Is something I’ve had to address with Parrot this week. To his horror, as I shall explain!!
Kestrel has an entire phrasebook of swear words and rude phrases at her disposal. Whilst she is generally pretty polite when calm, when she loses control, has a meltdown or gets triggered and dissociates, she very frequently uses her phrasebook to full effect. After 8 years trying to stop this, I have to admit that nothing I do when she is calm is going to effect what happens when she explodes.
Aside from this, she also swears at her brother. She winds him up, and when he rises and starts fighting, she lets rip.
So to Parrot – he started picking up on these lovely phrases and copying! Not to me – but to Kess. She starts an argument and it degenerates into the most disgusting language – and I’m not averse to dropping the f-bomb myself sometimes. Parrot had no idea what he was saying, he was just copying her language.
So after one particular argument earlier this week, where I stormed into the room just in time to hear Parrot yell at Kestrel “you motherf<you-know-the-end-of-that-word>” I have decided to address this properly.
And not by shouting, like earlier this week.
During my shouting, I told Parrot exactly what that word means. He was horrified. He has pretty standard 8 year old atitudes to sex – he knows what it is, but he thinks it’s completely yucky and he won’t ever be having sex! Therefore, sex related swear words are also yucky and disgusting.
So, part 1 of my plan was to sit Parrot down and tell him to list all the rude words he knows, and I would explain them all.
This I did yesterday. He was nervous after being shouted at, and decided to really test the waters by starting with the word ‘bum’ After a bit of laughing, he started listing all Kestrel’s favourite phrases (the c bomb, richard-head, the f bomb, c*sucker and so on) and I explained them.
He was horrified. He kept saying ‘eeeww that’s gross’.
Good! Before you say something, know what it means. I do not think he will be calling Kestrel a ‘mf’ or a ‘c’ again…at least until he’s a teenager and the ‘sex-related-words-are-yucky’ stage wears off. As another adoptive mum told me ‘you’re doing him a favour’.
Now that’s over, I need an incentive to not use other rude words that are still bad but not enough to put him off.
So for Part 2, I have a swear jar
Starting tomorrow, one swear word or phrase = 50p in the jar
I will report on the success of this strategy with Parrot – Kestrel is also taking part but only because it would be unfair to only penalise DS for swearing. I already know it’s not going to make a difference with her. Parrot like buying things with his money, so I hope this will be effective.