Friday, 9 September 2016
My son's very first swear - #BritishDadStuff
(a Neal's Yard Rose wash for cleaning out that potty mouth)
You know that you are a Great British Dad...
...when you are completely 100% responsible for your children starting swearing.
In the bath, my 7 year-old son asked point blank:
"Daddy... Is fuck a swear word?"
And then Daddy, "the Wordsmith", set off on a gabbled and most incoherent journey... taking in around-the-houses while side-dancing along off-the-topic... I then passed "very lazy" via "deliberate shock" and ended up somewhere so far from his simple question... I think I started explaining self-esteem issues to the boy.
"Okay." said my son, probably to try and stop my stream of drivel.
He'd been there so long, he was starting to get wrinkly.
"So I won't say the "F" word.
Or the "C" word".
The "C" word...
I'm still coping with the F.
He wants to take it to the C?
"Just to check... what... erm... what is the "C" word?"
(pronounced "ker" - not letter "C".
That's how they do it in schools.)
He covered his mouth, because he now got that this is the most controversial thing he'll say today, if not this year.
And then spelt it out, very quietly, in phonics - to show me he knew it was the worst thing you can hear, so with his hand over his mouth at least I'd not see him say it.
"ker - ruh - ahh - per."
I mean... Yes, we don't say that either.
Phew. One more c-word to go.
But it made me think.
Why is it - given that this is the exact age they discover swear words.
(By the way, thanks, Youtube - in my day it was my parents' pub mates that did that kind of favour).
Given this is the exact age they discover swearing - why isn't it on the National Curriculum?
This really crucial part of our language, our culture, our heritage.
Why aren't we teaching about swearing, and its role, and its pitfalls, in schools at this age?
We can get through bad road safety and nutrition and environmental behaviour...
... and even put that on kids TV.
Is it because swearing would then be part of the government's schools literacy targets.
I could brag that my son's level of vulgarity is at least to the standard of Key Stage 3.
I will write to the Minister, to see if the Department of Education can help share this responsibility during his vital stage of development.
Will it f---
My complete guide to Understanding Your British Dad is coming together here
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