Shouldn't we be able to carry on normal adult conversations in front of our kids?
Recently at the park, another mom and I were discussing presidential politics. While we talked I held my daughter in my arms. The conversation turned to appointing Supreme Court justices and we were soon into Roe v. Wade. I asked a standard question, "What about in cases of rape?" The women freaked out! "Shhh!" she admonished me loudly, pointing nervously to my child, "What are you going to do now if she asks you what rape is?!"
Um, she's two-and-half years old. I doubt that any explanation would make sense to her at her age. And I really doubt I could explain to her the horrific act of rape any more clearly than I could tell her why the sky is blue. She's too little to understand. And truthfully, there are going to be plenty of words and concepts she's going to hear throughout her little life that aren't going to be pleasant. Besides rape, words like war, pollution, murder and pesticides aren't too nice either. Should I not say those words in front of her either?
If my daughter did ask me, "Mommy, what is rape?" (which incidentally she did not), I would tell her "It is a bad thing," and change the subject.
Honestly, I think some parents need to chill out. The world is a harsh place and not everything our kids are going to come in contact with are unicorns, rainbows and Barney. Thank God. The more we shield our kids form the realities of life, the less able they'll be to cope with them when they get older. It's not that I don't want her to enjoy the innocence of childhood. I do. And yes, she just loves Barney. But certain words she hears will not scar her -- what will is having her grow up in a plastic bubble.
What do you think? Should rape be added to my list of dirty words?