So I’m not a huge fan of foul language, (in front of children), but sometimes the little things can really annoy the sht out of you at times. One such time was a couple of nights ago when my phone decided to play silly buggers and not connect to the Wi-Fi at home. The story of what happens next will crack you up…
Its late in the evening, and I’m about to take my son for his bath. I decide that some music is in order because, well why not, and go to get my phone from the kitchen where it was sat charging. I had left it for about 40 minutes or so, and it had only picked up about 10% charge which was infuriating, as Sid’s bath would take at least 8% of the charge.
Anyway I realise that it is also not connected to the Wi-Fi and so I turn the Wi-Fi on on the phone, and wait. And wait. And wait.
By this time I’m seriously hacked off and under my breath, seeing that my son is now buzzing around me I mutter “why the fk isn’t the phone connecting to the Wi-Fi?!?!?!”. He was about a metre away from me and I immediately realised I had said those magic words a little too loudly. He suddenly stopped what he was doing, stared me right in the eye and said “Daddy don’t say that. Don’t say fk. It’s not nice to say it. Instead say .. Hmm (looks at his book of planes) instead say helicopter.”
I was both amazed and mortified at the same time.
I wanted to swing my genius son around and at the same time cut off my tongue for using such profane language in front of my angel with horns child.
There was an itching curiosity within me as I rested that evening.
How did my son, my 2 year old, whom we never swear in front of, know that fk is such a bad swear word? No-one told him, and certainly not me. I wondered – did my son realise that my frustration, linked to the extremely well placed F-Bomb meant that the word I used was a naughty word? Or has someone secretly been teaching my son things to just wind me up?
I did a very crude experiment with him the next morning. I pretended to get really angry and shouted out “What the chin!?!?!” – and lo and behold – he stopped what he was doing (eating) and said – “Daddy – don’t say Chin. It’s not nice”.
Could it be that children are that more sensitive to the way we say things compared to what we say?
If it is so, then it is both sentiment, emotion, AND language that has an impact on a child.
This relates quite nicely to what we hear about communication and arguments – most of the time arguments occur not be cause of what we say – but because of how we say it.
It seems like this is not a learned construct – It’s almost innate and we know what this “feeling” of negativity is, from a very young age.
If there’s anything I have learnt from this experience, that is to never underestimate 2 things.
- The value of a well placed F-Bomb
- The ability of your child at such a young age to pick up on emotion, more than the words.