When Your Child Says the F Word at School

From the time my son was born, I knew I was going to have to start censoring myself. There are times I could make a sailor blush – and have made sailors blush! I work in a male-dominated industry. Not that that’s much of an excuse. My husband works with all men, and he manages to leave his potty mouth at work. Mine goes everywhere with me.

So when my son started talking, and copying everything we said, as they do when they’re toddlers, I knew I needed to step up my game, concealing my penchant for swearing.

Until recently, I was proud to say that my child didn’t swear. Then I heard him say shit. And I thought I heard him say fuck, but I couldn’t be certain.

Then last week, on the way home from school, I said, “How was school buddy?” “Good,” came his reply. “Did you get up to 3 stars?” He had been on 2 stars the day before so when I dropped him off I told him his goal for the day was to get up to 3 stars. He shook his head and hung it. He said, “L-e-a-v-e-l …” and held up 4 fingers. I was shocked. And not just at the fact he couldn’t spell level yet. How did he fall from grace, and fall so far? He pulled out a pink slip.

The dreaded detention pink slip. I read it and had to stifle a laugh.

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I also had to tell him how disappointed I was that he had used the F word at school. And in front of a teacher. “It wasn’t in front of a teacher. Someone told on me.” What the fuck, we’re raising a generation of dibber dobbers now?

The positive we took from all this is that when the teacher asked him if he’d said the F word, he admitted to it. We told him how good he was for not lying, but that that kind of language is inappropriate at school – or anywhere for a child his age. I told him that when he’s an adult, he can say it as much as he wants! And I also told him that mummy would try really hard not to say it either.

So far I haven’t been very successful, but I think I’ve been better about not saying it around him. If all else fails, it’ll be the same lesson my father taught me – do as I say, not as I do!

Has your child ever said a bad word? At school? Did you laugh or were you mortified?

Linking up with Jess for I Blog On Tuesdays, because it’s Tuesday, and it’s been waaaaay too long.

The World Has Gone Mad

I’ve been on a hiatus from blogging, because to be honest, “Life” got in the way. That’s not to say bloggers don’t or can’t have lives. It’s just to say that this blogger could no longer keep up with the demands of uni, a new Mon-Fri job, and all the various life activities one commits to when they don’t know how to say “no”.

But I am angry. And I am motivated to write. I feel compelled to voice my opinion, no matter how it is received, or even if it is never even viewed! The world has gone MAD. Now, this might not come as a surprise to you, but I am so disheartened tonight. I am completely dumbfounded by the actions of various people. I am ASTOUNDED by comments, behaviour, expectations and ENTITLEMENTS some people seem to feel privy to. I’m so angry I had to rate my anger over certain issues so I could find a place to start.

Issue: Laura Davies missed her induction to the Golf Hall of Fame because organisers put it on Monday, in SCOTLAND, when she was playing the US Women’s Open in Pennsylvania the day before.
Anger rating: 10

This is just another slap in the face to women’s golf by an industry that has been predominantly male since the beginning of time. There is not now, nor ever will there be, anything close to “equality” in men’s and women’s golf. But for many years, Laura Davies was the golfer people came to see play. She deserves this award as much as any male golfer deserves it. Sure, no one can control flights being delayed but how ridiculous to schedule it so close anyway. They would NEVER have done this to a PGA player. From ESPN:

Then the question comes as to why the induction ceremony couldn’t be held Tuesday night, just to avoid any problems. According to World Golf Hall of Fame communications director Dave Cordero, that wasn’t feasible. Cordero said in an email that Monday was the only night available during The Open week at St. Andrews because there was an R&A Past Champions dinner Tuesday night and a champions exhibition event Wednesday. Plus, with the tournament starting on Thursday, it’s understandable why it couldn’t be held Wednesday night.

The Past Champions dinner could have been held Monday and the HOF induction Tuesday night. It’s just another shameful page in the discriminatory “Good ol’ boys (golf) club” story. Let’s not even talk about how long it took Augusta National or The Royal and Ancient to allow a female member!

My message for the WGHOF? Pull your heads out of your asses.

 

Issue: Nick Kyrigos doesn’t want to be here and Bernard Tomic has been arrested. 
Anger rating: 9

Nick Kyrigos, representing Australia in the Davis Cup, completely choked while playing an unheard of Kazakhstanian player, giving Australia 2 losses and desperately needing a win just to stay alive. His attitude was even worse than his game, with microphones picking up “I don’t even want to be here” coming out of his mouth. I have felt that before on the tennis court and golf course. But that kind of attitude isn’t going to turn things around.

