Monday, February 12, 2007

I am really tired of this scenario...

My kids come home with an inappropriate joke. Inappropriate, in my world, means bathroom humor (because if you have to resort to poop and fart jokes you should just face up to the fact that you are simply not funny), jokes with racist overtones, and jokes that involve sexual innuendo or specifics. Because they are children.

So my 7 year old tells a joke (badly -- very badly) and claims that his friend made it up. This child is one of 2 boys in a family and I sincerely wonder what on earth they let their kids watch and hear on a daily basis. They both come up with crude things regularly. One of them is so badly behaved in class I actually told Garrett that if he acted like that in class I would be embarrassed to be his mother.

The joke, which I shall not repeat here in the interest of brevity and well as my opinion that if you are going to tell a joke you should tell it well (and I am not good at telling jokes). And, of course, I won't repeat it because I found it patently offensive. It made fun of an ethnic group. It had the potty humor element, and it was racist. It was despicable. It made my stomach upset.

I went with the mini-lecture. "That joke is rude. It makes fun of people because of the way they talk and where they come from and how they look. It is NOT ok to tell jokes like that. It is NOT ok to make fun of people. It is NOT ok to tell jokes that involve flatulent camels."

I think it is great that I address this issue. Over and over again, I address it. At some point will they realize it is not ok or just stop telling me the jokes, thereby eliminating teachable moments?

Seriously. When we lived in the Bay area this was not an issue. We move to Rochester, which is actually very ethnically diverse, and MY kids make friends with the kids whose parents think that joke is funny. Sick. Just sick.


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  2. I am not looking forward to the days of my kids bringing home stories, jokes, anything inappropriate like that. Sounds like you are handling it all well.

  3. Same with the playground rules..."I know so-and-so thinks it's cool and funny to tell jokes like that, but we don't tell jokes like that."

    Over and over and over. Your boys are smart, they'll figure it out.