Monday, July 24, 2006

Censorship

I am a pretty liberal parent. I love my kids with everything in me and I want them to be good people, but at the same time I try not to be a total nazi. I love my parents dearly, but growing up, Dad ran a pretty tight ship. Okay, so "tight ship" might be likened to "Turkish prison" in this case. Alright, alright, maybe it wasn't that bad. But still, he was pretty strict.

And the first chance I got to rebel I ran with it, not unlike a 5-year-old whose mommy has left her unattended and she's decided to take the opportunity to untie her shoes and grab the scissors, running with them so she can talk to strangers who have an unfriendly looking pit bull and they give her matches to play with.

Seriously. That's pretty much what I did.

So, as a former hell-child who is now a parent of my own little darlings and who remembers in quite vivid detail just how sneaky and rebellious she was and having heard terrifying stories of how wild Mr. Diva was, we are trying to nix some of that stuff way ahead of time. We let our kids say "fart", "crap", and they can even declare that something sucks. They know that these words are to be said only here at home and if they say them at Grammy's house they are subject to a mouthful of LifeBuoy. And if they say them at YaYa's house it could even be Lava soap. They also know that at school these words aren't allowed and if they say them, they will more than likely end up in trouble and it will only be their fault. We are giving them some leeway, but we're also giving them the responsibly that comes with a potty mouth. Some of y'all may not agree with that and you don't have to. It's a decision that we, their very rebellious and used-to-be-irresponsible parents, have made.

My mother and Tater know of this policy and despise it. They think that saying the word crap at age 7 is just going to lead to a life of sex, drugs, tattoos and *gasp* not voting in the primaries. So last night when Kady said the word "fart" at the frozen custard shop, Tater immediately reprimanded her. And I immediately came to Kady's defense. Which of course, led my mother to get this pinched look on her face, like she'd been sucking on pickles covered in extra alum. And Tater told me that it reflected badly on me.

Well, if my 4 1/2 year old is saying the word "fart" in public I guess I should resign myself to the fact that she's going to become a serial murderer - or at best a prostitute - and my only claim to fame will be the countless talk shows I'm booked on to talk about where it all went wrong. I will sit there stoicly and plead seriously with future parents to just start the day with a good sound lashing and lots of push-ups and withold sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. And for the love of God, people, don't let them say "crap".

That being said, I am going to start censoring their television viewing a bit more after the conversation Abby and I had last night on the way into Wal*Mart.

We had seen a highway patrol car that had pulled over a speeder or other traffic offender (who I bet his parents let declare that something sucked at some point in his early childhood) and she asked why police officers have to write everything down when they stop someone. I explained that if a person is repeatedly breaking the law then the records would show that and they would find a better way to punish them. She thought about this a minute and said, "Well, the cops of the TV shows have the best way of catching the bad guys." I had no idea what was going to come from her mouth when I asked her how they did it on TV. She said, "Well, they have a girl cop dress up like really sexy and hot and they have her stand behind a church or a convenience store and then she says something about 'five bucks' and then the cops come running and they catch the bad guys." She stated it very matter-of-factly and seemed rather proud of herself for having solved all of the world's crime problems with a mere prostitution sting.

And I found myself with a look on my face that was somewhat like I had been sucking on pickles coated with extra alum.

13 comments:

MamaKBear said...

Ummm...since when is "fart" a bad word???

cedric-the-destroyer said...

That reminds me of a story. After my graduation, the family moved to Texass. My mom got a call at work from the school about my 12 y.o. brother. He was in deep "crap" for using the F-word. We never really swore as kids, especially not that particular word, so my mom was doubtful and wanted to know what the F-word was. After much hemming and hawing, the teacher finally debased herself enough to repeat that he had said "fart" in class. My mother was not happy about being bothered at work over "fart", and hung up. At this point, I would like to point out, that at that same age, I was beaten half to death for saying the same word, AT HOME! So, I know where you're coming from Diva, they really are harder on the eldest. And that prostitution sting isn't funny, they get really rough with you!!

Shannon said...

Brady says,"crap" and "fart" and "dangit" and "that sucks". And he's a good kid!!! :)
That is mild for what I have heard some kids say in this age and time. He cannot watch South Park or Family Guy. I monitor King of the Hill, I have to be watching it with him. Those are the rules in our house. I am so surprised at what some of the kids his age get to watch. He gets mad at us sometimes, but hey! If they get to watch rated R movies at home and their parents don't care---then he won't be going over to their house!! I have a feeling it is going to get harder the older they get. fun fun!

I mean crap Kristin, you are a great mom! Dangit! :)

Cazzie!!! said...

Running a tight ship is the way to go, kids need lovin' but they need the limits too..let's hope tonight is a better night for me...the kids were acting like it was a full moon last night and they drove me to destruction....yeah, I still love 'em

Anonymous said...

We raised the Cap'n by saying this is tv or movies and not the way we believe or act. There are certain ways that we act in public that are not like we act at home or around friends.

