A lesson that needs to be taught.
My son got caught by an adult cursing in school a couple months ago and got in trouble . To his defense, he was blindsided and hit unexpectedly by a classmate and in the process of defending himself, he dropped a couple words of an unpopular nature. I commended him on defending himself, however I was greatly displeased by his language. I told him that I'm aware that he curses with his friends and that when I was his age, I cursed too. I told him that though I don't like him cursing and I think he has a good enough vocabulary to not have to curse, I have two general rules in regards to it.
1. Never curse in front of your mother or me.
2. Never curse in front of an adult.
These two rules, I believe is a precursor for adulthood. We have gotten to a level in society where Parents and Adults in general no longer want to offer these lessons to the youth. They either do not want to deal with children's attitudes or deal with lenient and equally ignorant parents. When I was my son's age and even a bit older, though I cursed…..a lot, I never let it fly in front of adults. I was taught that it was not only rude but also makes yourself sound immature and ignorant. It was an added incentive that my Football coaches made the team pay dearly for being caught cursing. For us, it became a level of respect to mind our mouths in the presence of adults.
I learned as I grew into a man and an employee that these lessons stuck with me and has not only assisted me in gaining recognition in my field but also lead me to break some stereotypes about people from my heritage in my region. This is not to say I stopped cursing. Come to think of it, I may use more profanity now than at any other time of my life, however, I do know how and when to speak properly.
I understand that teens will be teens. I am by no means trying to stop the youth from cursing. I know that would be a lost cause anyways, but there is a time and a place to act foolish and pre-teens , like my son, needs to understand and establish these boundaries so that they don’t grow into teens who have familiarized themselves with speaking so loosely in front of adults and adults who have no filters or respect and become unemployable.
I think it's incredibly disrespectful and foolish when I hear teens freely and thoughtlessly use profanity in front of their parents and adults , and I think it speaks very negatively on the character of an adult in a position of authority to not stop and educate these young men and women. Trust me, the adults will be doing them a bigger favor than these youngsters can currently understand and just like I ( as well as countless others) learned and appreciated the lessons I was taught , they will too. You will be preparing them to be successful adults.
I remember a long time ago having a talk with a nephew when he was in high school and began talking "street". I said " Listen, I know that when your with your friends you talk that way and that’s fine. It's a phase that most go through but I advise you, if you ever want to be taken seriously by any adult or any professional, learn to speak appropriately. No adult wants to listen to street talk." He is now a successful man. Not because he speaks appropriately all the time, but because he learned and understands these boundaries.
Personally, I will not hire people that can not control their language. In my opinion, If they can't control something so simple, I can't trust them to handle more important tasks and since I deal with the public on a daily basis, it's important to speak appropriately and respectfully.
There is a time and place for everything and as adults, especially adults who hold an authority position such as parents, teachers, coaches and employers, It is very important for us to set these boundaries early. You may come off as “old” or “square” or “lame” but I can assure you that you are setting boundaries that will one day assist in making these youths considerate, respectful and employable.
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