Your child using a cuss word

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ClairesMommy's picture
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Your child using a cuss word

DD uttered her very first cuss while on vacation. She was getting out of the pool and looked for her towel, which she didn't find, and said "What in the H*E*L*L". Oh dude. Instant conflict in my head. Doesn't matter where she heard it because it's not like I can shield her little virgin ears to every bad word out there but now I don't think I necessarily handled it right. I took her aside and very sternly but calmly said that was a bad word and that I didn't ever want to hear her say bad words.

Opinions on best handling? What do we think about swearing in front of children? I don't do it, personally. My brother, on the other hand, does use some profanity around his kids - not in anger but in conversation, KWIM? I don't think it's necessary, but is it wise to start throwing it around in front of the kids? They hear it at school and just about every place else.

Joined: 03/08/03
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I actually don't have issues with profanity, personally. But I try very hard not to swear around the kids, and I basically tell them that while I'm not bothered by it, most people are, so I don't want them swearing in front of other kids, teachers, parents, etc. So then I add that the best way to make sure you don't do that is to avoid getting in the habit of doing it.

But it doesn't bother me a whit and I slip up. I just don't want them randomly offending people at school or at their friends' houses.

My mom swore like a sailor and thought it was hilarious when we did the same, so I didn't grow up with any stigma about it.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
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We try not to swear around the kids, but they have heard me come to the edge of swearing many times. I've probably said "oh sh!t" accidentally as a gut reaction (like if something is going to fall and break).

The kids don't really seem to swear (at least not around us!) and seem to understand that its not something you just 'do'. I'm pretty sure if they did swear in front of me at their ages I would probably tell them thats not appropriate. Mainly because I don't find it particularly cute or appealing to watch little kids swear at all...much like i don't find it particularly becoming of adults to swear too much.

But i talk about it with the kids...about why people swear, why swear words exist (because they have asked!) and i generally say what i just said, its not really becoming of anyone to swear too much but sometimes in the heat of the moment grown ups use it to express strong emotion.

I've also told them that people shouldn't swear at anyone.

They know they bleep out swears on the radio and Lillian is so confused by that. She said to me the other day "why don't they just make it with a word you can say on the radio?" and i had to be like "Well...because they don't want to, sometimes they feel the swear word is really the one they want to use" and she says "why?"

I don't know...i don't want to hear my kids swear just because i don't like the way it sounds coming from kids, or really teenagers for that matter. At the same time, i don't think its some huge taboo, its more about knowing when its appropriate and how much is too much.

ETA: I originaly said "they dont' swear much"...i've actually never heard any of them swear.

Joined: 05/31/06
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Like Kim, I've done the exact same thing, with the exact same word, for the exact same reason! I've also accidentally cursed while driving in front of my kids. We have talked with our kids about cursing and how its not appropriate for kids to do in public as other people will get a bad impression of them.

That said, my son got in trouble a few months back along with two other boys for calling some girls on the bus "sexy". I was dumbfounded as that is not a word we use. Came to find out that his teacher was playing "Gangnam style" or whatever its called for the kids on the rug at bus dismissal time!!! Couldn't believe it! (This teacher was a LTS, we have been very not pleased, its why we are sending DD to private kindy next year). Anyway, he cant even say it right, he says "Saxy", which is kindov hilarious. But, when he realized that it was a "Bad" word it became intensely powerful and he seemed to have the urge to use it all the time. So I started giving him 5 minutes before nap time after I had put his sibs down, I said go for it buddy, I set the timer and said ~ its free curse time, you have 5 minutes where you can use all of the 'bad' words you know here in the privacy of our home with no one around. He loves it. He knows **** and "saxy". It seems to have taken away his need or desire to use them at other times and its like a fun little silly thing that we do together.

At the end of the day they are just words.

Joined: 03/08/03
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What's an LTS?

Joined: 08/17/04
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I can swear like a sailor but try to not to in front of the kids. It happens. DD2 is known for repeating them. Especially S*it.

What I do is say, that word isn't a very nice word, that mommy (or daddy) shouldn't have used it either as there are so many better words to use.

mom3girls's picture
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My 3 year old said Damnit the other day when there was a car wreck in front of our house. He looked at the tree that had been damaged and said "Oh damnit, thats not good" It was pretty funny. My girls all gasped like he had just dropped the f bomb. I told him that is not a word we say in our home. He hasnt tried it again. My older kids think that people cuss when they dont have better words to choose from. We heard some kids with really bad language at the mall the other day. My 11 year old suggested we buy them a dictionary.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

What's an LTS?

