Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mom, There's a Bad Word In My Book.

I realized shortly after moving into our house four and a half years ago that we would be having conversations with our kids about words they heard very soon... much sooner than we had hoped we would have to. When your house is ten feet from the sidewalk and people are constantly walking by... and when the playground is just across the street... words float in our windows.

I knew I wouldn't be able to keep my kids from hearing them, so I started asking them daily... "Have you heard or seen anything that you have questions about?"

And they started asking us about the words they heard.

My hope was that they would become comfortable talking to me about anything, that they would trust me enough to ask, and that since we started talking about those words when they were in kindergarten and first grade that they wouldn't feel the need to use them when they hit middle school and all the kids were trying them out.

I don't know if my plan will work out as I hope... but I do know that we are building a comfort level with the awkward conversations. Liza and Jason ask about words all the time now. There is no shame in saying them when asking. But sometimes they still surprise me.

Like in this recent conversation with Liza....

LIZA: Mom, there's a bad word in the book I'm reading.
ME: What's the word?
LIZA: *shows me the book and points to the word retard*
ME: Do you know what that word means?
LIZA: Yeah. Doesn't it mean like bitch or something?
ME: *laughing so hard inside!* Well, not really.

I explained what it means and why it's not a nice word to use. (She was reading Percy Jackson.) 
And then I felt so content. Liza doesn't run around using the word bitch... but she was comfortable enough to know that she could just say it to me to explain what she was thinking.

I hope conversation is always this easy between us.

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