Parenting is hard. You never know the perfect way to discipline.
And every parent wants to teach a lesson without inflicting trauma.
There is no one way. What is helpful is when both parents are on the same page about said discipline.
Confusion in parenting choices can lead to chaos.
Case in point…
Our Redditor No-Catch8966 wanted to discuss his story for some feedback. So naturally he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA I told my wife to stop overreacting over an innocent mistake.”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Today when I came home from work, my daughter (7 y[ears] o[ld}) didn’t greet me as usual.”
“I checked on her and she was apparently grounded by her mom for 2 weeks.”
“I asked my wife why she had done so and she told me that her teacher had called and said that our daughter used foul language in class.”
“I asked her what the word was and how it was used. it was the word ‘s88.'”
“I asked my daughter where she had learned the word and she said that she had heard mom telling her friend that she’ll be there in a sec.”
“She had then learned that it means second. So she used it in plural form i.e. ‘secs’ while talking to her friend and the teacher called my wife after hearing her.”
“I relayed the information to my wife, but she said that it’s still not acceptable for a kid to use such language and our daughter has to be disciplined.”
“I told her to stop overreacting to such an innocent mistake.”
“She told me I’m being very lax and that I’m not a good parent.”
“She’s refusing to talk to me or our daughter now.”
Redditors had no issue sharing their thoughts on this matter by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors felt our OP was NOT the a**hole.
So let’s take a deep dive into everyone’s thoughts.
“NTA. The teacher was mistaken when she labeled it foul language in the first place, but your wife is really over reacting.”
“Not even sure what grounding a 7 year old consists of honestly. But yeah, this does not warrant 2 weeks of punishment.”
“‘That word sounds like another word that you shouldn’t say at school’ seems like all that’s really necessary.”
“Edit: Oh holy s88, this comment got a lot more love than I expected it to.”
“Uh. Ignore me, all the good stuff is lower down in this comment thread.”
“ANameWithoutMeaning’s comment in particular is really good, and there’s a whole thread talking about actual real world examples of “Things Kids Say That Are Not What They Mean.'” ~ PrettyFly4AYaoGuai
“Thank all the non-existent deities for sensible people. I’m a teacher.”
“I use the plural of ‘sec’ too, when contextually appropriate. And the adults here either have some serious hang ups, or, as you said, this was written by a child.”
“To elaborate on this, let me provide a real life example, as a teacher.”
“I’ve had a student give an entire presentation on ‘incest’ because, wait for it, they couldn’t pronounce the word ‘insect’ correctly.”
“Did I punish them and call their parents? No. Did I do some pronunciation practice with them? Yes.”
“Did I manage to get through the presentation without laughing? Barely.”
“It’s a hell of a hullabaloo over a misunderstanding and will probably encourage other kids in the class to say the word.”
“This is a silly way to deal with a situation.”
“Edit: Thank you kind redditors for the awards and thank you, everyone, for sharing your stories too. I’m currently reading this thread over breakfast, trying not to spit my coffee across the table with each funny story!” ~ Pleasant-Koala147
“I heard a similar story. A young child asked the teacher how to spell ‘sex.’ The teacher, wondering, said, ‘Use it in a sentence.’ The child said ‘Frogs eat insects.'”
“OP’s wife is over-the-top. This doesn’t deserve two weeks of grounding for an incident that was completely innocent.”
“I wonder who’s going to advocate for the child when the school actually does something truly unfair to their child. Punish her, no questions asked?” ~ Scrapper-Mom
“This is a very well-written comment. I just thought that it’s weird OP had to censor ‘sex’, but your comment offers much more insight and perspective.”
“Context is what makes bad words bad words.”
“Sex is, in most cases, not a bad word – it’s used in clinical discussions, and it’s vital in discussions about sexuality and reproduction.”
“The fact that OP has to censor an uncontextualized ‘sex’ says a lot about how much they understand this.”
“And his wife isn’t much better – punishing a child for saying a sound (without offensive meaning and intent) is going to cause confusion and misunderstanding surrounding bad words.”
“If her daughter is punished for saying ‘sex’ but not ‘dumb’, she might think it’s OK to use ‘dumb’ in a demeaning manner, but not ‘sex’ in a clinical discussion.”
“That’s seriously unhealthy.”
“OP’s daughter didn’t even say a bad word – she just said something that sounds like a bad word.”
“Why, then, should she be punished? For saying a word that sounds like another?”
“That’s ridiculous and shows just how little the adults in this situation understand how to use language appropriately.” ~ GoodGirlsGrace
“I’m a teacher and honestly, unless it’s a repeated behavior,”
“I don’t even contact parents when they say a REAL swear word, nevermind this.”
“We usually have a quick conversation about appropriate language in school and call it a day.”
“If the kid keeps doing it after, I’ll talk to the parents, but that usually doesn’t happen.”
“Kids say stuff sometimes. They pick up more language at home than their parents realize.” ~ PowerfulYet
“Just imagine this poor kid who was just trying to say something like ‘in a moment’ and now her teacher and mom are mad at her.”
“She’s 7. She doesn’t know what sex means and clearly wasn’t trying to say anything inappropriate.”
“Now she’s grounded for 2 weeks for saying an increment of time.”
“I hope OP, this teacher, or mom has at least explained to her WHY people reacted that way cuz she’s probably SO CONFUSED.”
“Op as everyone has said, you’re NTA.” ~ Wizzardaniu
“NTA – FFS thats ridiculous, over zealous, bull crap.”
“The 7 year old child’s explanation is very logical and that’s what happens when children are learning, they can come out with some odd things.”
“The teacher and your wife should be ashamed of themselves.” ~ kipha01
Well that is a whole mess of something.
Clarity is key between parents and teachers, and more importantly, between parents and parents.
Hopefully this group can glean some options from this thread.