Saturday, April 26, 2008

The "F" Word

Oh yeah, it's THE "F" word!
I figure this is one that needs to be written down - I'm sure we'll laugh about it as it becomes a more distant memory.
So I get a phone call from Christopher's school on Thursday afternoon and the office lady tells me that Christopher said the "F" word at the lunch table and then proceeded to tell her that his dad says that word! UH, WHAT?!

So, I assured her I was SHOCKED, and that his dad has NEVER used that word. She said she just wanted to let me know so we could talk to him when he got home - Oh we'll be talkin' to him alright!

When he got home I sat him down and had a nice long talk with him. He wanted to know what the big deal was - what the word meant. I explained as much as I was going to, to a 7-year-old and reiterated that if you don't know what a word means, you ask mom and dad about it before you repeat it!
As it turned out, a girl at his table said she knew the "F" word, to which Christopher replied, "So do I! F-A-R-T," he spelled. She sneered at him, "No, F_ _ _!" She spelled it, so he said it out loud (thinking of how it was said, since she'd only spelled it). She freaked out and went and told on him!

He was hauled down to the office (after explaining that the girl spelled it, to which she denied and her friend denied as well). As the office lady (who was very good with him) explained that we don't say that word at school he just insisted on knowing what it meant, and why it was such a big deal. He told her that his dad says bad words, so it was ok for him.
When we talked to him that night, we discovered that when somebody said, "You just said a bad word!" that bad word went right on to our list of bad words from home (fart, stupid, crap, shut-up). So, he was simply adding it to the list of words that dad and mom say sometimes that they aren't supposed to.
Yikes - do kids listen or what?!

SOOOOOO, in his mind, because his dad says, crap for example, he must say the "f" word too.
Anyway, I went into the office the next morning and called a meeting between myself, the office lady, the lunch lady who took him to the office, and the principal (who was gone, so a counselor stepped in to take notes). I wanted to get everyone's story and explain to them where Christopher was coming from (and how we'd had a good, LONG talk with him about the incident and that it wouldn't happen again). It was a good conversation and all the ladies were very relieved (and not surprised) that his story seemed to fit the situation all the way around. It was nice to hear such good things about him - and their shock at him saying THE WORD!

So, the next day, he and all the children sitting at his lunch table had to meet with the behavior specialist. She called me after meeting with everyone and said that the stories all seemed to add up (always a plus). The little girl admitted that she had spelled it and informed the behavior specialist that her dad, mom and brother all use the word at home. Thankfully, NONE of the kids knew what it meant, and the 2 little girls said, "It's something you say when you're mad!"

Again it was nice to hear from her, what a great kid Christopher is and how much she likes him. She said, "He has a strong moral character that is so obvious at such a young age." So all's well that ends well, right? At least, it was funny for Chris and I to think about our roller coaster of emotions from that first phone call (He said WHAT to WHO and his dad...WHAT??!!) to the second day when all was said and done, and Christopher was satisfied with our rather innocent explanation of such an ugly word. Truly, I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost!

I must admit, when I asked him to tell me the word (so NOT wanting to hear it), he said it and I burst into tears. I felt bad because I didn't want to make him feel bad, because he truly did not know what he was saying, but it was so heartbreaking to hear such filth coming out of my sweet boy's mouth.

Chris said, "I know it's hard, but I'd rather have him experiment with things now - like bad words - than later in middle or high school with drugs, alcohol and sex!" True, at least he's still so easily molded by his upbringing.
I sure do love him!


Rebecca said...

You guys are excellent parents! Christopher is such a sweet little boy! I am so glad it ended so well for you. Keep up the good work. We need more parents like you in this world! Obviously!

Betts Family said...

What a wonderful compliment from the behavior specialist! You guys are great parents. :)

Pinky said...

Good Job Mom and Dad! You moved swiftly to right the situation. He IS such a remarkable young man, character always shows itself. Gee I wonder where he gets it? Maybe from his Wonderful parents!