Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Love Your Blog: Ugly

I missed last week's Love Your Blog link-up because I was travelling and nowhere near a computer, but my laptop and I are reunited and ready to face this week's prompt which is...ugly.

Man, that's hard. Who wants to talk about ugly? Not me! It's NOT a nice word. It's critical and judgmental, and not in a helpful way. It's a word I hope my children don't know the meaning of until they are much older. It's a word I NEVER want to hear from their mouths. Other words that go into the same category for me are: stupid; shut up; cretin; retard...I could go on. But I won't, because that would make for very ugly conversation. What do these words have in common? They are all offensive and hurtful. They are all used with intention to cause upset. There are always words you could use instead that would convey the relevant information without being so unpleasant. I feel much less strongly about the use of some traditional swear words (no, I won't list them. You've had enough bad language from me!).

So how do I intend to keep these common words out of my children's vocabularies? The same way I try to shape other aspects of their lives: by example. Sausages was an early talker, using proper sentences including "please" and "thank you" by nine months old. All of a sudden Husband and I had to watch our language. This was a challenge to me because I was with him 24/7 and had to watch my language all the time, and to Husband because he was out in the real world all day dealing with colleagues and teenagers, and then had to remember to switch on his internal censor when he was with us. Not that we're terribly rude people, but bad habits are easily formed. Of course there have been slips over the years, and Sausages has come out with some cracking language, but it's usually swear words, and if ignored they disappear fast enough. They bother me so much less than the other, "ugly" language.

If you don't have small people repeating everything you say, you might find that you unconsciously use this "ugly" language all the time. Get a friend or partner to spot it for you. If you're not using any, congratulations! You probably realised all of this long before me. If not, think a bit about who might be hearing those words. Not just children, but all sorts of people who might find they cut deeper than you intended. Make your speech beautiful, and your interactions will be too!

Pop over to A Playful Day to see what others have to say about "ugly."


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