But I love my children!

So what is it? I use the term teen but don’t call my children ‘kids’. I guess I would not blame anyone for thinking I’m off the planet and contradictory. But in my reasoning it all makes perfect sense.

Yesterday I wrote about the ideas behind the words. The word ‘teen’ is in the numbers from thirteen to nineteen. So using the word teen is fairly logical to me. The idea behind those teenage years need not be ones of rebelliousness, irresponsibility and such. They can be years of developing maturity, responsibility, developing character and more worthwhile traits. As parents we can set high expectations for our teens… if they are to rebel let them rebel against the low expectations that society as set!

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary has a listing for ‘teen’
TEENS, n. [from teen, ten.] The years of one’s age reckoned by the termination teen. These years begin with thirteen, and end with nineteen. Miss is in her teens.

Which brings me to the word, ‘kid’. Webster’s 1828 also has an entry for kid:

KID, n. [L. hoedus; vulgar.]

1. A young goat.

2. A f*ggot; a bundle of heath and furze.

KID, v.t. or i. To bring forth a young goat.

1. To make into a bundle, as f*ggots.

KID, v.t. To show, discover or make known.

The 1913 addition included:
2. A young child or infant; hence, a simple person, easily imposed on.
[Slang] Charles Reade.

(* edited for discretion)

So the term teen was around long before the term kid was being used. However, when I think of ‘kid’ I think of a baby goat. Frolicking around, butting heads, escaping the yard, being stubborn, etc. What do you think of when you use the word ‘kid’? One only needs to go to the store to see children running amok as if they were mountain kid goats rather than well disciplined children. When my children were younger I did call them kids. I’d just never thought about it. After taking Miss A to preschool and observing how many parents referred to their children as ‘kids’  I felt that they had low expectations for their kids. It didn’t set a high bar. It just didn’t seem respectful to me. So I stopped using the word kid and changed to children. (all except in my blog name which was our previous business that we purchased). However, to be fair a dear friend of mine uses the term ‘kid’ regularly and they are very deliberate as parents- in fact I’m sure they are more strict and consistent than we are! Which is why I’m asking in this post… and not telling.

Some believe that the term kid comes from the word ‘kinder’, the German word for children. I’ve seen that some people prefer to use the term ‘lambs’ when referring to their children. Whilst this is a much gentler word picture I just don’t understand why the word children isn’t applicable. Feel free to educate me on the matter, if you’re a reader who uses these terms. To me, it is all slang and whilst I have been known to use more than my fair share of slang, idioms and colloquialisms I want more when I’m referring to my children.

Years ago, this was a slang term… not used in the media or in any professional manner that I remember. Nowadays, it is the norm! Look around news articles, informative magazines, professional documents at the doctor’s office, etc. Kids, kids, kids! Even in our churches!

Whilst I’m all for rebelling against the world’s standards for teenagers, I can’t take to the popular concept of calling my children kids. But maybe you think I’m now majoring on the minors.

So tell me, what do you call your younger children… and why?