Fast forward to this weekend on our road trip to Ohio - I opened up their new Green Lantern DVD, not even thinking to look at the rating, because it was animated, and poped it into the DVD player.
Imagine my surprise when I heard the character say "What the he11!?!" Mike and I looked at each other and said "did he just say what I think he said?" And then we looked at the back of the case and,sure, enough, the movie is rated PG-13. Who knew? I had just assumed that an animated film about a superhero would be kid-friendly. But I was wrong.
And, of course, the kids latched on to that phrase instantly and started saying it. Ben was saying "What the how!?" and Matthew was nicely correcting him and telling him he was saying "What the he11!" (thanks, buddy)
We had to have a conversation about swear words, which went like this:
Mom: "Boys, that's a bad word and we don't say that word. We can say "what the heck" instead"
Matthew: "What word?"
Matthew: "Why is it bad word?"
Ben: "he11, he11, he11!!!"
Mom: "Ben, stop saying that. Matthew, it just is, and you can't say it"
Matthew: "I know that hate and stupid are bad words because they are unkind but why can't we say he11?"
Ben: "he11, he11, he11!!"
Mom: "Ben, stop it. Matthew, it just is. It's a curse word"
Ben: "Matthew, it's a hearse word, and we cant' say it"
Matthew; "But WHY is it a hearse word? Why is that word bad?"
I asked a neighbor last night and she said to tell him that it's "just not socially acceptable". But I'm not sure a 5 and 3-year-old would understand the concept of Socially Acceptable. I try to avoid the "because I said so" aproach, but in this case I'm not sure what else to tell him. He's got a good point. Why is it a bad word? Why can't we say it?
Any advice on explaining this to my kids? They totally get why we can't say unkind words like hate, but getting them to understand some swear words is a little trickier.