Monday, July 26, 2010

Little Eyes, Little Ears

"I’ve seen miracles just happen. Silent prayers get answered. Broken hearts become brand new. That’s what faith can do."

Driving home from an outing this morning, I heard Caleb sing the above lyrics to "What Faith Can Do" as he sat in the back of the van. He kept singing that part over and over, and I smiled as I looked up in my rear-view mirror and watched him.

"Where did you hear that song?" I decided to ask.

"On the radio, Mom! You know that!" he replied in his silly, why did you ask me that voice.

It's true. I should have known that. I guess it just didn't dawn on me that he actually listens to the words of the songs he hears. But the truth is, kids DO hear everything that's around them. They hear the words we use. They hear the words on TV. They hear the words of songs. Are we always particular about these things? I honestly hope so. I hope each parent takes it very seriously that we are forming these little minds into the people they will become.

In reality, not every parent cares. Or maybe that's too harsh. Maybe it's that they don't realize that their children absorb their surroundings like a sponge.

I remember reading an article on Baby Center once, and the mother asked, "How do I get my child to stop using curse words?" My calm self turn into a not calm self, and I wanted to jump through the computer screen. But I took a deep breath and decided to just read the article in hopes that it said something enlightening. Would you believe, it actually said, "Don't use those words around your children."

BRILLIANT!

Ok, calm down, Chrissy. No sarcasm, remember?

Anyway, bad words in our house include stupid, hate, shut up, dumb, etc. I consider those unacceptable at their ages. Caleb will be six next month, and I have never heard him say a "real" curse word. Has he ever heard them? Yes. We watch comedies sometimes that have some words that are probably considered no so bad, but they are not ok in my book. I actually stopped watching Everybody Loves Raymond because of it, and I also don't watch Dr. Phil at all anymore because the kids would walk by right when someone would say B!#$%. Ugh.

Do I need to hear it anyway? Not really. Am I old enough to filter my own language? Yes. But what goes in must come out. And if I read or hear certain words all the time, they are bound to start effecting the way I think and my general vocab.

I feel the same way about the shows grown ups decide to watch, but that's another blog entry.

I pray that more parents will take this seriously. After all...

"Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Luke 6:45 & Matthew 12:34


10 comments:

Mrs. Haid said...

YES!

I have been really paying attention to the programming, company, and conversations that are in our house. They aren't always G rated. I do want a G rated kid. I have such a hard time not despising those people who think that when kids curse it is funny or cute. Well, despise is strongly worded. I don't respect people who think kids cussing is acceptable. Or that cursing to children is acceptable.

Your next post title: Getting Family Members to be G Rated Around Your Children (subtitle; when its okay to NOT visit the relatives!)

Chasity said...

Couldn't agree more. The same words are curse words at our house, too. My daughter came home from school one day and said, "Mom, 'so and so' said a bad word to me today. She said the 'S' word." Turns out it was "shut-up". Proud moment!

I had a conversation recently with a friend whose 6 year old daughter knew the words to some Brittany Spears song. I asked how she knew those words. She listens to them on her Ipod.

My friend's response was, "What do you expect me to do, she just loves music, and she doesn't understand those words anyway."

My response was, "She may not understand what that means now, but later she will. And you are setting a standard, now, that this music is ok. Do you honestly think you will not allow her to listen to it when she does understand."

Parents, and people in general, seriously underestimate the effect that music has on someone (grown-up or child). Sorry to write an entire blog post in your comments, but I, too, feel strongly about this.

Kelly @ Blessed Mommy & Wife said...

Amen!

I wish I could keep my kids in a bubble so they're not exposed to unacceptable words but that's not reality. While we're very careful about what we say/watch/listen to, the reality is that they're going to hear these words at some point. My oldest is 4 and we've been talking about what's acceptable language and what's not for quite some time. He picks up EVERYTHING, which includes the not so nice stuff from other kids. Just the other day he was saying "morog" and I could tell he knew it was a word he shouldn't be using. I finally figured out he was trying to say "moron" and that went on the list of unacceptable words :)

We listen to the only Christian radio station available which happens to be awesome AND commercial-free to boot! I have a friend whose little one can sing all of the top pop songs which makes me cringe. It is awful to hear a 5 year old sing some of these dispicable lyrics. Such a shame!!

Kudos to you for choosing healthy music for your kiddos :)

Shawna said...

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otherwise known as mom said...

My innocent five year old once told her preschool teacher that mommy said the 's' word. Stunned silence followed as the eyes of all mommies present turned to look at me.

You see, the 's' word that is forbidden in our house is 'stupid'. It is only allowed by mommies when referring to the inanimate objects in the house, NEVER people!

I had a little 'splainin to do!!

Wendy said...

Couldn't agree more! I don't think our son has ever said a true curse word, but I became well aware of how intuitive and absorbant he is when he started acting out police scenes (my husband's addiction there for awhile) he'd see on tv. Like, "mommy, you're dead." Those shows were quickly turned off.

I'm also well aware of how he absorbs his surroundings when we do have our own "adult" version of a "temper tantrum" and I see his innocent eyes looking at me. I feel horrible and have tried to control the urge to throw myself down on the ground kicking and screaming...ok, I don't really do that, but I do raise my voice when it isn't necessary.

Children have a funny way of reminding you of what YOU'RE doing wrong.

Great entry!

Jamie said...

my 3yo daughter sings that song too, not ALL those words but some of them. Said 3yo dd started talking at 15 months and we watch Mickey Mouse a lot. I know it's not a "bad" word but hearing a 1 year old say "gosh" just got to me...and she was hearing it from Mickey Mouse. That's far from the worst thing she's said but it just goes to show that even seemingly "good" shows have words that really shouldn't be used. The words "idiot" and "stupid" are used a lot in kids programming and it just drives me nuts. Sometimes I just pretend I didn't hear them because if I react they'll know they are bad words, otherwise they usually just let them slip by...but deep down, I know they're still getting inside their innocent little minds. Good post!

thechattymommy said...

All I have to say is LOVE IT and I'M WITH YA SISTER!

Karen said...

I agree with all the above. Do you remember the little sunday school song, 'Be careful little ears what you hear? Be careful little eyes what you see?...' My children have helped remind me that it's not just true for them. It's true for me too. I've become much more discerning about the shows I watch even when the children are in bed.

Mrs. Haid said...

This post isn't harsh at all!

Harsh would be: Hey people. Don't say bad words or really mean comments when you are in public. Its a blankety blank thing to do. Come on, get real! Nothing wonderful comes out of abusive words or cussing, okay??

And maybe add some caps locks or something to prove your point!

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