My boys (son, 8 today, and step-son, 8 in February) and I have been homeschooling since September, and I have been interested in/working towards radical unschooling for a little over a year, now. I suppose I'd define our family as eclectic or relaxed homeschoolers at this point. We do use curriculum style resources for math (from my sister, an elementary school teacher here in Surrey, BC) and history (The Story of the World), but I am working towards being more relaxed and easy-going about when they do it and how much they do.
My question relates to issues of power/control and language. My boys love video games, and would probably play them all day every day if I let them (I understand this is problematic from a radical unschooling point of view, but I'm just not there, yet. They still play every day for several hours, often all day long on Saturdays and Sundays.)
I've read the responses so far to
which I have found very helpful, in general. However, I have a specific question about my son.
My son has a tendency to get very excited during play (various Pokemon and Super Mario Bros. games, mostly, also Zelda), and will often 'talk'
to the characters on the screen. He'll yell, "die, die!!" at them, or
call them "stupid" or "idiot". I ask him not to, and I tell him it's not kind. Sometimes I'll explain that I wouldn't want him saying that to another kid, or I'll say that I think it would be upsetting to him if another kid called him "stupid" or "idiot."
Also, he sometimes swears (says "fuck" which his step-dad says a lot, and which my sister/roommate and I occasionally say), which I try to explain as something other adults don't like hearing from children, and that appropriate language changes with context/place. So, I explain it's okay for OUR kids to swear in OUR home, but most kids aren't allowed to swear at all. Thus, it'd be better if he didn't swear in public, or at other people's houses.
We also try, in general, to remind one another of when we swear. So, if an adult slips, a kid should definitely correct us, say, "mom, please don't swear" or "dad, you said the 'bad F-word' again!" (the term "the bad f-word" is a family joke from my mom, my sister and I). And if a child swears, we aim for a gentle reminder.
Sometimes my son insists he didn't swear (maybe he said it without realizing?), and gets quite upset. Other times, he shrugs it off, i.e. says "yeah, mom, you're right, we should try not to swear"
Am I worrying too much? Should I just let him be, let him yell/say whatever he likes?