Tuesday, August 4, 2015


When I was a little girl, I knew several children who were forbidden to use the word "hate".  I distinctly remember a lilttle girl singing "I dislike myself for loving you" on the schoolbus, and thinking she was ridiculous.  After all, "hate" wasn't even a swear word.  What was her deal?

Now, many years later, I still don't really understand the thinking behind this rule.  I figure it must be one of two things - 

1) By prohibiliting the word "hate" you would somehow prohibit the feeling.  You would create a psychological environment in your child where hate was simply not allowed; it wasn't even a thing.  Or at the very least, by removing the word "hate" from the vocabulary, you would dull the child's negative emotions, muting them to mere "dislike" or "annoyance".  

Or, perhaps - 

2) The parents thought it was perfectly okay to feel hate, just not to express it.  

I very much doubt that it was a successful strategy, either way.

I sort of get it.  Hate is generally a very bad thing.  Hatred is the cause of most of the evil in the world.  I totally get wanting to protect your child from it in all of its forms.  And yes, "hate" is a very strong word, and I absolutely support rules prohibiting children from saying "I hate you", or other hurtful language, when it's not justified.

But, like it or not, hate is a part of life, and most everyone will experience a feeling of hatred at some point or another.  It seems to me that trying to ban the very concept of hate, or teaching children to simply ignore hate, is silly, and perhaps even dangerous.  

Because hate does exist.  It is a thing.  I wish I could talk to some of these mothers to see what their intentions were when they made this rule.  I don't judge them harshly - I think their intentions were probably good - and so I would like to hear their side of the story.   Did they ban other words for things they didn't like - things like "sex" and "sugar" and "war" and "guns"?  I'm honestly curious.

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