Thursday, November 12, 2009

Watch your mouth!

A few weeks ago, The Son and I were watching "Oprah" when the Black Eyed Peas were on and they sang "I Gotta Feeling" and the audience did the mob dance. It was cool, really cool. The Son enjoyed it a lot. If you haven't seen it, give it a "google" you'll find it easily. The Son had also heard the song "Boom Boom Pow" by the BEP and really liked that as well. They both seemed appropriate and innocent enough to me, so while at Target the other day, we saw their CD and I bought it for The Son and myself to listen to in the car. Many of the CDs at Target had parental advisory labels on them, "The END" by the BEP did not.

Imagine my surprise (or perhaps I should say naivete) when we started playing our new CD in the car and I clearly heard the "S" word multiple times, we scanned through that song. As I kept listening, it was clear that this CD was not going to be acceptable for The Son to listen to, at least not according to my standards. It looks like we spent over $11 for two songs (one of which also has the "S" word in it briefly) that we can actually listen to.

This brings me to something that I've been thinking about a lot lately as The Son grows up and is now interested in TV shows and movies beyond "Sprout" and "Noggin." Why is there so much bad language on TV and how do we, as parents, explain inappropriate usage of words to our children when they see them on TV or hear them in our music all the time? I know when I was growing up, my parents didn't curse, didn't use words like hell and damn and now they're commonplace on most TV shows. The other day, The Son was watching a "Lassie" movie with The Husband and they used the word "faggot," this movie was rated G! G? Really? Bakugan, which my son LOVES, constantly uses the phrase, "What the...?" leaving the watcher to fill in the blank. So not attractive when your kid comes out with, "What the heck?" or worse!

After talking about this all with The Husband last night, we came to the conclusion that a parent's job has changed over the years. Whereas when we were children, it was our parent's job to pretty much shield us from "bad" words now, The Husband and I feel that is close to impossible, it's now become our job to teach our children about "bad" words and to teach them why it's not acceptable to use them even though everyone else does. It's quite a challenge. The Son is constantly asking me, "Momma, can I say _____________" and I have to explain why or why not when I answer him. It's not only a challenge, it's exhausting!

I also hear so many children using the phrase, "Oh my God" (which I think I've written about before). I find it so inappropriate and unattractive and I am not the least bit religious. The Son hears this all. the. time. at school, on TV, even at our beloved YMCA... just about everywhere. Fortunately, he is still young enough that he listens to his Momma and Daddy and does work to self-edit his language and word choices.

So, am I over-reacting? Is it now acceptable for kids to say, "Oh my God!" "What the heck/hell?" or "Damn" or "Shit?" is it going to be a couple years before we also allow the "F" word on TV? We already allow "freaking" and "friggin" don't even get me started on that! I think that sounds terrible too! I don't know, I'm interested in hearing what others think about this topic and I'm really only talking about kids here, I am no prude, I use my fair share of "colorful language" when The Son is not around, it's not like I never do, it's just that I'm finding it a challenge to teach all this to The Son. What do you think? Leave me a freaking comment why don't you? ;)

Have a great Thursday everyone!


Darlene said...

Oh, I know what you mean about all of the "colorful" words! Lexi LOVES the song Boom Boom Pow and does listen to it and sing it minus the bad words. She knows that the words are NOT acceptable in our home or for her to say so she just makes up another word to go in place of the fowl ones. It is extremely hard to keep the words away, so she just knows which ones she is not allowed to utter. It seems like those words are becoming very commonplace but I don't have to LIKE it.

Heidi Dous said...

Caren - This is a great topic! My kids have MP3 players and always want me to download songs that they hear. Almost everyone is NOT acceptable for 7 and 9 year olds! I have to go online and listen to the song myself and then search for a "clean" version - also called "radio edit". I feel that it is a shame that musicians can't express themselves without bad language.

I also tell my children that "oh my god" is not acceptable and I do correct children when they are in my house.

This is just one of many constant battles that we must fight to raise our children to be respectful in today's society. I can tell you that I see it with my boys that it DOES pay off. They have their moments and aren't perfect for sure - they say things they shouldn't and certainly hear things I wish they didn't - but as long as they know right from wrong, I feel like we as parents as doing our job.

Good luck! Again, this is a great topic! Can't wait to hear what others have to say.

~ Heidi

Cathy said...

LOL on the "leave me a freakin' comment" line!!!

I have to agree with you. Funny story - today on the way home from school Lily got all serious and said "Momma, Emily said a bad word in school today" I asked her what and she said "I can't say" finally she told me and the word was "HATE". I guess you wouldn't call that a BAD word but certainly not a nice one. She was just so innocent telling me the story!

morewineplease said...

I struggle with this every day.. I censor big time what my girls watch and listen too, and am shocked that some of our 10 year old friends are allowed to watch ABC NBC & CBS shows on after 8PM.. totally not appropriate.. they are being forced to grow up too quickly already.
good post