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DS only been in Reception for four days and has learnt a swear word!

(56 Posts)
TheSweetLittleBunny Fri 19-Sep-08 06:01:36

Apparently another little child said it at his before school club. (The f-word) This child is also in his class and DS has become friends with him. TBH while I was overhearing a conversation between the child's mum (mum 3 kids, no parter, aged about 22!)and a friend I was secretly hoping that DS was not going to be friends with the boy and lo and behold ..... they are practically bessie mates shock

We never use such language in front of DS - and I can't even understand how anyone would do so to the extent that the child can repeat the word elsewhere.

DS is very bright but he loves being the centre of the action and attention, so is quite easily led, but he is not naughty, is very well mannered and well brought up. I am worried that DS is going to make friends with people that will distract him from his school work.

I had a similar situation with a girl at nursery, who DS formed a friendship with, and this caused lots of problems with DS behaviour at home. Thankfully we don't see her now - different schools.

I was a SAHM for nearly 5 years, and have put a lot of time and effort into DS, done lots with him, taken him to various activities, like music/drama, Tumbletots, football, swimming, we do lots of stuff together like crafts, making cakes, having a laugh - both DH and I.

I am so worried that all this will be undone because of other people's children, that for whatever reason may not have had that kind of input.

Am I worrying un-necessarily?

dilbertina Fri 19-Sep-08 06:05:41

Perhaps you could keep him in a bubble?

TheSweetLittleBunny Fri 19-Sep-08 06:09:45

Perhaps - but that would be impractical wouldn't it? Thanks for your empathy though. It's sooooo nice to feel supported at 6.00am hmm

mankyscotslass Fri 19-Sep-08 07:01:50

I'm sorry, but this is school life from now on.
Just tell him you don't use words like that in your house and then ignore it. If you make a song and dance he will keep saying it for reaction. Be prepared for lots worse.

cornsilk Fri 19-Sep-08 07:08:52

''I was a SAHM for nearly 5 years, and have put a lot of time and effort into DS, done lots with him, taken him to various activities, like music/drama, Tumbletots, football, swimming, we do lots of stuff together like crafts, making cakes, having a laugh - both DH and I.

I am so worried that all this will be undone because of other people's children, that for whatever reason may not have had that kind of input.''

Oh please! Get over yourself!

herbietea Fri 19-Sep-08 07:18:23

Message withdrawn

Yorkiegirl Fri 19-Sep-08 07:25:38

Message withdrawn

cornsilk Fri 19-Sep-08 07:33:41

I'm thinking troll here actually.
If not you need to start up your own school.
You could call it the UPOA academy for mollycoddled children.

cornsilk Fri 19-Sep-08 07:34:39

That should be the UMOA academy actually.
Right off to work - blimey what a terrible mother I am.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Sep-08 07:37:50


fedupandisolated Fri 19-Sep-08 07:37:54

Children learn a lot of things in Reception - not all necessarily on the curriculum (fortunately and unfortunately)

Unfortunately you can't prevent him from hearing and experiencing other children who may have heard and seen things which they should not have done.

As some others have said - tell him it's not a nice word, we don't use that word and then forget it. If he uses the word again then remind him not to use it. No big reaction or he'll latch on and repeat it gleefully forever (children eh!).

Try not to worry too much because despite the odd swear word (which they all seem to pick up) he will learn lots of really good and positive stuff too.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Sep-08 07:38:41

Home educate him if you don't want him mixing with riff raff

fedupandisolated Fri 19-Sep-08 07:41:05

Ah - is this someone trolling? If so I regret taking the time to post as above.

TheSweetLittleBunny Fri 19-Sep-08 08:36:43

Snob - no way

Troll - I don't think so, I am not quite sure what you mean by that

Judgemental - yes possibly

Overprotective definitely yes. To a fault perhaps.

Thanks for your honest posts anyway - although some of it was uncomfortable to read.

ChopsTheDuck Fri 19-Sep-08 08:40:37

Blimey I think some of the posts on here are a bit harsh. I think the OP is jsut a little naive, but it is difficult when children start school and you lose control of what they are exposed to, especially when it is your first.

Unfortunately, there is little you can do about it, but if you reinforce your rules in your house he will be fine. I really don't like some of my dkid's friends and their influences. I can't choose their friends for them, but they don't come to our house.

rivenhasaparrotonhershoulder Fri 19-Sep-08 08:47:14

You could always Home Educate. But Home edd kids can be potty-mouthed too.
You're being too precious. Its school, they will learn things you don't like. And one day they'll be teens and might try drinking and smoking as well. Start by telling him its a word you don't like then leave it.
My kids started school at 13 and within days were saying 'retard' (they already swear. Its not something I fuss about) which is a awful school word. I have had 'words' about it. But once kids start to move aweay from you they will learn stuff you don't like. Its life.

rivenhasaparrotonhershoulder Fri 19-Sep-08 08:48:40

my mum was a lone parent with 3 kids. We never swore in her presence as she was so strict. Don't judge lone parents please.

geekgirl Fri 19-Sep-08 08:59:10

yes, no need to be so harsh to the OP . If I only had my PFB I would have probably been as anxious as you (actually, having said that - if my youngest who has just started school came home saying the f word I would be shock, and he's my third).

It is a fact of school life though and as well as learning literacy and numeracy your ds will now learn how to rub along with the rest of society. As others have said - reinforce how things are in your family, and learn to say 'that might be how xx does it, but we don't do it like that.'

silverbirch Fri 19-Sep-08 09:04:27

"...I can't even understand how anyone would do so to the extent that the child can repeat the word elsewhere..."

