Watch What You Say – Guest Post
January 19, 2009 by The Constant Complainer
Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they would like to complain about. Leo Nevoli submitted the below-Guest Post. His complaint is centered on certain parental decisions. I always enjoy parenting and bad-parenting posts. So I hope you too will enjoy, and without further adieu, here’s Leo…
I want to take this time to discuss a few events over the past few months that I witnessed, which left me thinking about me as a parent. I try to be a good parent, and make sure that my kids don’t learn bad habits from me. Prior to becoming a Dad for the first time, I admit that I had a bit of a fowl mouth and would let a few words slip out here and there. I was not someone who used an explicit word every other word or sentence when I talked. I would occasionally say a bad word normally when I was angry. I would jokingly call our one cat Dipsh-t, and he would respond to it. I stopped calling him that before the first Daughter came along. With two children, I do not use language around them that I want them repeating. My Wife told me I needed to control what I say around the kids, and I do, unfortunately my Wife does not. For example, as we were watching the football games this past weekend, my Wife and I sat on our couch with our youngest Daughter. Both girls were sick the past week with a cough, runny nose, Pink Eye, and were throwing up. As we sat there, the youngest decided to throw up her dinner all over the couch. The oldest Daughter, who is three years old, announces this event by saying “Oh god damn it, she threw up on the couch.” As funny as it seems at first, I know my Wife uses “god damn it” very often. I told her you correct the oldest and yell at her for using that language, I am going to clean up the couch. Last thing I want is for her to repeat that around other kids or at Daycare.
Earlier that day as I was out shoveling the snow that fell overnight off my 22 steps and sidewalk, a 10 year old boy, was out trying to earn a few extra bucks by shoveling people’s walkway. When he came to my house and seen me at the top of the steps he asked “Are you shoveling these steps and sidewalk?” I told him I was. His reply was “Oh f-ck off old man, you are taking my business from me!” It’s my own steps that I am shoveling; I am not taking his business away from him. As much as I wanted to tell the kid off, I did not because he was a kid and I was an adult. I am sure that would have gone over really well with the neighbors.
On Christmas Day this past year, my Nephew who is four years old opened a gift from my Youngest Brother. It was a western style gun toy. You fire at a stand that had bottles and cans on it, and when the light of the gun, hit the “eye” of the bottle or can, the item will pop off the stand, as if it has just been shot. His reaction to this was “Look I got a gun, I can go kill something.” He is a four year old excited to go kill something. I was stunned because a four year old understands what the word kill means. I did not know how to react, because that is my nephew, and his Dad, my other Brother started yelling at him and dragged him in to another room. His Dad does not own a gun, so I don’t know where he would have learned what kill means.
My Wife works at a Daycare. This past November on Election Day, she had to handle an incident between the children in her class. These children are 5 years old. One girl was telling her classmates that she went to the voting booth with her Mom in the morning, and seen her Mom vote for Obama. A boy classmate replied with “my Dad said you shouldn’t vote for Obama because…” The boy made an offensive comment that my wife overheard.
I don’t know where that 10 year old learned that language. It could be in school, it could be from a movie, it could be from his parents. If he learned it from his parents, I can’t say I am surprised by it. I am beginning to believe parents are not being responsible enough when they talk around their kids. Is it not the Parent’s responsibility to make sure their child is not exposed to such language? If the parents are using that language around the kids, do they not know that their kid will repeat what they hear? I know Mr. Constant Complainer has posted topics about parents and children before, but there are certain things as a parent, one should know immediately, and that is children repeat what they see or hear. If you don’t realize that before it happens, then your kids drop an F-bomb in public, you are going to be embarrassed by it and you will realize that it reflects your parenting skills. It’s a shame to see kids these days learning the wrong things from their parents. I’m Leo Nevoli, and that’s my ponderings.