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Liberal .. November 15, 2006

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids.

I’m not sure I am that liberal after all. I had a parental encounter last night ..

George was playing on the PC, glued to the screen with the occasional giggle (or gurgle) when one of his friends crafted something on Messenger or an amusing (to a 10 year Old) video was discovered on You Tube ..

After some pleasant exchanges about the day at school I looked over his shoulder at his friends BeBo Page. There in the comments fields was picture of son with some banter about one thing or another ..

Scroll down .. some moderate light hearted abuse to one another, then .. oh my .. the banter had crept into swear words. Unfortunately swear words that neither of them (as I later discovered) knew the meaning of. Without repeating said phrase on a family entertainment channel, you wouldn’t want to tell your mother .. read reference to parent and copulating.. 

I was surprised to say the least, and just hoped that not too many people had the benefit of reading the text. We managed to get the post deleted and then without too much embarrassment to son and sufficient discipline and explanation from me, I passed on some swear word definitions that made it all too apparent to George what had been written in his fair hand.

He was mortified to be fair, he couldn’t believe that is what it meant .. and now knows without doubt that there is a time andplace for colourful language, and that place is certainly not on your mates Blog.

I can accept that music and TV bring pleasantries into kids lives at a much earlier age these days. I can remember the Parental Warning stickers on albums in the 80’s that just meant that the record sold more copies. These days though, with the Internet, it’s all there in your face from the day you can control a mouse.

Parental controls on the PC are one thing, but most kids have older brothers, DVD collections and numerous electronic grapevines that there is no way you can avoid it.

I’m not sure of the right way to handle it, but I think if kids can get to know the meaning behind the language, they stand a chance of avoiding sticking their (small) size 6’s into a situation that isn’t entirely appropriate .. maybe add swear word ettiquette to the national curriculum .. now there’s a thought ..



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