April 25, 2011

The Potty-Mouthed Child

You're on a field trip at the zoo. You are a Volunteer/Chaperone parent. You are inside the Aquarium complex.  As you approach one of the exhibits, you noticed an interesting sight.You excitedly pointed this out to the kids you are in charge of and told them to look through the viewing window. Two alligators are on top of each other, who are also both on top of a poor turtle and who is desperately trying to get away. Sudden noise of disbelief erupted. Then from nowhere, this little girl who is no older than 8, came charging towards you to see what all the excitement's about. As she got close and saw what it was, let out this loud expletive: "HOLY SHIT!" - What would you do?

Me? I was stunned, but what shocked me more was the silence from the moms who overheard it and acted like they haven't heard a thing. It instantly made me question our society's moral obligations? Are we that indifferent or simply uncaring? To get answers, I asked some Mom friends to share their point of view. 

This is what they have to say: 

"Personally, I would take the child aside and gently remind of appropriate language. If older kid, in front of peers I'd say something. But nicely." - Melissa of Rock and Drool
"I wouldn´t act to correct the child but report it to the teacher that I overheard & let her/him handle it to make the judgement call in their professional capacity." - Cindi of Moomette's Magnificent
"I would have certainly told him that type of language is unacceptable for a child his age and that whether or not his parents allow him to speak that way isn't my business but that it wouldn't be tolerated on a school sponsored field trip around other boys and girls whose parents likely do NOT allow such behavior. - Kat of For the Love of Chaos
"I guess it would depend on the age of the child. If it were a younger child (elem school and younger) and I were chaperoning a field trip, I would *definitely* say "we don't speak like that, it's not nice/appropriate." - Julie of Just Precious
"On a field trip I would probably talk to the teacher and allow her to address the issue. I would also likely talk to my children away from the scenario and remind them of the expectations we have of them, and just because they see other behavior does not mean that it's acceptable." - Tania of Pure Natural Diva
"I'd be all over that. I wouldn't have any problem saying "HEY- we don't use that kind of language here." Different rules at home but in a public setting, it's totally not appropriate and I would say so." - Fadra of Social Dialect
"I would definitely correct the kid. Nicely, but, yeah. MOST kids will listen to adults when they bother to step in." - Laura of Lala girl
"Yes, I'd have let out a resounding, "Hey... Knock it off" and if nothing was done I'd go to the teacher. If kids arent taught how to act in society BY society then where else will they be taught?" - Suzanne of Crunchy Green Mom 
"I always used to say something (not harsh, just something like "those aren't appropriate words to say in public") if the parents weren't around. I think it's our responsibility to set an example for our kids and the other kids in the group. It takes a village right?" - Linda of Short Pump Preppy

Do you share their sentiments or otherwise? Has our ever-changing society made us distant and overly-cautious or fearful involving ourselves especially since it's someone else's child? What would you do if you come across a potty-mouthed child and is not yours?   

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  1. If I were a chaperone I would have taken the child aside and explained why we don't use that language. As a bystander, I wouldn't have said anything as I would have ASSUMED the chaperone would!

  2. hmmmm I would have probably said something like "noooo we can't say that", but then would have turned around and snickered.


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