I’m interested in what parents and non-parents have to say and particularly what helpful advice adoptees may have to offer.
What would/did you do?
The conversation started when Tessa, 9, asked me (again) what bitch means and if it’s a bad word. We’ve had this talk before. I told her (again) that the dictionary meaning is a female dog but that some people have also made it into a hurtful word meant to show extreme disrespect. If the word is used as a weapon, then yes, it is a bad word.
I was ready for all that. But not for the next part.
“Mommy, what does bastard mean? Is it a bad word?”
Bitch was easy. Except for, perhaps, people with extreme allergies or hatred of dogs, its denotation is uncharged. But bastard is different. Its dictionary meaning is, itself, a highly charged slur against adopted people.
How would/did you respond? Given the luxury of contemplation and preparation, what is your best response?
I distracted with something shiny. So I’ll be taking your advice into consideration when the conversation comes up again.