Liz Pearce, Director of Parent Engagement
Children’s Museum of Richmond
Did you know that seventy-five percent of adults say Americans are becoming ruder and less civilized, but that 75% of people also say they are NOT the ones being rude? What’s going on here?
If you want to point the finger at movies and TV, you’re not alone. A 2010 research study, conducted by the Parents Television Council (PTC), revealed “In the past five years alone, TV profanity has increased by almost 70 percent. Across all networks and prime time hours, use of the bleeped or muted f-word increased from 11 instances total in 2005 to 276 instances in 2010 – an increase of 2,409 %.”*
On the other hand, we can’t completely blame TV or the media. Don’t forget - Our children are watching and listening to us. Most of us have to admit that we’ve let a few choice words escape from time to time. It’s only human! We express our feelings of anger, disappointment and exhaustion through our words.
But as a parent, I’m most concerned with the “harshness of profanity” and the feelings behind the words, more than the innocent 4 year old who says a word he’s overheard, or the 7 year old who asks for clarification of exactly what the f-word means.
Regardless of age, the use of inappropriate language by our kids is something we need to discourage. Using appropriate language is a matter of self-restraint, self-control and respect.
It’s our job as parents to model and teach our children so they will have the best possible outcomes in the future. Without giving them a foundation in respect for others, their chances are diminished greatly.
Here’s what to do, if you have a child that uses profanity:
* Information gathered from