The Irony Of Teaching Your Kid Not To Use Profanity

22 months.

Sometimes I just get in a 1990′s grunge mood.

Last week as I drove my nearly 2 year-old son home from daycare, I was in a somber trance as I let the music of Live’s Throwing Copper album flow through the stereo speakers of my Honda Element.

As I listened to the 8th track of the album, in which the title itself consists a word deemed too obscene to spoken on cable TV, yet it is the normal word for “poop” in most other countries, I realized that in a couple of years, I probably won’t get to listen to whatever I want to in the car anymore; as least not without giving him some lengthly explanation:

“You see, son, that word is a bad word. You can’t say it in school or at home because you’ll get in trouble. It means the exact same thing as “poop” but, as a society, we collectively give more negative power to the other word, therefore we’re not supposed to say it.

I know that almost sounds conflicting with what I normally tell you about how we shouldn’t care about what people think about us, but this is an exception. We have to go along with the rules of society on this one.”

Type any “cuss word” in the search box on The Dadabase and you’ll probably come up with no related articles. It’s just not my style.

However, I’m not too worried about the words that society chooses as “inappropriate.” I’m less concerned about any particular words and more focused on the messages we send with all words we use instead; as well as the tone we use when we speak.

As a person whose religion teaches him to loves his neighbor as himself, the challenge for me is to refrain from using language that is judgmental, condescending, prideful, or laced in gossip.

To me, that’s the kind of language that is set on fire by the flames of hell. Not the word “hell” itself.

So as my son grows old enough to understand society’s goofy rules on which words we can and can not say, that’s what I’m going to teach him:

“Don’t say those certain ‘cuss words’ because then you’ll get in trouble. More importantly, let’s focus on the words we can say. Let’s find ways to build people up with our words.”

Granted, my words are no good if I’m not already taking my own advice.

 

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