I should have said something. Should I have said something?! Today, I surprised dear daughter by a "drop by" visit at the park where she eats lunch with friends. This one boy was "F-this" and "F-that" and "What up A-hole" left and right (seriously. every. other. word.). I was standing right there and this 12-year-old boy had no "grown-up filter" at all. Even when a girl said "Hey, her brother might hear you" (did I mention my 2-year-old was right there too)...he kept on going. Does swearing make this kid cool?
I was torn.
Ask him nicely to stop swearing? "Excuse me, could you please use other words?"
Play toddler card? "Listen, there is a 2-year-old here, could you please change your language?"
Call him out? "Stop swearing you little creep, you aren't impressing anyone."
Or WALL him? "Will you be apologizing now for swearing in front of me or will you be doing it after lunch because either way, we both know your swearing is disrespectful, so now or after lunch, and by after lunch, I mean I'll be in the principals' office and he can call you from class to meet me there."
I wanted to WALL him. But I didn't. I scooped up my toddler. And walked away.
I didn't want to embarrass my 12-year-old daughter in front of her friends.
I didn't know if this boy would or would not retaliate against my daughter later.
I wasn't sure if it was my place to parent someone else's kid.
He was obviously showing off. Obviously trying to be alpha.
I wasn't his teacher. Or principal. Or parent. If I called him out on it, would it be using my authority as a grown-up to bully him?
I don't know.
I wanted to turn and tear a layer off of him. Put him in his place. Show my daughter a lady can demand politeness around her.
But I turned and walked away showing his swearing no big deal to me. No reaction out of the grown-up at all. Ignore the bad behaviour.
I should have said something. Should I have said something?!