Long term sub. The regular (wonderful) teacher started the year like 36 weeks pregnant and went out about three weeks into the year, which kindov sucked of her, IMO. The LTS was a woman who had never had a classroom of her own before, merely subbing. Luckily there was only 15 kids in my sons class, but the woman was a pretty lousy teacher, which was a shame.

SID081108's picture
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I rarely cuss but of course have done so here and there, especially when in the car. Our neighbor (and good friend) cusses like a sailor and often right in front of all the kids. It makes me kind of cringe internally but I know the girls will encounter those words everywhere so when it comes up, we'll talk about it. As far as "bad" words that Sophia knows of right now, they are basically "stupid", "idiot", etc....words which are in almost every kid movie. She is like the bad word police...if any of us use the word stupid in any context she jumps all over us.

Oh, and we had never talked about the word "sexy" (nor do we really use it) but she recently added that to her list of bad words. From what I understand, a kid in her class used it and the teacher told him it was a bad word. When she brought it up I told her it wasn't really a bad word, just a grown-up word that kids don't really need to use. She loves to follow rules so I don't have any issue with her wanting to do something more because I tell her not to.

GloriaInTX's picture
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I have never once heard either of my parents use a cuss word, and so they just never entered into my vocabulary. So I don't cuss either because that is just not the first word that pops into my head. My boys heard it from their Dad but never from me, and except for a few times when they were teenagers and something slipped they weren't allowed to cuss in my home. I'm pretty sure the older one's cuss around their friends now but not around me. DH doesn't cuss either, so the one's that I have at home now don't hear it at home either, just when they go to visit their Dad. I think if you don't want you kids to cuss then you shouldn't be using that language in front of them.

Kind of a funny (or sad) story, my 7 year old sometimes texts me from his Dad's phone when he is there. Well his Dad had been mad at me for some reason the week before and sent me a text calling me a few choice names with cuss words included. My son saw that text and thought that I had sent it. He immediately sent me a text and asked why I was using those bad words because he knew that he had never heard me talk like that. When I texted him back that his Dad had written that and not me he was so relieved. It's funny how kids expect their parents to hold to certain standards and are disappointed if they don't meet them.

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I think that "cuss" almost sounds like a bad word. Do you guys really call them that? "Cuss words"? That sounds so funny to me!

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"Potter75" wrote:

Long term sub. The regular (wonderful) teacher started the year like 36 weeks pregnant and went out about three weeks into the year, which kindov sucked of her, IMO. The LTS was a woman who had never had a classroom of her own before, merely subbing. Luckily there was only 15 kids in my sons class, but the woman was a pretty lousy teacher, which was a shame.

We had that happen to my son in first grade but the sub was actually better than the regular teacher anyway. She was brand new to teaching but did a good job and we were bummed when the original teacher returned and was clearly just not focused on things.

Back to the cursing, both kids say "Dang it!" all the time which cracks us up. Neither one of us uses that expression!

I also think kids get very confused about language. When my son was in kindergarten or first grade I remember him telling me that "stupid" was a bad word, like a curse. I said it wasn't. He said they told him it was. I told him it wasn't okay to call a person stupid, but that the word itself was not a bad word and perfectly acceptable under the right circumstances. He asked for an example so I told him that a stupid thing to do would be to try to drink milk out of a Kleenex box. I think that helped clarify things.

I don't like attaching too much power to everyday words. A little kid dropping the f-bomb is one thing; getting hung up on every word that has a negative connotation is another.

But I don't want my kids running around swearing and upsetting people. There's no reason for it. It doesn't matter that it doesn't bother me personally, it's enough that it's extremely jarring to other people. I have worked hard to control my swearing at work; I saw how people reacted and I took the time to apologize to them and work harder on knowing my audience before I get too relaxed.

KimPossible's picture
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We usually say "swear word" or "bad word"

'bad' probably sends a mixed message since I've made it sounds somewhat acceptable in certain circumstances. I've just never put that much thought into it Smile

KimPossible's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I have worked hard to control my swearing at work; I saw how people reacted and I took the time to apologize to them and work harder on knowing my audience before I get too relaxed.

My office environment is seriously prone to swearing, at least my department is. F-bombs and whatever else fly everywhere. And when i was working in the office everyday, i found myself having to 'switch on'/'switch off' every day because i got so used to it but still didn't want to bring a foul mouth home. I never intentionally chose to swear more, it just seemed to happen.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

My office environment is seriously prone to swearing, at least my department is. F-bombs and whatever else fly everywhere. And when i was working in the office everyday, i found myself having to 'switch on'/'switch off' every day because i got so used to it but still didn't want to bring a foul mouth home. I never intentionally chose to swear more, it just seemed to happen.

