A few days after ordering curriculum for homeschooling–yes, we are doing it!–, the boy came home from school:
“I learned the word for the middle finger today.”
“What word is that?”
He proceeded to utter the f-bomb, which actually sounded funny coming from his mouth. After I finished laughing, I reminded myself that I am the parent. Time to put the serious face on.
We talked about how cuss words have no power of their own; about how our American culture gives them power. How there are some words we do not say in our house. This is one of those words.
Relaying this story to friends and family, I heard, “I’m surprised that he did not learn this word sooner.”
As if children learning cuss words, at a young age, is a natural occurrence. A sort of twisted cultural rite of passage.
Loss of innocence will happen, is that what we are saying?
My own childhood, as a homeschooled student, taught me that we do not have to accept what is “normal”. There is always another way.
Yes, childhood innocence will fade away. Growing up does that. Yet, we do not have to accept the norm. We can dodge, we can roll, we can allow kids to be kids.
Our job, as parents, is to help our children process and navigate the world. That world does not have to be dirty nor uncouth.
What has happened does not have to be what happens. Innocence doesn’t have to be lost.