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Children and language - what is acceptable?

(7 Posts)
AdamsMissus Tue 10-Feb-15 08:40:14

Yesterday I was chatting to a mum at school who was upset because her DS called her DH an idiot.

I'm pretty sure he probably picked it up from my DS, who has heard me muttering it while driving and sometimes I berate myself and call myself an idiot. Both boys are three, I think it's fairly inoffensive and wouldn't tell my DC off for saying it, in fact had a chat with DH and said no matter what the word if used in the correct context we aren't too bothered.

Is this a bit laissez-faire? My children have excellent vocabularies and are exploring language so I might ask if they understand the meaning of the word but never ban its use.

dementedpixie Tue 10-Feb-15 09:03:10

it is rude for a child to call an adult an idiot and I am sure you don't call your ds an idiot to his face. It was rude in the way he used it not that the word itself is bad.

gourd Wed 11-Feb-15 16:23:52

Heh heh, ours (4 years) called her Dad a "Turnip" which was hilarious of course and we tried so hard not to laugh - we dont want her to go around calling people turnips obviously. I think they have to learn the sometimes subtle differences between who they can and cant call turnips/idiots and in what situations. A child who is only 4 or 5 probably wont understand subtleties of time/place/relationship to the person you are saying it too though and how these make it acceptable/not acceptable or downright rude. So it's probably best tell them not to say it all at at this age. I call her Dad a Pumpkin though which may not have helped - as she may not see the difference because there isnt one really, it's all in the way it's said, but this may be lost on a small child.. Having told her she mustn't call people turnips as it's rude and not very nice she then went on to use "potato" and "carrot" as substitute mild-insults (good substitutes though - they are all root vegetables) so I think she knew we found it quite funny and was playing it for laughs.. Whatever you do - dont laugh when they say anything you really dont want them to say or they will keep repeating it!

gourd Wed 11-Feb-15 16:30:34

I had to tell her Dad not to call himself an idiot though - never in front of her. If you do that they will tell you you are one and in the right context when you've made a mistake/not brought the correct book for them to read/trodden on their favourite toy because it's on the floor etc. He needs to say, Oops, I made a mistake, or Never mind, not "I'm an idiot". You do have to treat yourself with respect if you expect others to, especially your children. I do wonder if that kid who called her Dad an idiot had heard him say it about himself and if he's done that then it's not suprising the child repeated it later.

MeridianB Wed 11-Feb-15 18:20:18

Not sure I get the point about any word being ok providing it's used in the correct context. I wouldn't want my children swearing or calling someone an idiot, twit or worse whether it was in context or not.

ragged Wed 11-Feb-15 19:22:51

Taking all this a bit seriously... we do all sorts of names in our house. It's tone not words that matter in my mind.

MrsMarigold Thu 12-Feb-15 14:24:08

I don't care about swearing much - it isn't the end of the world. However DS does seem to get that there are certain words that are more socially acceptable - I heard him telling someone on a playdate "We never say toilet, we call it a loo in this house." Neither me nor my DH told him this but we did have a quiet chuckle to ourselves afterwards.

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