Meanwhile, in Miami, Florida, Bernard Tomic continues to show us why he’s a completely self-absorbed brat by being arrested for refusing to turn his music down and then resisting arrest. These two clowns keep acting like complete idiots yet seem surprised at the reaction from Australians. Maybe their parents pandered to their every tantrum, but they need to know we expect more from our up-and-coming sporting hopefuls. Do they think Pat Rafter or any other Aussie tennis icons got where they are for being obnoxious, opinionated or thinking they knew more than the men Tennis Australia entrusted with their development? These two boys – who are old enough they should know better already – have heads bigger than their tennis resumes allow for.

My message to these two? Pull your big heads out of your asses.

Issue: The belief that “Caitlin Jenner isn’t a soldier, so she can’t be brave, courageous or a hero.”
Anger level: Fluctuates between 7 and 10. The below tweet pretty much says it all.

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I really don’t know what else to say about the whole situation. The people making the awful comments about her not being brave, not being courageous, not deserving of her award, they are they very people who do in fact make her all those things. Because it’s having to deal with judgmental, critical, ignorant people that makes her courageous. She might not be a hero to you, but I am sure she’s a hero to the person who because of her, decided they can face this situation and be who they truly feel they are. To those who are judging her I say: pull your heads out of your asses!

Issue: Our Speaker of the House, Ms Bishop, spent $5000 taking a helicopter from Melbourne to Geelong.
Anger rating: 7 

Response from Malcolm Turnbull: “Why would you charter a helicopter when you could just use your own?” Anger rating: 10 

I was seriously pissed about this for about 30 minutes, before I found out it was from a satirical publication? Anger level? 1. That actually finally made me laugh and get over the rest of these things that have me so angry today. On a serious note about Helicoptergate, it surprises me any politician would criticise Ms Bishop’s actions, lest they have their expenses scrutinized as well. I guarantee we could find enough financial waste and extravagance across Australian political records to pull the country out of debt.

You know what my advice for our politicians is.

Maybe if everyone pulled their heads out, the world would be a little better place.

On Raising Boys

The entire country was on edge when Stephanie Scott went missing days before her wedding, and was later found after a 24 year old man was arrested for her murder. The social media posts were rampant with hashtags dedicated to remembering her and speaking out against violence against women. Late Saturday night I read a post on Facebook that said “We teach our girls to grow into brave independent women, please teach your boys to grow into loving and respectful young men.” I couldn’t stop thinking about this. As the mother of a boy, I have never once thought he would be violent towards anyone. I have obviously taught him over the years, as parents do, to be gentle and kind. And anyone who knows him will tell you how well behaved and mannered he is. But I suddenly started questioning every one of his actions.

We went to a birthday party the next morning, where he was wrestling on the jumping castle with two other boys about his age. I was waiting for it to end in tears, and there were a few tears, but they got over it and went straight back to it. Later I saw him with one of his little girl friends pinned up against the jumping castle and she looked scared. I felt sick to my stomach. Had I not done a good enough job of teaching him to be respectful towards women??? In reality, I think it’s more a case of he has a lot of friends that are girls and he doesn’t yet really notice the difference between boys and girls. Although I think he is starting to. Apparently he told one of the girls he loved her and kissed her. On the lips. Where does he get that from at 6 years old?!

Later that afternoon, as we were leaving the party, a 3 year old was hanging off him, so he grabbed him and threw him to the ground. Again I found myself yelling at his behaviour towards others. All the while thinking how badly I had failed as a mother. And wondering if I was raising a child who would be violent towards others when he was older.

One of the problems is that he doesn’t get many opportunities to be a “boy”. He doesn’t have brothers to rough-house with at home and get all that energy and frustration out. Most of the mums I am friends with have girls or younger kids. He and his dad have never play wrestled.

I kept, and keep, coming back to that post on Facebook. I think I believed that kids are inherently good and will be good and kind to others if that is how they are raised. I don’t think they are taught to be loving and respectful. I think they are loving and respectful. I think, more often than not, grown men who are violent towards anyone, were raised to think that is normal and OK. They were probably raised watching their dad beat up on their mum. I think most parents would be absolutely mortified to know their child had committed a crime such as this.

Generally speaking, as parents, we do our absolute very best to raise our kids to be kind, loving and respectful. We raise them with the hope they will be independent, productive citizens.

Don’t teach your kids to be brave, independent, kind, loving….SHOW THEM how to be these things. Let’s start with our own behaviour. Research shows kids copy what they see. Be the person you want your kid to be. And speak out against violence against women. There needs to be much harsher penalties for these crimes. It’s not too late for the kids, but men who have been raised to view this behaviour as OK are not going to change.