I was just about to enter the children’s bedroom, the door was already ajar. Just to check on the girls playing and I overheard “You are so shitty” and then the girls started saying “No you are so shitty”. It settled soon as they got busy with another toy.
This incident left me thinking as to how we address this issue. This vocabulary is obviously picked up from either school, building play groups, overhearing adult conversations, at a mall or a restaurant.
So I decided to take a fun approach. After her friend left I asked my little one whether she learnt the new words at school. To which she responded that her friends use it who in turn heard it from their elder siblings talking. So I told her it’s great that she learned a new word but did she know the meaning? I knew the answer but feigned ignorance. She was using the word frivolously.
When I told her the meaning she was like “Eww”. I also added that using such language would mean she is a bad girl and it might sound fun but it is not an appropriate language to use.
We made a deal that whatever new words she picked up she would come and tell and discuss and so that we are devoid of getting sudden shocks out of the blue.
Certain suggestions as a parent dealing with such situations and not turning it into awkwardness for yourself and the kids are:
Be curious – talk and try to know the child’s peers, friends, the friend’s family backgrounds, bus mates, about what they learn etc as it helps to nip it at the bud sometimes.
Communicate – Keep communication lines open, encourage your child to share things as even little things can lead to big things. React positively, any negative reaction could lead them to clamping up and develop severe trust issues.
Appreciate – Look at the good things in such situations so appreciate the good parts. Address the incorrect through explanations and help the child formulate the correct mechanisms to differentiate the good from the bad.
Modelling – You are the child’s best teacher! They follow parents sometimes almost hero worship them so be careful about what you say and react as children see and learn. They do not learn to differentiate people by colour or religion or characteristics they are conditioned by their circumstances and the societal pressures. So make sure to create an environment that they learn to be inclusive and not biased and you lead by example.
It’s a trial and error method this parenting thing! One thing doesn’t work for all kids so with observations and communication you can figure out what works best for your kids. Stay positive about it and be calm so things will slowly fall in place.
Happy Parenting to All!
Image courtesy – Twitter, Pinterest, www.advantage4parents.com/ (main image)
- Pooja Guha-Bansode
- July 6, 2017
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