I can't tell you what to do about the language thing becase the Cap'n has always been the one getting on to me. At home mind you, not in public. In public he lets me cuss!!! Not!!! We were pretty lenient about what he watched. He and his dad watched a lot of horror films that I didn't have the stomach for, but we always tried to talk about whatever without blowing a fuse. The bigger the deal you make about something the more they will sneak around and try whatever you have told them not to. My mom was a freaker outer but D's folks took it all in stride and talked matter of factly with the boys. We decided to model after them. I was raised with the big deal mentality, and yep, in college I went off the deep end.

Talk to your children honestly. Let them know that there is no subject that they cannot broach with you. Treat them as if they have brains. Be truthful. Sex is for married people. Alcohol is for people 21 years of age and older. Being polite in public gets you much farther being crude or rude.

And after all the adivice, do whatever the heck you want. My mom knew that she could voice an opinion any time she wanted, but that my child was being raised by me and D and nobody else. This is not to say we didn't heed advice given in a helpful non critical way. We weren't stupid enough to think we knew it all. We did the best we could and are dang well pleased with the outcome.

Boy am I long winded. Oh well, you knew that didn't you?

Cap'n N's Mom

Lessa said...

Heh. Mom and I have had words about the way I raised my kids too when it comes to language. From early on - I (who didn't cus at all until I moved out of the house for fear of the soap!) I taught my kids that there were mommy and daddy words, and kid words. When they were older, then they too could use mommy and daddy words. It's worked out really well for us - the kids each slipped once or twice, but overall they've been fabulous about it. My mom was ALWAYS on me to clean up my own language now that I had kids. HA.

And dude - if "fart" is a bad word, my whole FAMILY is going to hell in a handbasket. *L*

Stand firm, Diva. You're doing just f'in fine.

MrsCoach2U said...

I would just be happy if my kids would just say "fart" in public and not actually fart!!!!

Derek Knight said...

"Fart!?" "CRAP!?" "SUCKS!?" Say it ain't SO!

Dear lord, woman! What have you DONE!?

Jennifer said...

well gosh damn kristin! :)

Kelly said...

You might enjoy this article...I've felt better ever since!
http://www.imperfectparent.com/articles/articles199_1.php

It even inspired me to write this...
http://kellyology.blogspot.com/2006_06_04_kellyology_archive.html

How's that for a shameless plug? I just thought it would be easier than typing the whole story again!

Redneck Diva said...

MamaKBear, well, in my parents' minds - since I was a kid. We couldn't say it growing up either. I remember the first time I said "fart" at a friend's house and immediately slapped my hands over my mouth. She laughed. As well she should've.

My Darling Cedric, we eldest children get the shaft so often. I had to sneak around and lie to have any fun when I was a teenager, but when it came Tater's turn they LET her! She threw a big wild party once when Mom was out of town and Mom didn't even ground her for it when she found out! I'd have been beheaded.

Shannon, while my children may say those mildly offensive "potty" words here at home, they to adults they also say "Yes, ma'am" and "No, sir" and they also know how to say please, thank you and you're welcome, like pros, too. So they're not delinquents. Yet.

Cazzie!!!, my kids have limits. They're just a little, okay a lot, further outside the limits I had growing up, lol.

Anon/Cap'n N's Mom/Mrs. E, I seem to have turned out to be a relatively upstanding citizen and aside from the tattoos, filthy mouth and depression drinking, I could pass for a pastor's wife. Okay, maybe not. I know that if you give kids a good foundation, even if they rebel, they're more than likely going to remember how they were raised. Not always, but as a general rule. So I guess I could tighten the reins and they'd do the typical rebellion stuff and then come back home, but I really like watching them enjoy their childhood, too! They're polite, good kids, so I'm not worried about them saying "fart" too much. Of course, when I'm on Jerry Springer I may have regrets...

Lessa, thank you! I keep trying to convince my family that I'm teaching the kids responsiblity and consequences, but they ain't buyin' it. :)

Mrs. Coach, it's not the kids I'm trying to train to not fart in public! My husband is far worse than the children.

Derek, you'd think I was turning them loose with machetes and napalm the way my family reacts.

Jenn, LOL

Kelly, now THAT is a stress-relief method I can go for!

Shameless plugs rock!

Stacie said...

"But Stacie Howard's mom lets her say 'crap'!"
My gosh, my child is such a product of Mike and myself, the poor child didn't have a chance.
We don't let her watch rated R movies or sometimes even PG-13, she says please and thank you, yes or no instead of "yeah and nope" (in public anyway). Overall, I think she's a very good kid. Even if she does say crap, fart, and tells me when something sucks. One time she overheard someone say something about passing gas and she leaned over and whispered in my ear "What does passing gas mean?"
I'll have to tell you privately what she calls a vagina and a penis. LOL. I could not bring myself to call them the proper names like my sister did.

Redneck Diva said...

Stacie, I'm a stickler about "yes" and "no", too!! I hate it when kids say "yep", "nuh uh" and "nope". AGH!!

I think I'm an old fogey. *sigh*