Mission: Parenting the teen years

One half of the Word Nerd team has kids, specifically two boys who are preteen and teen going on 30 something.  Grace and humor gets me (Stacie) through many days, as does a strong dose of coffee and patience.

One of the current challenges is their exploration of boundaries, specifically swearing. It’s a marvel to me to watch these two little boys grow into young men, while gaining a glimpse into the men they will be.

Words are powerful and swearing is no exception. They’ve caught on that there is no such thing as a swearing permit; (although I really like that idea.) They are respectful of the fact that I don’t want them to swear in front of me, because there are times and places when it is and is not appropriate.

What we are missing is the world of words where the insult is so much greater than the quickest four-letter word you can think of. It requires thought, vocabulary and timing for maximum effect. It means understanding the best way to combine for impact. It means that there’s a reasonable chance people won’t recognize what is being said which means you won’t get in trouble.

I’m

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tempted to implement Shakespeare based insults as an alternative to swearing at my house. Fortunately, I have the following handy guide to help us along. It’s laid out really nicely to build insults and incorporate them into daily conversation. It fits the “boy” humor that is already prevalent around the house.

It shows the power of words and how it changes. Who knows, maybe it will spark an interest in the Bard for one of them. And it will provide a new area for them to develop as the step further into adulthood.

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