See, I used to work in tv production and everybody swore like crazy! Then I started working on the more supervisory side and spent more time in offices and I noticed some people actually wincing or having reactions to my vocabulary. I spoke to them about it and it turns out it really did bother them, so I've made an effort to change even though I don't work with either one of them anymore.

I miss my foul-mouthed co-workers. Smile

ClairesMommy's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

I think that "cuss" almost sounds like a bad word. Do you guys really call them that? "Cuss words"? That sounds so funny to me!

No, I don't actually call them 'cuss' words. I sort of dressed it up a bit, for the sake of the thread. I just say 'profanity' or whatever. 'Cuss' isn't used much in Canada.

I have uttered "SH!T!!!!!" the few times someone almost crashed into my van with the kids in it, or maybe even a few expletives when some kid has ridden their bike out in front of me, stuff like that. I don't walk around my house all "@#$%%^ it" or anything.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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I only skimmed the responses.

I do not swear. That said, if my girls hear something from someone else and repeat it, I just calmly say that is not a word we use and move on. If you draw too much attention, they can think it is funny and say it just for the reaction.

Funny story. My brother is an Athiest and his children never go to church. He brought his girls to church with my mother for her birthday. My 2 year old niece called out the F word in the middle of church.

Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
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We say "swear words" too.

DD swore once when she was little little. I wanted to laugh my head off because although it was "sh!t" it sounded too cute. Anyway, I completely ignored her like it never happened and she hasn't sworn since.

If I let any slip out, she tells me off and I have to apologise to her.

When she was in nursery, in our house "Oh Em Gee" became one of those 'sayings' that we all couldn't stop using. I figured it wasn't a huge deal and was better than the original. I picked her up one day and the nursery teacher told me DD had said it and that she was made aware it was unacceptable. When I got her home, she was sad about it so I let her know that it was OK to say at home but at nursery she had to try and not say it again.

xx

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I only skimmed the responses.

I do not swear. That said, if my girls hear something from someone else and repeat it, I just calmly say that is not a word we use and move on. If you draw too much attention, they can think it is funny and say it just for the reaction.

Funny story. My brother is an Athiest and his children never go to church. He brought his girls to church with my mother for her birthday. My 2 year old niece called out the F word in the middle of church.

I'm confused... Why does it matter if your brother is Atheist and his children never go to church? I feel like that part could have been left out of the story. Sounds judgmental to me but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Funny story. My brother is an Athiest and his children never go to church. He brought his girls to church with my mother for her birthday. My 2 year old niece called out the F word in the middle of church.

Just goes to show what happens when you allow atheist spawn into church! It may have actually been a curse ~ did everyone check themselves for a third nipple when you got home?

GloriaInTX's picture
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"mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

I'm confused... Why does it matter if your brother is Atheist and his children never go to church? I feel like that part could have been left out of the story. Sounds judgmental to me but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Seems relevant to me. If children never go to church they aren't taught how to behave in church are they?

KimPossible's picture
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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Seems relevant to me. If children never go to church they aren't taught how to behave in church are they?

This is how i took it too honestly. I didn't see it as some sort of strike against athiests. Kind of like "We went to the ball field to play a game of kickball, and little jane never played kickball before and she ran around the bases backwards"

Great example though of how someone could say something with no ill intent and it could be accidentally interpreted as offensive to someone else.

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I don't think so. Just because one is an atheist doesn't mean that ones child has never been to a quiet place before (a museum, a ballet, a movie etc).

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

I don't think so. Just because one is an atheist doesn't mean that ones child has never been to a quiet place before (a museum, a ballet, a movie etc).

That wasn't what her story was about. It was about them going to church.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I don't think so. Just because one is an atheist doesn't mean that ones child has never been to a quiet place before (a museum, a ballet, a movie etc).

And always yells "f**k" there. Smile

KimPossible's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

I don't think so. Just because one is an atheist doesn't mean that ones child has never been to a quiet place before (a museum, a ballet, a movie etc).

To me it was a matter of not setting all expectations. She didn't say "the kid is an athiest and therefore doesn't know how to be quiet" If the kid doesn't go to church, perhaps they don't know church is one of those places you are supposed to behave in a certain way and the expectation was not set by the parents.

In fact...maybe the father said "Hey, you need to be quiet" but it never occurred to him to have to say "Hey, and you don't say f*ck in church either", which was the actual point of the story IMO.

Anywho...to me it was a simple explanation as to why they may not have known how to behave in church. Not that they don't know how to behave in general.

KimPossible's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

And always yells "f**k" there. Smile

Oh come on...you're kid has never surprised you with something that they shouldn't have done...and you didn't think to address specifically beforehand?

