Last Friday night Hubby and I had to drop off our minivan to the shop. Since it was so close to dinner time, we decided to hit the local mall and grab dinner there. Afterwards we did a little Back to School shopping and bought some shoes for the kids.
As we were headed towards the escalator there was a group of 3-4 people with one small child crowded around the top of the escalator. We had to move by them to get to the escalator. As we drew nearer one of the women is screaming into her cell phone and another is screaming at the young girl (maybe 3 years old?) to stay off the escalators as she tried putting one foot onto the moving steps. Fine, lets just keep trucking and we'll bypass all this. And then it happened...
As Hubby and I load the kids onto the escalator the 2nd woman who was yelling at the little girl starts yelling at the top of her lungs about the mf*in person at the bottom of the stairs (someone I presume they were meeting). She used the word several times and loudly and added to it crazya**. Hubby and I did our best not to draw our children's attention to it by ignoring it and talking to the kids instead. But we were essentially trapped until we could hurriedly exit the escalator and had to be subjected to horrible language in front of our young children. It's one thing for us to hear it, but I really don't want my children exposed to that kind of language any early than they have to be.
This brings to me to another point, it seems like we can never get away from this kind of language in front of the kids. Teens are quickly assimilating these words into their everyday conversations. For example when my kids took swim lessons, the tweens and teens who were on swim teams came in and dressed for their practice while we were finishing up and dressing to leave. Several times the young girls who came in to dress would hang out and talk with each other casually and it was nothing to them to throw all sorts of words that were really inappropriate for little ears (of which there were several because the little kids had just finished their lessons). I honestly don't think they realized it, it was such a part of their vernacular.
What happened? Why aren't we conscientious about what we say and who hears it? Why is it so common for little ones to start using words that I would never have dreamed of using while I was in school? I expect more from adults and hope that they would think twice before swearing in front of little ones, but this is not always the case. This is a hard one for me. I mean I can't shelter my kids forever, but at the same time, Come on!
Although I've been out of the classroom for a couple of years and I still have my teacher look that can stop a kid in his tracks. It sometimes works when I've got the kids with me, but what to do with adults? Sigh. Another obstacle in parenthood as I try to raise children who are polite and respectful of those around them. But that's what I'll do. I can't control other people, but I can teach my children how to act and react to the world around them. That's the best I can do.