The inevitable has happened. The small boy has uttered his first major swear and it didn’t end well for him.
Picture the scene. It’s bathtime and the boy is splashing about and playing with his foam letters, spelling out words and the names of his friends at school.
“Mummy, how do you spell f**k?”
“Erm, can you say that again please, I didn’t quite hear you.” *Quickly beckons husband into the bathroom*
“F**k” he replies. Husband and I exchange slightly panicked glances.
We knew this day would come, but we weren’t expecting it to happen just yet. He is only 5 and we try very hard not to swear in front of him, though it turns out husband is quite the potty mouth when he’s driving.
I remember my first swear. In the car on the way home from something when I was about 8 years old I said that “I was knackered”. As soon as we got home I was chased into the house by a red faced parent wielding a wooden clog to spank me with. In spite of this I have grown into a creative and enthusiastic private swearer.
We dealt with the boy’s verbal transgression without resorting to a beating. We figured it was one of those “teachable moments” so we pulled up our parenting socks, sat him down and had the conversation about naughty words and why he shouldn’t say them. We asked him where he’d heard the word and he said one of the boys at school had taught it him. We were secretly relieved that neither of us were the one who taught our son how to swear (we were very f**king relieved in fact).
There were a few tears before bedtime, a punishment sanction of his Lego ( for giving excessive cheek during our discussion) and a discussion about how it’s not nice to say rude words which might upset people. We quietly congratulated ourselves on a tricky parenting situation handled appropriately.
The next morning he woke up, lesson learned and enjoyed the day with us. At bedtime, snuggled up with a story he sighed and happily said…
“I’ve been a good boy today Mummy, I’ve not said f**k or anything like that”.