This is something I’ve seen with increasing frequency with parents. It seems like more and more parents are teaching their kids that “stupid” is as equally filthy of a word as fuck or shit.
I remember one person immediately correcting me when I said stupid in front of her child, “Oh, please don’t say the “S WORD” in front of her. Thanks.” Um, lady, I most certainly did not say “shit” in front of your kid.
Don’t get me wrong: I certainly understand needing to teach a child that it’s not nice to call people or things rude names-- and I also understand that your average three year old is not exactly developed enough to intellectually discern linguistic subtleties or anything. But isn’t this a little far? I don’t remember my parents ever telling me not to say the word, so perhaps I’m just a foul-mouthed sailor or something.
I voted “No” because, well, it isn’t, but I think you have the logic just about right. When a kid is too young to get that some rude words are more or less rude than others, it’s got to be easier to just say that some words are good and some are bad and we don’t say bad words, at least until they’re old (or sophisticated) enough to understand the different kinds or levels of rude words. It isn’t the perfect solution, but I suppose it would work.
Yes, I think that you can tell your average 3-year-old that there are some rude words that should always be avoided (such as the “four-letter” words), and that there are some rude things that you shouldn’t say about people. So, you shouldn’t tell someone that they have “infinitesimal intelligence”, even though neither i word is a rude word, because together they imply stupidity, and it’s rude to say someone is stupid, regardless of how you phrase it. That doesn’t require linguistic subtlety beyond the reach of a 3-year-old.
I definitely get the logic, but I suppose the odd thing is correcting adults that say it. I mean, I guess I get that you shouldn’t show a double standard to your kid, but the reality is that adults do sometimes call people or things stupid (because they are, of course :D).
We have told our children (5 and 7) that they should never ever call someone “stupid” because it is a hurful thing to say. They have inferred from that admonition that stupid is a “bad word” and they are somewhat scandalized when they see/hear it: “Daddy! That song said ‘stupid’!”
We haven’t really tried to disabuse them of this misunderstanding, but it wasn’t our intention. I don’t think they know any “real” swear words yet, although surely my first grader will be picking them up soon.
The solution is to define some words as “for adults only,” rather than “curse” words that should not be used at all. While I don’t think that stupid is a “curse” word, I’m fine with restricting its use by children. In fact, I think you can establish a continuum of when you are old enough to use a word, so that toddlers need to keep it totally clean, young school age children can use “stupid” if they use it appropriately, high schoolers can use “hell” if they use it appropriately, and “fuck” is for adults only.
We’ve had a rule since our kids were tiny that you can’t call other people “stupid”.
We’ve also had a rule that you can’t use words like “fuck” or “shit” – although, to be honest, until recently they didn’t know those words anyway.
Now if my 14-year-old son occasionally drops the F-bomb, he’ll get a mild warning about keeping his language appropriate.
On the the other hand if I ever caught him calling his sister “stupid”, I’d read him the riot act.
Of course, I don’t need to, because he never calls his sister names. She doesn’t call him names either. Apparently the rule worked.
(Oh, and for years my kids thought the “S-word” was “stupid”. We didn’t tell them that it was. They just jumped to the conclusion on their own because they hadn’t learned the word “shit” yet. My wife and I thought their mistake was cute and hilarious.)
I voted No in the poll. I call people and things stupid all the time.
But, stupid was definitely the S word when I was growing up. Shut up was, for some reason, the SH word. (I think my sister and I made up that nick when we were just a little too young to get what exactly [letter]+word meant.) My parents really believe in the real life equivalent of attack the post, not the poster. That and my dad’s a therapist so lots of “It hurts my feelings when. . .” and “I don’t feel appreciated when. . .” instead of “You’re stupid,”“That’s stupid.” and so on.
My sister will say sucks in front of our parents and I still catch myself looking to see how my parents react. Can’t bring myself to say it, though.
I agree with this completely. Stupid is a mean, scornful, contemptuous word. I can also see extending the rule to all uses of the word “stupid” because it’s hardly ever used innocuously: “The rule is stupid” or “that dress is stupid” or whatever are really comments about the person behind the item.
The classic cuss words may be rude, but stupid is MEAN.
I didn’t have any “rules” about words or much of anything. Rude language would be corrected, perhaps after someone had calmed down. I don’t recall any specifics, but I suspect that calling one of my siblings “stupid” wouldn’t have gone so well. Angrily stating that the stupid doorknob broke again wouldn’t have caused any eyes to blink, but I suspect calling it a “fucking” doorknob wouldn’t have been acceptable.
However after thinking a bit, I do recall that “yuck” was banned for one sibling, I think due to overuse whenever someone mentioned a disliked food, especially any dreaded “green duff”.
Now, certain parents might not let their kids say it, I mean there were all sorts of thing my mom wouldn’t let me say, like poop or butt, but that doesn’t make it a swear and acting like it is to other adults, that just makes you look foolish. Oops, I said the f-word.
So what? The fact that it is scornful and mean is what makes it an effective expression. Kids have a right to feel that way and expressive themselves accordingly. It is the role of the more mature adult to attempt to understand the motivation. I know that I would certainly rather hear: “That rule is stupid!” then " You are a stubbourn, illogical, unfair, dickhead!" The former may be juvenile code for the latter, but in effect it is a softer way for a child to communicate with an adult than being totally accurate in their expression.
It can be used as a swear replacement, so technically yes, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near any of these others. More importantly, it has uses beyond the cursing, while most curse words really don’t, except in esoteric circumstances.
It’s still more of a curse word than butt, which really does not make a good expletive.