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Those bad words



As a native New Yorker and New Jersey transplant, I am hard wired for bad words. Dropping the "f-bomb" in that culture is as common as saying "um" and compound swearing is an art form.

When I leave my house alone or go out with the girls, it is the one word that streams from my core uncontrollably. It gets inserted into any sentence and is used as often as possible. But when I'm home, those words never even come close to the surface. I made up a couple of words to serve the purpose of the exclamatory response, "shoosh" and "fuki-naki". Although it seems to do the trick, when I get a call from a friend, the words bubble up wanting to come out.

So what is it about the bad words that offer relief? According to psychcentral.com,"Swearing is beneficial in ways that people may underestimate or take for granted. Swearing is often cathartic — it often frees us of the feelings of anger or frustration we hold and allows expression for them. It can also be a useful substitute to physical violence (who would rather be punched out than to withstand being sworn at?)" 

Maybe that's why I am a profane spewing crazy when I leave my house. Or, maybe it's just that we folks from NY & NJ have a wee bit more anger than most people. 

When #2 was in second grade he was in the principal's office more than he wasn't. Most of it stemmed from his anxiety getting the best of him and once he got there, he'd be out of control and say things like, "I hate this school. I want my teacher to die. I want to burn down the school. School is stupid. My teacher is stupid and everyone is stupid." The kid can't light matches, I was worried. But we had to beat it into the boys that they couldn't say certain things because they were unacceptable and if they chose to say them, they would be punished.   

We taught the kids, our version of bad words, "Die, kill, hate, & stupid", that is, until they learn the real ones. #3 is the bad word police. When my mother was visiting, she would say on a regular basis, "ooh, I hate commercials" and then #3 would chime in, "mom, grandma said a bad word; she said 'hate'. 'Hate' is a bad word." ok buddy, you just said it twice, but I guess when you're tattling, it doesn't count because you are retelling the story. Later that day she said, "I hate those stupid commercials", "oooh, mommy, Grandma said bad words again. She said 'hate' and 'stupid'. Are you going to put her in time-out?" Grandma is a potty mouth, huh? "Nope, grandma is 83, not putting her in time-out, just tell her to clean up her potty mouth""Grandma, clean up your potty mouth." He said. We all cracked up and I gave my mom bonus points for not throwing the remote at me.

#2 is now interested in pop music. He likes finding songs on iTunes. "Mom, what does explicit mean? It says this song has explicit lyrics. But, the Maroon 5, song 'payphone' has two versions.  The one with the word 'stupid' in it is not labeled 'explicit', but the other one is.  What words are they talking about?" Good try, buddy. I'm not going down that road. Five minutes later, he is singing the explicit version, "one more funky love song I'll be sick," and he had no idea that word was not "funky". He then became convinced that every song had an explicit version. "LMFAO's song,'I'm sexy and I know it' is the explicit version of 'If you're happy and you know it'. You can't sing the explicit version at school." Yea, I want to know what the explicit version of 'ABC' is or better yet, 'the Wheels on the bus'. He is in third grade, who knows how much longer he will be insulated from common vernacular, but I hope to keep it that way for as long as possible.

#1 was obsessed with Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, since it came out. He would go online and find videos on YouTube of people playing. He is a big scripter and he would script songs, TV shows and movies. Like most Autistic kids with language delays, they are able to memorize movies and songs and replay the dialogue as if you had pushed the 'play' button. Eventually they script in context, which in itself is pretty huge, but you just have to be aware of what they are scripting. We got a call from the school principal that our 10 year old, #1 proclaimed in the middle of music class, "I can't fuckin' believe it." We learned shortly after, that the kids playing the game on YouTube were all exercising their skills as profanity spewers. Well at least he used it in context. We then had to make watching YouTube a punishable offense. We took away his YouTube and his potty mouth went with it.

Regardless of how you package it, bad words are part of the common vernacular. They are injected into TV, music, movies and all of popular culture. Eventually all the kids will learn them and use them. Our job as parents is to teach appropriateness; when to use them, why you use them, and how to respond when someone uses them towards you. Until #2 comes up to me and asks me point blank, I'm going to save the lecture and continue to say all my bad words out of ear shot. Now excuse me, I'm going to go hide in my closet, I have some bad words bubbling that I need to get out.

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