My daughter's latest catch phrase when she makes a mistake on her homework, kicks her brother, spills a drink, forgets to tell me something, says something inappropriate, or puts too much shampoo in her hair is, "My bad".
S'quze me? My bad. I know what it means. I use it on occasion. Rare occasions. But to hear it spewing out of her mouth every other minute is getting a little annoying. No, a lot annoying.
I've asked her to replace it with new phrases. Like, "my mistake" or "I'm sorry" or "whoops". She tries, but still, "my bad" is what we hear.
And I know it's not the worst thing that can come out of her mouth. Hell, when I do something wrong it's usually "shit" or "crap" so I count my blessings when that isn't repeated.
But it got me thinking to a conversation I had with a neighbor who threw out a swear word in front of the kids recently (and to his defense he's usually very good about not swearing) when he said, "they hear worse on the school bus".
And he's right. In fact, this generation of kids seem to use much worse words on Facebook. Or when texting. Or on Twitter. Or walking around the mall.
I'm always stunned and appalled how frequently the "n" word is dropped by youngsters no older than some of my family members. We're talking under 16.
Should we blame an era of technology where spoken words are replaced by typed words so perhaps they don't seem as bad? Is it okay because they are abridging words in texting like FOAD (F#@K off and die) or GTFOH (Get the F#@k outta here) so they are implied but not written?
Will they regret some of their comments (I say YES) when they get older and their digital footprint follows them from place to place, job to job, and uncovers their ignorance and potential prejudices?
I just don't want my kids swearing before their time. Even though I'm not sure when that time is. 13? 16? 18? Never would be nice. I'm sure it will happen. But in our house, phrases like shut up, stupid and crap aren't tolerated. Unless of course you're Mommy. But then she can be stupid and often needs to learn to shut up...crap.