As I mentioned earlier, my oldest had (probably still has) a mind like a tape recorder. He has a great talent for repeating what he hears. This is why he has been able to pick up at least two other languages which he speaks fluently, and he’s also working to become hafiz.
But when he was little I saw the danger in his tape-recorder mind. I knew that he would repeat whatever he heard, whether it was good or bad. That’s why I set out early on to shield him and his brothers from foul language.
My husband doesn’t curse. He just doesn’t. I do let an occasional ‘hell’ or ‘damn’ fly when I get really frustrated, and I’m not proud of this, but it happens only a few times a year. So, for the most part, my kids were protected from foul language in the home.
I also closely monitored books and movies for foul language. In our house, nobody saw an R-rated movie until he was at least 17 (with the exception of movies such as Amistad, which shouldn’t have been rated R to begin with). I watched what they watched, read what they read, and tried to keep that foul language out of my sons’ minds.
But once the oldest boys were firmly in their teens that became almost impossible. Even though their friends were all Muslims, I’m sure some of them cursed. And once the boys started working I had no more control over their environment. And the curse words started creeping in.
I always stopped them. And often I talked with them about what the word actually meant. There is one word in particular that is quite popular but so vile I don’t even want to think it, much less say it. I don’t think I’ve ever caught my boys using this word, and I hope they never have, but I still made them think about it. Consider the meaning. It’s not just a string of letters.
Every word we speak means something, and we’re accountable for every word. This is the main message I tried to give to my sons. As far as I know, my three youngest don’t curse–though mothers do not know everything. At this point they are all, all six of them, individually accountable for their actions. I’ve done my job. And I hope they’ve learned well.
All of us need to think about what these words mean. Then stop using them.