Monday, June 17, 2013

The Power of Words

Over Shabbat, Raphaela told and retold the story of a certain boy in her class ("M") who has taken to pushing the limits of his parents and his teachers.  According to my fascinated daughter (and confirmed by the staff), this M has taken to insulting his fellow class mates with all the words that describe icky bodily function, as well as perfecting the art of short-range spitting.

All weekend, this is what I heard:

RR:  Mommy, did you know that M called another boy (*****) [ Insert gross word here, word that four year olds find funny] and made him cry?
Mom:  Raphaela, in our house we don't hurt people's feelings or use icky words.
RR:  Mommy,  M also used the word (*****) and the other boy said that he didn't like it.

I was starting to understand that Raphaela kept this tale going because she understood that this represented the only avenue for her to repeat these words herself, in the legitimate context of the story.  And so I redirected...

Mom:  Let's come up with some nice words and some nice things we can do to help people feel better!
Mom and RR:  Flowers!  Love!  Ice Cream! Chocolate! Hugs and Kisses!

I hoped the issue had worn out its welcome.  Several hours later, Raphaela came over to me and whispered in my ear, "(*****)."  When I reiterated that we do not tolerate bad language in our house, she looked at me and said, "But Mommy, right now I am not Raphaela, I am M!"

(Why is it that we women always go for the 'bad boys'?)

1 comment:

Sarah said...

My friend has a daughter who said once at the dinner table "Mommy, close your eyes." She said "why?" and the daughter said "because I'm going to do something you won't like."