The Curse of the Curse
We need to find a way to talk with Red about swear words. He was reading a book the other night and came out of his room rather upset. I asked him what was wrong and he said there was swearing in the book. I asked him to show me and so he pointed out "heavens above" and "good heavens" and "he's the devil himself". I explained that those weren't swear words. He was confused and asked what words WERE swear words. I didn't know how to respond. I told him that I needed to talk with Dad (actually, I was hoping to pawn the task off onto him) and then we'd talk about it again.
Our kids haven't been exposed to a lot of bad language. We don't swear here at home. We're pretty strict about the movies we let the kids see. I am of the opinion that they'll be subject to enough garbage out in the world and they need to have a safe place to come to when everything else is crazy. And again, in my opinion, that place should be home. So, we try to keep the general crud out of our home. Maybe we're too strict, but that's how we've done things.
But now, I'm not sure how to explain this to him. Should we sit down with a list of "these are words we really don't want you to say"? Or do we just wait till he asks about a word? Any thoughts or suggestions? How have you approached this with your kids? Did you wait for the words to pop up in their vocabulary? Or did you sit down and talk about the words and explain it all? I wonder if we've made our kids too naive? And is that a bad thing? Not that I want to run out and uncover all the foul things in the world for them, but I wonder... can you protect your kids too much?