I think we are being overly harsh here.

I mean...i like athiests, and consider being one some days.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

Oh come on...you're kid has never surprised you with something that they shouldn't have done...and you didn't think to address specifically beforehand?

I think we are being overly harsh here.

I mean...i like athiests, and consider being one some days.

I was joking, actually.

But bottom line, kids aren't supposed to yell that word anywhere.

Famous family story: my cousin had a British accent when he was very little, he spent his first few years in England. When they moved back to Toronto, his parents took him to see The Nutcracker, the ballet, and there's a part where the two marionettes (both ballet dancers) are lifted up and carried out, and the ballerina's open legs are facing the audience. She is holding her body stiff and motionless to look like a marionette.

My cousin called out, oh so loud & oh so clear, in his adorable British accent: "But Mummy, where's her vagina?"

It almost brought the house down.

Anyway, this happens everywhere, whether or not the kids are used to being in those places. I wasn't offended. I am like my Mom was; I personally find those things very amusing.

KimPossible's picture
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I was joking, actually.

But bottom line, kids aren't supposed to yell that word anywhere.

Well yes i agree with you there, but i know we have had debates here a long time ago with parents totally defending the fact that they let their kids swear, use the F word, etc. It always baffled me because the argument was "The word only has meaning if you give it meaning" or "its just words" which I always thought was an absurd argument because words only have meaning if we universally define their meaning..and swear words are just that...swear words. I can think of one person in particular who used this argument each time this debate came up...but i can't for the life of me remember her name. She lived in california, had a son....used to talk about how she lived in a very expensive area. Her house was almost eaten by a forest fire once. What.was.her.name!! Anyway...i digress.

Famous family story: my cousin had a British accent when he was very little, he spent his first few years in England. When they moved back to Toronto, his parents took him to see The Nutcracker, the ballet, and there's a part where the two marionettes (both ballet dancers) are lifted up and carried out, and the ballerina's open legs are facing the audience. She is holding her body stiff and motionless to look like a marionette.

My cousin called out, oh so loud & oh so clear, in his adorable British accent: "But Mummy, where's her vagina?"

It almost brought the house down.

Anyway, this happens everywhere, whether or not the kids are used to being in those places. I wasn't offended. I am like my Mom was; I personally find those things very amusing.

LOL that is a funny story.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

To me it was a matter of not setting all expectations. She didn't say "the kid is an athiest and therefore doesn't know how to be quiet" If the kid doesn't go to church, perhaps they don't know church is one of those places you are supposed to behave in a certain way and the expectation was not set by the parents.

In fact...maybe the father said "Hey, you need to be quiet" but it never occurred to him to have to say "Hey, and you don't say f*ck in church either", which was the actual point of the story IMO.

Anywho...to me it was a simple explanation as to why they may not have known how to behave in church. Not that they don't know how to behave in general.

I would hope that all parents of any religious denom or of no religious denom teach their kid not to shout the F word, no? and isn't it just something that all parents teach their kids.....in quiet places we are quiet? I mean.......I guess that I didn't think that my daughter was super special this year when she was quiet at the ballet just because she had never been to the ballet and she was quiet. I wouldn't have described her as "my non ballet going daughter" if I was telling a story about her cursing at the ballet.

KimPossible's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

I would hope that all parents of any religious denom or of no religious denom teach their kid not to shout the F word, no? and isn't it just something that all parents teach their kids.....in quiet places we are quiet? I mean.......I guess that I didn't think that my daughter was super special this year when she was quiet at the ballet just because she had never been to the ballet and she was quiet. I wouldn't have described her as "my non ballet going daughter" if I was telling a story about her cursing at the ballet.

Rereading this kid was 2. So yeah, i don't necessarily think that awareness is there for all 2 year old...nor do i think a 2 year old has necessarily been taught, or retained that you don't repeat the word f*ck.

But i do think a 2 year old who is brought to mass very regularly has a better idea that its quiet than not, even though they aren't disciplined enough to stay that way the entire time. I remember trying to quiet my 2 year old regularly in church...surely they retain a little bit of that if its every single week.

Anywho...my main point is I don't think Bonita was saying "Athiests don't teach their kids to be quiet" or any other sort of bad thing about athiests one could attempt to construe from the post. I think she was just trying to tell a funny story. Thats all.

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Oh, I think so as well. It just speaks to her bias, in the same way as if I told a negative story about my niece or friend and described her as my "conservative christian xyz" I'm sure somebody would give me push back. Dontcha think? I'll slip in in some day down the road and we can check Smile

I was just reading a post on GOMI about a blogger who took a photo of people littering. They were overweight. She shamed them for being "Fat litterbugs" and people jumped all over her. Not for littershaming them, but for throwing in the fat part. This reminds me of that. The story was funny. Being an atheist was an unrelated issue, as was the fat part in the littering post.

