When kids learn bad words

When kids learn bad words

Last week our almost 3 year old called someone at school “stupid”. He got in trouble. I got talked to by his teacher. I was embarrassed to say the least.

Evidently he yelled it in the hallway at a classmate. Why? Who knows. It doesn’t really matter why. We don’t say that.

We don’t say stupid in our house. Fuck yes. Shit yes. Stupid no. Never stupid. Or dumb. Or retarded.


Honestly, I would have accepted it better if they told me he dropped the F bomb. I personally find the above mentioned far more offensive than a curse word.

But that’s me. Especially since I know where the curse words are coming from.



Where we correct ourselves and do better.


It’s a work in progress. I’m better at keeping a lid on my mouth more than my partner is. Yes, believe it or not. I swear less.

Holy shit, right?

So, where do these little kids pick up such bad words?

My son was moved from the 2 year old room to the Pre-k 3 room almost 2 months ago. With that move, he no longer plays with younger toddlers on the playground but 3-5 year olds.

I can almost guarantee he picked up that word on the playground from an older child. Especially because he used it in the correct context.

“You’re stupid!”

Children are sponges. They absorb everything. He doesn’t even know what the word stupid means. Yet here I am explaining and lecturing a 2 year old why we do not say bad words. Words he hears in everyday talk from his peers. Words he does not know whether they are right or wrong.

Just words.

A simple word such as stupid or dumb far outweighs the word fuck or shit as far as I’m concerned. Words that are harmful to the soul. Hurtful words. Words that bully.

Words handed down at other children’s homes. By parents? Older siblings? Grandparents? How do preschoolers even learn these words? Do they even know what it means?

It’s disheartening.

As parents we need to be better than that. More diligent. Less outspoken. More aware of our surroundings and the little ears that hear our every word and absorb them like gospel. 

I know this probably isn’t the last time a teacher or a parent will tell me my child acted poorly or spoke out of turn. He has a world of  growing up to do. But in this world, my son will not be a bully. He will not call someone names. He will not hurt other children with his words.

Because that’s stupid.



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