I get frustrated

United States
June 8, 2009 10:34am CST
when trying to teach my son what is right, when there are so many mixed messages in the media and all around us. Even things as simple as grammar. My son has started asking 'Where are we at?' I wondered where he learned that, because neither my husband or I speak that way. Today, I was watching the local news and heard the anchor say it. I couldn't believe it. How can I expect him to learn correct grammar when things like that are all around him? I could stop letting him watch TV, but it's everywhere. In the supermarket, from other parents and children at play group. I actually heard a parent say to her child, when asked if they could go to the store-- 'Prolly.' I'm pretty sure she meant 'probably.' It is so frustrating. Why are people okay with such poor use of language? I don't even want to get into the bigger problems that he is exposed to, like kids calling each other stupid and parents not reprimanding them, kids fighting and pushing and it going completely unnoticed. Oh, boy, I am going to be a wreck when he starts going to school.
3 people like this
11 responses
@mommaj (22773)
• United States
8 Jun 09
If ending a sentence with at is the worst he says, you have no worries. My favorite memory was walking into my daughter's Kindergarten classroom and seeing a sentence on the board using have when it needed has. This was a substitute teacher that wrote the sentence. I told the regular teacher the next day. She said the teachers write the way they talk. YIKES!
• United States
9 Jun 09
It is hard to expect children to speak or write correctly when teachers don't model proper use of language. That just makes my job that much harder.
@mommaj (22773)
• United States
9 Jun 09
hehe, you should have corrected my response. LOL My grammar was horrible when I reread my answer. Guess it means I am at fault as well as the teacher. YIKES! It is hard to teach proper English when proper English is a thing of the past. We have overlooked so many improper uses of the English language that almost anything is now accepted. Good luck to you.
• United States
9 Jun 09
I think you hit it, improper use gets overlooked for so long that people start to think those mistakes are correct. I wouldn't correct you. In an informal forum like this, as long as your message is clear I don't have a problem with mistakes. I've made a few myself.
@sjvenden27 (1851)
• United States
9 Jun 09
To be honest and quite frank, there are some parents out there that either do not have the time to spend with their children due to work, etc. And there are other parents that are point blank, lazy. They figure that the school will teach them the right way to talk, and other things like that.. Yes the media, and other influnces make it hard to keep a child from using slang words instead of proper english. As parents its our responiblity to correct those teachings.. True your child might say that so and so does it. Why can't I? You can just explain to him that you do not approve of it, that you would like his vocabulary to be proper.. A child will be expose to those kinds of situations throughout childhood, we just have to correct it.. Or turn the other cheek if we dont want to deal with it.. I am not trying to put anyone down, this is just how I see things.
• United States
9 Jun 09
I agree that a lot of it is laziness for some people. It is also that some mistakes are becoming so widely used that people think it is correct. I do my best to teach him the correct way. Parents need to realize that they are a big influence on their children and can't rely on society or schools to teach them everything. Even if the school does a good job, parents need to reinforce it at home.
• United States
9 Jun 09
If you go back and take a look at an event that happen at school, who's teachings do you remember more clearly the school or your parents? I also did the same thing, I can hardy remember what happened at school, but when I got home to my mom, well I can remember that as if it happened yesterday..
• India
9 Jun 09
In this modern sociey it is said to be that the parents are good teachers for their children. Every parent will behave like a good teacher for their own children. The parents will teach their children explaing the good and bad things.
• United States
9 Jun 09
I hope parents know how important it is to teach their own children, instead of relying on schools and society to do it.
@mizthang (21)
• United States
9 Jun 09
Does your child know how to speak correctly? Is he or she just using slang terms? I've noticed that my kids use slang such as "where you at", even though they know that it should be "where are you". My point is perhaps there is really not a problem. He or she may just be using slang terms.
• United States
9 Jun 09
He is only 2, so what he says is what he knows. I wouldn't have a problem if, as he gets older, he uses slang sometimes, when it's appropriate, as long as he demonstrates that he know how and when to use proper grammar. I think hearing so much slang at his age, while his language skills are still developing, will confuse him about the proper use of language. I want to teach him the correct way, so he will know the difference between proper grammar and slang.
@pillusch (1149)
• Mexico
9 Jun 09
You better get strong LOL. Yes, I understand where you are coming from, it is very confusing to bring up children. I was just about to add ‘in our times’, but I guess it has always been difficult. What I try to focus on with my two boys, 13 and 14, are core values. The one at the top is definitely ‘respect’, for one self and for others. That gives me and them a kind of a compas, something that helps me decide what to say to them in x’situation. It at least channels my thoughts, and together we can measure a situation or somebody’s elses behaviour along that ruler. If I may give you some advice, don’t worry about the small things, like grammar. You gonna be totally worn out soon if yo do so. Focus on the fundamental things, I believe the rest will take care of itself.
