Don’t Kill the Light

By SILKE JAUCK

Moving to a different country also means learning more about its language. Sometimes I feel very close to English, even dream in it. Other times I feel like there are worlds apart between English and my native German.

Call me a tree hugger, but I’m offended when my kids’ friends want to know what the “plan of attack” is for the rest of the day. When one of my kids wants to “show me her guns” flashing her biceps. TV shows have “cupcake wars” and on a weekly basis “epic battles at their kitchen stadium.” People even “hate” certain foods or colors. If somebody wants to “kill the light” at my house, this person gets in invitation to sit down at my big kitchen table and talk.

Sometimes I get lectured that I’m the one not understanding, not being a native English speaker. I’m being told by kids, that everybody talks like this.

I wonder how this violent language came to be. What happened that words like “kill,” “hate,” and “war” are being used with such ease and frequency? I keep reminding my children and their friends about the meaning of these words and together we find other, more peaceful expressions. What is wrong with just “turning off the light”?

Am I the only parent being bothered by this militarization of our language? Please share your comments and thoughts.

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Silke Jauck is a German native and Missoulian by choice. She and her family have packed and unpacked their suitcases and moving boxes in four continents and have finally settled in Missoula and called it home. She lives with her husband, three daughters, and a dwarf rabbit in the Target Range neighborhood. Silke is the publisher of Friendship Book, the Made in Montana keepsake and activity book for children ages 6-12. She also has a blog about life hacks at www.silkegoodideas.com.