However, after my husband came home from work, our daughter went up to him and asked him what the F-word was. She went on to say that her new friend at camp told her that there was a really bad word that began with "F," and that she wasn't allowed to say it. My daughter was hoping to pry the word out of my husband since her new friend wouldn't tell her the word. "C'mon, I REALLY want to know what the word is," she pleaded with her daddy. My husband was at a loss on what to say. He didn't want to lie to her, but he didn't want to tell her the word either.
When they joined me in the kitchen, and my husband told me what was up, I wasn't much help. I think I snickered a bit. My daughter thought the F-word might have been "fart." We told her that while that was not a nice name to call somebody, it wasn't a bad word.
After my daughter left the room, my husband and I conferred. I was adamant about not telling her the F-word. I was sure she will learn it from one of her friends, but I'd rather it be from a peer than from us! I don't want to be known as the mom who tells her kids dirty words. No way, no how!
Later, when we were tucking our daughter into bed, she again expressed that she wanted to know what the F-word was. My husband handled this beautifully. First, he told her that if there was one place you could hit somebody and hurt them really badly, he wouldn't share this information with her because he would never want her to know how to hurt another person. For the same reason, he wasn't going to tell her what the F-word is because it can hurt somebody's feelings, and he would never want to be responsible for teaching her something that could hurt somebody's feelings. Our daughter understood this and hasn't brought up the subject again, thank goodness!
Ironically, she did go through a period when she did know the word and used it a lot around me! Three years ago, when she was three, we went on vacation to San Diego. People around us were dropping the F-bomb pretty often, and I must have had some kind of look on my face because she quietly noticed and was able to understand the impact of the word. A few days after we came back from vacation, I heard her start saying the F-word! She only did it around me and only in the house. At first, I tried to ignore it, but after hearing her say it a few times, I couldn't resist. I asked her what she was saying meant. She thought about it for awhile, then said, "Mama Mia!" I told her that was right, but Mama Mia was a nicer term that she should use. She continued to drop the F-bomb, so I then ignored it, and she stopped using it after a couple of weeks.
Something tells me she's going to learn it again really soon. Ya gotta love camp!