B.T met my colleague's husband who is American too so they had loads in common to talk about. In between conversations, his kids would run up to give him a hug or ask for something and we noticed that he didn't alter his language and words used. For example, as typical adults, we will cuss about and the f-word is commonly used. There were no 'hushes' when the kids came by and later on, as a couple of us were trying to figure out some figurative phrase around the topic of s*x, the two young kids (age 11 and 7) were present and listening.
That question popped up later on and the mom said that it's totally fine in this household for the kids to say the -f-word or discuss about s*x. They watch everything and they just need to understand the rules and context on when to use it. For example, the f-word cannot be used in school and in front of grandparents and of course, not to the parents. But it's fine to speak with it and sing songs with it because they understand how and when to use it.
This would be something that most Asian parents would be aghast upon hearing it. Most parents I know, don't teach their kids about s*x until they reach their teens which in my personal opinion, is already too late. Or if they do, it's called the birds and the bees instead of using the actual biological terms.
Much as my folks are open-minded i.e. giving me full permission to club the moment I turned of legal age or allowing me to stay over at my steady boyfriend's house as it all boiled down to trust, when it came to language usage, they were a lot more strict. I liked the way my parents brought my sis and I up and giving us full authority to do whatever we want with no curfews because without being told, we informed our whereabouts and never betrayed their trust in us. It's like reverse psychology. The more you tell a kid "You cannot do this."
, the greater the temptation for them to do so. It's like wanting to try what's forbidden. It's a thrill.
Last night, B.T and I were talking about it. We are the type who prefer treating kids as adults. No baby talking to them but rather, speaking to them as though they were adults and speaking to them in proper sentences etc. You don't shout at kids unless it's necessary because that leads to crying and wailing but instead using a firm tone. We've seen friends bringing up their kids and it works.
So how about this language issue? We both agreed that it's perfectly fine if the kid says the f-word provided they understand the context of it and don't abuse it. Crying out loud, F*ck!
when you stub your toe against the door is just voicing out frustration. What is the difference between saying that and Oh golly
or something considered 'more refined'? Of course if they turn at you and say f-you, that's totally different as what my colleague mentioned above.
Adults make rules to try and keep their kids from 'harm'. Sometimes, it's whether these rules make sense. Why is it that an adult can say or do something but not a kid? Why smoke and tell your kid otherwise? That's just double standards? If you don't want your kid to say the f-word, don't say it yourself. How about intimacy with a partner? Well, the difference between kids and adults is that the former are unable to firstly take care of themselves nor have the ability to be responsible should something happen. That's the reason why you tell a kid that you don't go around sleeping with your partner because the maturity to handle responsibility isn't there yet. Not, you can't because I say No or that it is bad.
Everyone has a different way of bringing up their kids and there's no right or wrong. At the end of the day, parents only want the best for their children. One of the reasons why B.T and I get along well is because we share the same line of thoughts. And we both decided that if we have kids together in future, the way we'll bring them up might be rather different from the traditional ways.
P.S I'm not spelling out s*x only because I don't want my entry to be flagged offensive :P