Hello all! I'm new here and I feel that the problem with children is usually the parents so I think I should start my question with some background (I hope you like to read!)
Also, I think the issue is a bit complex but I may be over thinking the problem.
- Our daughter is 11 and she loves to read and write. She's a very fast reader. She enjoys writing short stories, usually mimicking ones she's read. She's very artistic in drawing, music, gardening. Writing is probably her 'not best' artistic skill (as you can see below)
- She's slightly ADHD and currently off meds. I understand that this could contribute to what she did.
- My wife and I are in our early 50's and pretty open minded. (son that's 8)
- I'm a veteran Marine so I 'bark' a bit but it's never anger and it always goes with hugs. I believe in educating rather than punishing.
- I was a REAL problem child and pretty much remember what I knew and did at her age. (Example: I was a pack-a-day smoker at her age)
- I seem to always get to do the talks since I was the bad boy and my wife was a good girl, my wife doesn't seem to see problems on the horizon.
- About a year ago we bought her an American Girl book to cover the facts of life. I think most parents know the series. It's age specific and covers everything from boobs to anal (I won't say more - that should give the idea)
- We speak with her openly about anything she asks about. We speak like an adult but trying to keep her age and innocence in mind.
- We don't watch any reality TV shows. None of us like them.
- We know it's impossible to keep kids from certain things (in this case swearing) so I've generally
made rules like this:
- 1) Absolutely NO bad words around grandparents ('fart', 'screwed', 'mean')
- 2) Words that are on the kids channels are OK at home ('fart', 'screwed', etc.)
- 3) There are words that we know they'll say with friends but NEVER let an adult hear them. If it happens, they get scolded and educated (they HATE it when I talk for 10 minutes and 'waste' their time)
- 4) I'm not sure that I've ever emphasized the 'F' word though. I try to not make a big fuss about things because it gives them more of my attention.
I don't think we've ever had any repeat offenses on swearing.
On the flip side, she really likes gore (and me too). I let her watch grown-up (non-sex) shows with me
because we talk about the actors, camera position, special effects, etc. She doesn't like to see aggressive violence.
Also, we try to let her write what she wants. She likes to write about gore, romance, etc. She's not allowed to write certain things for school but she writes stories on her own at home to show to us.
Overall, she's a pretty typical kid (who does fight with her little brother).
Below is a link to a story she posted online. I can't cut-and-paste it but near the end of the story she writes "...cause you're a f***en dumbass idiot..."
The story she copied
We don't know how to approach this because we're pretty confused by much of the story for multiple reasons...
1) The use of the 'F' word - this may be most important but there's a twist below
2) She starts with a disclaimer - she knows that we get copied on everything she does online. It seems like she's warning us that she's cursing
3) The story looks like she intentionally used bad grammar. And I HONESTLY don't think her spelling is that bad
Like I said earlier, she likes to read a story and rewrite it her way. The story she copied has about the same attitude, about the same grammar and also has the 'F' word late in Chapter 1. She may have been trying to copy the attitude of the story and was compelled to make it that way. The story she copied has 66,000 reads (I don't get it!) so she may see this as acceptable because other people read it.
If you read my daughter's story closely, she's clearly defines characters with personalities. The one who swears is a self-proclaimed bad girl.
I don't like her using the 'F' word in her writing but my biggest concern is that she seems to have decided to mimic a teenager writer with a poor attitude. I don't want to discourage her writing. I don't feel I can say the person she's copying is bad without providing a better alternative. She needs someone to look up to in what she enjoys doing. I'm not clear how to do this (and that's the question).
I don't know if something like this is normal for her age (now vs. 40 years ago) and don't have many ideas for how to approach it.
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
BTW, if you go on that site and see an adult male named 'EnzoIsMe' who may seem a bit too old to be following her, that's me.