Kids who use profanity can bitterly divide grown-ups over parenting styles.
One camp may believe it’s funny, while another may find themselves enraged at the audacity of the child, and are angry at the child’s parents for allowing it to happen — even encouraging it in some instances.
This common argument in parenting circles crept back into my head with the release of a recent story reported on Huffington Post wherein a newspaper editor got the tongue-lashing of a lifetime from an 8-year-old, who was angry that the paper had removed 13 of his favorite comic strips.
Bob Zaltsberg of the Herald-Times in Indiana had decided to take classics like Garfield and Peanuts out of the print edition of his paper, and this little fella noticed.
What has some up in arms about the voice-mail Zaltsberg received, which he thought was funny, is that the mother, and presumably the father, are right there encouraging the child to let the invectives flow. In fact, the mom even begins the voicemail, telling the newspaper that her son has some things to say.
Before handing off the phone, she reminds him, “No threats.”
The unnamed 8-year-old — it was provided on the voice-mail but removed when said VM made it out to SoundCloud — begins by reading a list of the comic strips he wants back. In the background, you can hear a male voice helping him with the comic strip names.
Then, at the end, the little guy throws out “jerks,” “idiots,” and a couple of “s**tholes” to the amusement of his parents.
Kids who use profanity are apparently learning to do so much sooner in life — between three and four years of age, according to a 2010 report from LiveScience.
The report quotes Timothy Jay, a psychology professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, who told the site that children are not learning bad words from television and movies, but from their parents, who are also cursing at a more frequent rate than past generations.
“By the time kids go to school now, they’re saying all the words that we try to protect them from on television,” Jay said.
And before playing the holier-than-thou card and saying something like, “If he was my child, I’d blah blah blah,” you should know that most kids who use profanity come from homes where their parents have rules against using bad language while breaking those rules themselves (67 percent according to Jay’s research).
Do you think kids who use profanity like in the case of the 8-year-old above are victims of bad parenting? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via ShutterStock]