My father-in-law bought SinÃ©ad and Regan MP3 players for Christmas this year, and they came preloaded with songs. Last week, Regan, our eight-year-old, came to us to tell us that one of his songs had a swear word in it, so he deleted it.
A few months ago, our children were talking about something around the supper table, when Regan said, â€Aisling said the F-wordâ€. We asked him what the F-word was, and he said â€œfartâ€. Then SinÃ©ad, our 11-year-old, that there was another F-word, a swear word. We asked how she knew this. She said she read it in a book she had borrowed from the library. She also said once she read the word, she stopped reading the book, and returned it to the library.
So why am I telling you this? Because despite our not explaining what bad words are in advance and not discouraging them from consuming media with them, they decided on their own to put away such material.
I am glad they made those decisions. Not because swearing is morally wrong, but because they believe it is. As a result, they are making decisions that help them build integrity, which will help them when much greyer issues encroach them later in life.
I just wish they would do the same when it comes to yelling at one another.
That all being said, it leaves me with one question. Would any of this be different had we screened the material they consumed? We didnâ€™t listen to Reganâ€™s music first and didnâ€™t read SinÃ©adâ€™s book first. Did our inadvertently entrusting them with this responsibility have an effect on their eventual decision? Had we prescreened these media, making them forbidden, would they have wanted to read them more?