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How To Talk to Your Kids About Swearing, Foul Language or Just Using Strong Words?
| i Heart Marina
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
I was ? Lovestruck? on Saturday by Vera Wang and had an wonderful day with my family. My husband, the children and I had dinner at one of our favorite local sushi restaurants — Oyshi. After dinner, Mr Magz surprised us with movie tickets to “Central Intelligence”.
At first I was a bit concerned because my children have only viewed animated movies up until now and I wasn’t sure if they were old enough to watch a regular non-animated movie at the movie theaters. Don’t get me wrong, they do watch movies at home but I know what they’re watching and if it’s age appropriate.
Back to my Saturday evening, it was our first time at the Regal Movie Theater in Downtown Summerlin and I’ll admit, I loved it and so did my family. This is our new go-to movie theater from now on. Hands down, it’s the best movie theater. It’s not crowded, a very clean facility, amazing customer service, food’s great and what I loved the most were the reclining seats with tables! How cool is that?! I have been to a similar movie theater before back in Glendale, CA, and was excited to find another one in Las Vegas, Nevada.
We really enjoyed watching “Central Intelligence” staring Kevin Heart and Dwayne Johnson. It’s an action- comedy movie and it was hilarious! We could not stop laughing. I mean, really, no one can steal the show from Johnson and Hart. They are the ultimate duos! Both actors are alternately laid back and hyperactive. The movie reminded me of the “Twins” with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. Who remembers this ’80’s movie?
So, everything was great, we laughed and had tons of fun but I ended up experiencing what I initially was concerned about –the foul language in the movie. I immediately though to my self as soon as we get home Mr Magz and I should discuss about it with the children. I actually used this experience as an opportunity to kindly remind my children not to use curse words and to always try to avoid strong words. It’s not like I’ve heard them use it before, but it was definitely a worthy subject to cover at a family meeting.
“Central Intelligence” did have some sexual words and strong language but I guess it’s all right for 13+ year olds. There was no sexual content but I still think it was inappropriate for my 8-year-old Johnny and 10-year-old Isabella. Would I let them watch this movie again? I guess, just because there are things in this world that as a parent(s) can’t be avoided. Especially the profanity and foul language on TV, media (social media), songs on the radio and the Internet. It seems like tween’s and teen’s favorite TV shows bumped up a few notches with the foul language as well. This one time I noticed a preschool-age character Lily from Modern Family dropped the F-word although it was bleeped but she still used it on a national TV.
After the movies we headed out home and had our little family meeting where we all sat down in the living room and exchange our concerns and/or thoughts. Mr Magz and I went over the swear words and explained to our children how shows (and other media outlets) get attention for profanity which really is a strategy of selling a product. We also explained that people use profanity for a variety of reasons. It can be to gain the attention, to impress their peers, to express strong emotions, such as anger, distress, or frustration and to attack someone who has hurt them. Lastly, and more importantly, I’ve expressed my concern to Katrina, Isabella and Johnny that our family does not and will not tolerate such language in our household. It’s inappropriate and that they should not use, at all! Here’s an interesting fact about me, I have never heard my father or grandfather curse, at least not in front of me. In our family it was never permitted. Even as an adult, I continue to watch what I say in front of my parents and grandparents.
Here are some of my parenting tips on “How To Talk to Your Kids About Swearing, Foul Language or Using Strong Words?”:
- Time and the place should be considered. Remind kids to keep their audience in mind when they’re speaking. The language used with friends should not be the same as the language spoken with grandmother, parents or a teacher.
- Find alternative words. Encourage children to expand their vocabs and find some creative alternatives to strong words to describe their feelings, when vulnerable or upset. I always try to find substitute words for what I call “ugly” words when I’m around my children. For instance, I avoid saying sh#t instead I say ” Ohh, No!” or “Shoot”. I don’t approve my children calling each other dummies either. Isabella once picked up that word from school and tried to use it at home and I made sure she understands that using such strong words is in appropriate . “Hate” is another word that we don’t use in our household, instead we say “dislike” because I preferred my children to use happy and positive words throughout the day.?
- Words are powerful and can hurt! Calling others names is not OK just like it’s not OK to bully someone. I remind my children not to hurt anyone’s feeling with “ugly” words. Instead complement them and use happy and positive words. I always tell them just because you hear someone say it doesn’t mean you should repeat it and if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.
- The words we use reflect who we are. Maybe there are parents out there who think it’s ok for children to use strong words which I’m OK with because everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I personally do not prefer my children using it. What we say and how we think defines our character. I always remind my children that cursing or using strong words is not only immature and unclassy but it’s jut NOT cool!
- What I also taught my children is when a friend or a classmate does use a foul language or a swear word it’s best to not overreact, show any emotions or disco line them. Instead understand that the person using such words is either trying to get their attention, trying to look cool or is simply trying to upset them. The best way to handle this situation is to simply react in a low-key, restrained manner or just completely ignore.
How do you talk to your children about foul words? Or if you’re a teen and follow my blog, has your parent tried speaking to you about this issue and if so did you find it helpful? Please post your comments below. Would so love to read them!
Hugs and kisses,