KimPossible's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

Oh, I think so as well. It just speaks to her bias, in the same way as if I told a negative story about my niece or friend and described her as my "conservative christian xyz" I'm sure somebody would give me push back. Dontcha think? I'll slip in in some day down the road and we can check Smile

LOL...maybe. I'll eat my words....or humbly try to defend you just so i don't appear to be hypocritical LOL

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

I don't think so. Just because one is an atheist doesn't mean that ones child has never been to a quiet place before (a museum, a ballet, a movie etc).

I agree, I don't find it relevant either. Most kids are taught not to scream the F word no matter where they are at. Jace goes to a lot of places he has never been to and just so happens not to offend large groups of people.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
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I would think that leaving the Atheist part out of the story could have still been a funny story. I know a lot of Christians who don't go to church. Nobody would have questioned why her brother or brother in law (I can't remember who it was) why he doesn't go to church. It didn't add to any humor in the story. I believe that Bonita was not purposefully being malicious but I do believe it was a subconscious closed minded thing to say. We all do it at times.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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My son is a "bad word" police officer as well. I called something (not someONE) "stupid" the other day, and he reminded me that "stupid" is a "bad word." I took my lumps because it seemed kind of lame to try and explain "It's okay to call the computer stupid..."

I try not to cuss in front of the kids, but it does come out on occassion. T has dropped an F bomb before, and when I told him "We don't say that word" he replied "Daddy does." True. LOL

AlyssaEimers's picture
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Wow. I have not had access to the internet this week at my parents house so I missed this.

I did not mean any offence. The point was that she was not used to going to church.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

My son is a "bad word" police officer as well. I called something (not someONE) "stupid" the other day, and he reminded me that "stupid" is a "bad word." I took my lumps because it seemed kind of lame to try and explain "It's okay to call the computer stupid..."

I try not to cuss in front of the kids, but it does come out on occassion. T has dropped an F bomb before, and when I told him "We don't say that word" he replied "Daddy does." True. LOL

Ha!

I really don't like that they've made "stupid" into a "bad word". It's not a bad word. It's not a curse. It's not offensive on its own. The f-word offends people by its very mention, THAT to me is a "bad word". But stupid? Don't call a person stupid, because it's mean, but the word itself should not have a stigma attached to it. It's a perfectly useful, usable word.

ClairesMommy's picture
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I can't stand the word stupid. It sounds nasty and derogatory. Maybe it's not a profane word in the strictest sense, but it isn't a word I even use. I don't know why I feel that way about it. It's right up there with 'ugly' and 'fat'. I don't even like it used for describing inanimate objects like pencils or ladders or cars or whatever. I just can't stand that word. :shrug:

KimPossible's picture
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We use the word stupid to mostly describe inanimate objects. "Thats a really stupid commercial" Or if some policy doens't make sense and seems absurd....or something isn't working right ("Stupid can opener")But I'm pretty sure I've used it to say something like "i've done something stupid"...or "that was stupid of me". Not that i can recall anything specific, just doesn't sound out of the realm of possibility.

And while i would not want my kids going around calling people stupid, i'm pretty sure they ahve heard me use that word, or worse to describe someone else on the road. Bad habit, that i shouldn't do.

But really...in most situations where i would use it, if i were to try not to, i would probably sound foolishly like i'm trying to find other words to use when stupid really has the right definition and fits perfectly.

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Yeah, I don't get why stupid would be a bad word. Stupid movie, stupid choice, stupid rules. Ugly, I don't have an issue with either! Shoes can be ugly, posters can be ugly.

Fat...I don't think that's a bad word either.

Again, it's all about how you use it.

mom3girls's picture
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ITA with you Laurie. We did not allow our children to use words like stupid or ugly until they could use it in a context that was acceptable. We tell them all the time that people are not ugly, but they can have actions that are ugly.

Spacers's picture
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I swear, I'll admit it. :oops: I know I shouldn't swear around the kids but after close to 40 years without any kids around, you kind of get into bad habits, kwim? I stopped the staying up until 4am and drinking a bottle of white wine every night, so it seems this is kind of like my last vice. Sometimes "heck" or "darn" just doesn't convey the right emotion.

Basically, I try my best but when it happens, I'm not embarassed and I don't act guilty. I just say that this is a grown-up word. My kids already know that grown-ups get to do a lot of things kids don't, and saying things like **** and **** is just one more thing on the list. It's not acceptable for little kids, and that's that.