Presumeably your child only heard it once or twice and yet he repeated it elsewhere. A word is just a word to a 4 year old. They will pick them up and try them out, and some they will keep and some they will drop. Calmly explain that it is not a nice word and then move on.

Children learn about the world when they start school and unfortunately not everything in the world is comfortable. Now he has started school you cannot control things to the same extent, but that is not necessarily a bad thing... support him and support his teachers and he will be fine.

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 19-Sep-08 09:05:14

This is the point in your relationship with your son when you have to realise that you are no longer in control. It's part of his growing independence. There are positives and negatives about this. Wait till he's off to secondary school!

Sounds like you've had a bit of a shock - and that he is a bit of a pfb. Don't worry about it. He will learn what other people are like and become a better person for it.

Surprised it's only one word actually!

TheBlackPearlDragon Fri 19-Sep-08 09:06:53

"(mum 3 kids, no parter, aged about 22!)and a friend I was secretly hoping that DS was not going to be friends with the boy"

Er, that is incredibly snobby. As is your comment about all your "good" work being undone by other people's children.

If you'd left all the snobby judgemental comments out of your OP you would have received a far better response.

DumbledoresGirl Fri 19-Sep-08 09:13:40

When I taught in London many moons ago, we had many refugee children come to our school with no English at all. Almost invariably, their first English word spoken in the playground (and learnt there I hasten to add in case you thought I had anything to do with it!) was the F word.

There was a certain depressing inevitability about it, but I think that is life unfortunately. Like Riven, I am not hung up about swear words. I just hope my children know not to use them at school.

cory Fri 19-Sep-08 09:22:29

Don't worry about this. It could equally well have been on a bus, or in the supermarket queue or wherever. Look on it in a positive way, as a teaching situation. This is where you get to reinforce your values. The beauty of being the kind of concerned parent you are is that you are giving your child values that will stay with him forever regardless of what the rest of the world does.

However, the safest way of losing your influence when he gets to the preteens (which is when they start seeing you from outside) is to be too judgmental of his friends and overprotective of him: if he then feels he needs to break away from you, you will lose the benefit of what you were trying to do.

So the trick is to find some balance. Learn to feel friendly towards his mates without necessarily accepting everything they do.

Tell him that you know that lots of people use these words, but that he's not allowed.

And don't be overquick to blame the influence of other children if your ds misbehaves at school or slacks with his work. Just because you have brought him up well doesn't mean he will be incapable of initiating misbehaviour forever after. You may find that other parents are blaming your ds! Every teacher knows the situation where you are caught between two or three parents, all caring and conscientious and each blaming the influence of "the other child".

In any case, he gradually needs to learn to take reponsibility for his own actions, his own language and his own work. Obviously not all at once- he's only little- but that is what you are working towards.

I am fairly sure that my ds (8) has a passive knowledge of all the common swearwords, but if I ever hear him using them, I'm not going to be wasting time blaming his little friends: I'm going to come down on him like a ton of bricks! He knows the house rules and he also knows the rationale behind them.

TheSweetLittleBunny Fri 19-Sep-08 10:01:19

Thanks again for your posts. I did have a word with his before school club leader, just to say that I am not happy that DS has been picking up swear words from people there and she has told me that I am not the only person that has mentioned something about this particular boy (and the family generally). In fact FIVE other parents have raised their concerns this week.(So I was not necessarily wrong in my judgement of this particular situation).

The fact that the boy's mum is a single parent with three children is irrelevant here - it is more the nature of the conversation she was having (very loudly), her manner, and other aspects of her that elicited a negative judgement. I have eyes and ears and a brain, I am 43 and have worked and lived among all kinds of people, trust me - I stand by my judgement where she is concerned. I know some of you might not like that. But rest assured if I were a snob, I would not be doing the job I am doing, and actually it is partly because of the job I am doing that I made that judgement, because of some of the content of her conversation. Nuff said.

I know that I AM over-reacting about the swear word. DS knows how to behave. I guess like a lot a parents I constantly worry if I have been a good enough parent, have I given him enough of a foundation, especially now, as some of you have said, he is out there in the big wide world and we are not his only influence.

cory Fri 19-Sep-08 10:20:24

I think you need to give up on the idea that you have given him a foundation once and for all that is going to sort out all his problems and turn him forever after into the sort of person you had envisaged.

I am not even sure that would count as being a good enough parent: it fails to take into account his growing independence and his need to make his own choices (though naturally not about the language he uses in your home [wink}- you can tell him that is set in stone).

Your job is to teach him about the world and how to deal with it; it is not to protect him from it. Sooner or later he will need to make his own mistakes- without being overwhelmed by guilt because you did everything right in his childhood.

I think this was what rubbed some people up about your OP: there was a sense of 'I have done so much for him that he really mustn't go wrong in any way'. That would be putting a lot of pressure on a child as he grows up. He is only little yet, but you may need to work on this feeling. There are all sorts of reasons why he should use decent language (among other things) but 'I did so much for you when you were little' is not the best one.

Also, try to cut school teachers etc some slack. They have to educate everyone and see every child as equally precious. And there are things (such as words whispered in the playground) that they really cannot control.

Don't worry- you have many years to influence your son. You are not abandoning him to an evil world now: God willing you will be around for many a year to be an influence on him. But try not to see the outside world only in terms of a threat: see it is a learning experience. Take it as something positive.

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