As Megan gets older, she's hearing more "colorful" language. Last year, she came to us and asked if she could add the word hate to her vocabulary. Well, she's asked again. The word of choice? Sucks. She asked permission to be able to say "sucks". We actually had a lengthy discussion about it this morning.
Me: Hey Megan, why don't you ask your dad about that word you want to say?
Jay: What word is that?
Megan (hesitating): Well, um... I can't say the word!
Me: I give you permission to say the word once so you can ask if you can say it.
Megan (hesitating): Well, um...uh...
Me: If you can't bring yourself to ask to say it, then you probably aren't old enough.
Megan came closer and fidgeted around a bit.
Megan: Uh, lots of people say things like, "That sucks."
After a bit more awkward conversation about it...
Jay: It's all about where you say the word. For example, take the word poop. Never have I used the word poop at work.
Me: I'm going to say the same thing to you as we said when you asked to say the word hate. If you are mature enough to say the word in the right context, then I think it's fine. Let me give you a few examples and you tell me if "That sucks" is an appropriate response.
Megan:...(rolling her eyes)
Me: Your teacher gives you a lot of homework. You say....?
Me: You are on the playground with your friends and one of them is taking too long on the swings. You say...?
Me: It's fine. Your mom cooks a great dinner. You say...?
Jay: Your mom cooks a crappy dinner?
Megan: Still no!
Jay: Right answer.
Me: So I think you've got the idea. It's fine.
Megan (visibly excited to have added a new word to her vocabulary): Okay!
Jay: But you can always use sucks after the word Packers.
As Megan ran off to watch some TV and bask in the glory of her victory, I called after her, "See! Now that conversation didn't suck!"