Using the word STUPID

How to address the word in a child’s vocabulary today? Many kids reach to this word as an easy grasp to define an item, action, state of mind in their daily interaction. However, seems many parents and teachers are a bit too sensitive in the application of the word; almost as if it correlates to the use of the word “retarded” which is highly frowned upon in today’s conversations.

Adjective, noun usage in a statement, declaration, question, pronoun, formal title (stupid ass)

Defining Stupid

Stupid is a pretty broad word. Some more creative and colorful ways to define things or actions are words like dolt, dull, dumb, dense. Merriam-Webster defines the word as:
1 a : slow of mind : obtuse b : given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner c : lacking intelligence or reason : brutish
2 : dulled in feeling or sensation : torpid
3 : marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting : senseless
4 a : lacking interest or point b : vexatious, exasperating car won’t start> (Merriam-Webster, 2009)
Receiving Big G’s progress report was a surprise. He was progressing well in kindergarten. His boredom and troublesome behavior was a side effect of his excellence as well. Tickets that rose in color, much like a soccer penalty, were issued for the varying degree of his offenses. A penalty for talking too much, rough-housing and playing in line, normal kid stuff. So a color scale is applied to enforce rules so children understand proper behavior in school.

Specifics of Stupid

Needs to be reminded to keep hands to himself when playing or upset, and not to use words like “stupid”
I should not be too upset, but I struggle with this statement. Why not use the word stupid? Why not correct or offer constructive feedback? If he is calling people stupid that is one issue, but that was not specifically addressed. If Big G is calling people stupid, then the problem could be remedied immediately. However, the problem is that he is addressing people as stupid. The problem lies in the fact that he is saying the word at all.
But if he is saying SOMETHING or an IDEA or an activity is stupid then that is his feeling and opinion on the matter. Furthermore, the something, idea, activity, etc may very well be STUPID to my boy. His use of the word STUPID indicates he is not presented with an intellectual challenge. Meaning….it’s stupid. I would be more upset had he said something was Effing stupid.

Proper Feedback about Stupid

I would also have expected more in the student-teacher department on the progress report. Proper feedback and something more constructive in the fashion that we acknowledge the childs limitations in their vocabulary and then expound on being better.
“Uses word stupid, might suggest using different feeling words or adjective to define feelings, such as: ‘I don’t want to’, ‘I don’t like it’, ‘it’s boring’, ‘its not fun'”
Do you see where I am going with this?
I think I might have been more receptive to that statement, rather than the vague, stupid, unintelligible, statement leaving me to stew until parent teacher conferences in a MONTH!
What would you suggest? Do you have a problem with the word stupid? I know I have a problem with some uses of stupid, but not to define something that does not engage my child in an intellectual fashion of his liking.
What do you think?

13 Replies to “Using the word STUPID”

  1. I am on Team Hypocrite on this one…I say the word in reference to the stream of people who do not seem to have enough common sense to get out of the house but I do not say it in front of our 2 year old..ever. And I don't want him saying it at all. Yes, Team Hypocrite I say.

  2. @JennyMac but that's good that you don't want him saying the word at all which would encourage other words. I know there are negative connotations but I have a problem with the no elaboration on his use of the word. I love the feedback thanks!!

  3. In our house that word is not used – ever. It is considered profanity. I didn't want my boys to call anyone else that and I would rather them come up with more descriptive adjectives. Nathaniel has shown us great examples of this, one of my favorites being when he cals his twin "selfish hairball."

  4. I am a no stupid user lol. I teach my girls not to use the word at all. If it is an activity or some"thing" that is frustrating them or whatever then I would rather it be boring then stupid. Its just a pet peave of mine, I dont like the word. My husband is the only one that frequently needs to be reminded not to use it! We also dont say shut up in our house..another pet peave. If I think someone is acting stupid then I say they are not being very smart or just plain ignorant.

  5. I've got mixed feelings about it, honestly. I'm still mostly team "no stupid," except, I've noticed that people like to substitute "stupid" with "retarded," which I absolutely detest. Personal reasons.

    To me, stupid means you're simply uneducated and can overcome if taught. Retarded is a lifelong mental issue that cannot be cured.

    Too literal? Maybe. But I'm ready to bring "stupid" back if it means the end to the "r word."

  6. @MamaOTwins I hear you sister. I would rather my son use a different word, but if he uses the word like I said I hope he uses it in the correct context.

    @Shortmama, Amanda I am with you there. I would rather hear "boring" than stupid, but I know kids vocabulary is limited and HIGHLY influenced by other children at school and their parents.

    @Em, I COMPLETELY agree on the retarded use. I HATE the word as well. I am one to NEVER use that word with my kids and I hate the negative connotation of the word in relation to people and things.

  7. Sometimes things are stupid, seems like he is calling it like he sees it. And if he is not directing it at a person, then so be it. Maybe the issue is more that the teacher is trying to encourage him to control impulsiveness,like speaking aloud his every thought during class activities or something?? Its probably a pahse and will pass soon! I would think 3-4 weeks into his first year of school there are more important issues to focus on than the utterance of a common and non-profane word. Either way, best wishes for a good school year and productive teacher conference when the time comes!

  8. I have no problem with the word stupid. I use it and dumb fairly frequently in fact. Sometimes I have the worst language though, and I'll admit it. My blog really is the best of me, lol. I try not to rave like a sailor, you know? But I have no offense to the word or words like it. I'm also not easily offended either, but I realize some folks might be more sensitive. However of all the words in the English language to be considered offensive or crude, I don't think stupid is too high on the list.

  9. As a teacher, I can see the problem with this. When a student says an assignment is stupid, they are effectively saying that the teacher is incapable of giving an assignment worth their time.

    Even if a kid doesn't find it challenging, they can still finish it and ask what else they can do.

    I think that is what the problem is…really, it's not the word, it's the fact that he could be talking back (of course, I am reading into this), instead of doing what he is told?

  10. @Krystyn I see your point but I have yet to hear my son talk back about an assignment, he loves new challenges, so as a kindergartener I cannot see him saying too much regarding learning is stupid since he THRIVES on it. I am really curious to see what his teacher says he is referring to as "stupid" because I cannot think of a lot of things that are STUPID.

    @Lauren I am with you there. I think many things truly are stupid, they are not challenging nor worth my time and the fact that I have invested time in something so dense makes me FEEL stupid. I too believe that more words are a lot more harmful or offensive than stupid…one I can think of on certain days is quite offensive and rhymes with PUNT. 😉

    @CenzLuccsMom I hear you about the impulsiveness and I agree if that is the issue. Like I stated to @Krystyn, I am very curious to hear about how my son has used the term to deem such an issue to address on a progress report in such a non-chalant manner. I would have appreciated some notice of this behavior PRIOR to a conference.

    @Stacie, girl you know how I feel! Sometimes kids need to be kids.

  11. I'd just make it simple and say that stupid isn't allowed at school and that it shouldn't be said there anymore. I wouldn't even go beyond a simple statement of the fact.

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