommy. Really, it is. It’s okay to be mad but it’s not okay to say not nice things when you’re mad. That’s true. It is.”

I thought she was giving me a hard time for giving MCB a hard time. Which is hilarious and happens a lot. We laughed. A lot. And of course I immediately put it on twitter.

Then a few minutes later:
“Sometimes bad guys are stupid bad guys.”

Uh oh. Apparently she hadn’t been giving me a hard time. She was processing The Lorax.

“Riley, we don’t say the word stupid. It’s a not nice word.”

“BUT THE STORY SAID IT! I AM NOT SAYING IT THE STORY IS.”

She’s right. It is. Except now she keeps saying it. In reference to bad guys and not nice things. Over and over.

The thing is, I’m not sure I mind if Roozle knows the word stupid. Or even says it. It’s more that I had hoped she wouldn’t know it yet. I’m not ready for this.

I know of some families that let their kid(s) swear and use whatever words they want, but only in their house. I like this idea in theory, but am not sure how it could be enforced. There certainly is something great about the freedown to explore language.

In my house, growing up, we didn’t swear. We didn’t say crap. Or hate. Or stupid. We were taught to choose gentle words. Probably so that my parents didn’t have to listen to us shouting “I hate you!” and “You’re stupid!” at each other all day long. Or maybe because they believed in the power of words. That when you speak or even write something, it’s real. Realities can be painted with words. Through poetry and stories. Identities can be built. And destroyed. I think I’m leaning in that direction.

What do you think? Should children be allowed to swear? What are your limits? Why?

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