• United States
9 Jun 09
I know, I need to develop a thick skin. And you're right, I think it's always been hard, there's just different specific problems in every time period. I agree, don't sweat the small stuff. But to me, grammar is not that small. It is an indication of bigger things. For example, if I don't know proper grammar, I will make mistakes on my resume. Then I won't get a good job because employers will think I'm lazy for not doing it right, or that I am not intelligent enough. If I am a teacher or a public figure, people will not trust me as a reliable source of information if I can't put a sentence together correctly. And don't even get me started on the math thing. I've been in a store when the power was out and the cashier couln't make change for a dollar without a calculator. The things we took for granted as kids, the basics of our education, are going by the wayside for today's kids. But it is still important. I believe if I teach him these things now, while he is young, the rest of his life will be easier.
@sharksfin (1098)
• Philippines
9 Jun 09
You seem to be a perfectionist. But, you know what? You can't stop the world from influencing your son. Am sure all you want is what's best for your son but, in the end, it will all be his own choice. There is no other way but to let him be. Correct if you should but don't push things to him. You can't devote your time looking after him anyway so no matter what you do, he'll simply learn incorrect grammar somewhere. Take it easy.
@silverglint (2001)
• Philippines
9 Jun 09
I feel the same way too. what is harder for me is that I am a working mom so I don't really get to spend that much time with my kids. Its not only about the language but about proper manners, politeness, honesty and all the other virtues that I would like my kids to learn. It's true that we can never truly protect our kdis from these influences, we can just limit their exposure to these things and try to correct any wrong habits that they may have picked up. Good news is that they are still kids, you can still correct them. What is hard is when they have already grown up and they no longer listen to you.
• United States
9 Jun 09
Yes, my son is 2, so I still have time to teach him the correct way to use language. Also, the manners thing is big with me. The best way that we have taught him manners is by modeling. He is very polite and has excellent manners.
• United States
8 Jun 09
I dunno. Doesn't it make you want to slap people when their grammar is so bad. My son learned to speak complete sentences at 2 years of age, primarilly he learned how to read by following along with the closed caption option on our television. I guess you could correct the next person who mumbles their words by asking them what they said, hopefully your son will learn from you more than anybody else.
• United States
9 Jun 09
My son also was speaking in full sentences by the age of 2- he's going on 3 now, and has great language skills. Problem is, it only takes one time hearing something for him to say it. Hopefully he will learn more from me than from other sources. Yes, it disgusts me when people use poor grammar, especially when it is someone who is supposed to know better, like a teacher.
@dfinster (3538)
• United States
8 Jun 09
I know what you mean about the grammar thing. My parents didn't like bad grammar and if we used it we were corrected. After a while I guess we just learned how annoying it was when people would intentionally speak like that. I don't expect perfect grammar all the time, I mean I know almost everyone uses some form of slang once in a while, but when kids or adults do that intentionally because they think it's cool or whatever the reason, it's very annoying to me. I think the other things you mentioned about kids not being reprimanded for bad behavior and fighting and disrespecting others is a lot worse than the grammar thing. I guess all you can do is correct your son's grammar when he does things like that around you and keep teaching him to respect himself and others, he will know the difference between right and wrong. But like you said you can't be with him every minute and there are probably going to be some lessons he learns on his own, but hopefully he will talk to you and come to you for advice if he's in a situation where he isn't sure what to do.
• United States
9 Jun 09
I also hope it's true what they say that parents are a bigger influence on their children than they think. If that's true, he will hear and see things, but will likely go with what I teach him instead of what he learns from someone else. I agree that the behavior and respect for others is the bigger issue.
• United States
8 Jun 09
Just about the only thing that you can do is to correct it when he says things that are incorrect. Explaining to him that some people say things that they shouldn't, and act in ways that aren't okay might help him understand. People become okay with incorrect language because it's such a common thing. It's very rare that you see people speaking completely correctly, and so the general public begins to all fall into the same wrong habits.
• United States
8 Jun 09
That's pretty much what I do. I don't claim to be perfect, but there are some things that are just too much for me to ignore. I guess a lot of it is laziness, but that's not an acceptable excuse.
@suzzy3 (8400)
9 Jun 09
I can understand what you mean as most parents have the same frustration.Just keep reminding him gently of the right way to say these words.When he gets older just let him know in your ear shot and that of other members of his family and teachers,he must use proper grammer.When he is with his friends he will have to fit in and you cannot follow him around night and day.You won't be a wreck as by that time he will have learnt how to survive in his world,remember that not your world.It is a hard lesson to have to learn it is the world he is growing up in,feel very sorry for you,been through it my self three times so good luck.