Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Gentle Reminder

Last night, I was on the computer when I heard the familiar clinking of the sugar spoon against the glass of the sugar bowl. Interestingly, that was about the time that the kiddo was getting ready to enjoy some fruit tea. I said, "I know that's not my kiddo getting into the sugar without washing her hands first", and got up to peer around the corner into the kitchen. What did I see? A rear view of my kiddo running out of the room. Then, I heard the sound of water running in the bathroom! 

This method is so much better than yelling out "Don't touch the sugar if you haven't washed your hands first!". A gentle reminder of my expectations is usually enough to keep the kiddo on the right track (unless she is feeling particularly rebellious).

However, recently the kiddo has tried using this technique on me. She has said things like "I know you are going to get my tea now, right?" Whenever she does this, I have to chuckle and remind her "You know that doesn't work on me, right?"

Friday, February 7, 2014

Well, Stupid Might Be Appropriate

So, about yesterday's post...what on earth could have led to my deliberations on the the word "stupid"? Well...

As I have griped about before in my posts Why Did the Mean Mommy Cross the Road? and Mean Mommy vs Stupid Driver, I have a problem with drivers who don't slow down when I am walking the kiddo to school.

The other day, the kiddo picked up on my frustration when multiple drivers refused to even slow down as we were waiting for a chance to cross the street on our way to school in the morning. She picked the strongest word out of her arsenal--you guessed it--stupid, even though I didn't use that word myself. As I mentioned, I think that word is pretty tame. It's not even a curse word at all, but then, some people seem to feel that way about the "F" word. Fine. I don't want my kiddo to be known as the 1st grade potty mouth, so I decided to nip that in the bud.

"No, honey. Their problem isn't that they are stupid. Their problem is that they are rude, inconsiderate, definitely NOT concerned about safety and completely unaware of the rule that pedestrians have the right of way."

Distracted driving is a serious hazard.    Not stopping for pedestrians on school property is not acceptable--even when there isn't a crosswalk.

OK, f*** it. Maybe they're just stupid.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

This is So Stupid!

Sooner or later, you will have to have the talk with your kids about Bad Words. One word you might have to address could be the 'S' word. My sister in law, when told that her son had uttered "the 'S' word" had to stop and clarify, "Um, we are talking about 'stupid', right?"

"Stupid" hasn't been much of an issue for us, but my kiddo knows that it is a dangerous word to use. She will preface any usage of that word with a disclaimer: "I'm sorry but I have to say it...". I think that is the 6-year-old version of "Pardon my French".

It seems that "stupid" is the cool bad word right now for elementary school students. Sure, there are times when you can get away with it, but most of the time, it isn't appropriate. Even so, you know that everyone (and his little brother) is using it.

Sometimes, people rely too much on a cuss word. Hey, the 'F' word (and its variations) can function as a verb, noun, adverb, adjective...When a word starts coming out of your mouth just about every other sentence, it's time to search your vocabulary for something a bit more descriptive. If your child thinks that everything is stupid, it may be time for an intervention.

But, is "stupid" really so bad? In my opinion, yes and no. Both. Yes, I'm wobbling here. It's a lot less offensive than a lot of words out there (the "no" part), but the way it is used, it can carry the same amount of vitriol as &%#$^*@   $!@#%$^&?: ! In that sense, yes, it is.

I don't think that "stupid" should be used to convey dissatisfaction or annoyance with something or someone. That guy who cut me off? He may be rude and suicidal, but probably not stupid. After all, he did have to pass his driver's exam, right?

I have seriously upgraded my use of adjectives to describe anything that vexes me, so that my kiddo will know that "stupid" isn't an all-purpose descriptive word. If the kiddo does use that word, I remind her that she isn't being nice, and encourage her to use more descriptive words when something upsets her. 

Coming tomorrow: the stupid reason why we are discussing this word!