A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter – no.19 “Four-Letter Word” and “Blame and Responsibility”

Dear adorably innocent daughter,

You’re only four-years-old, but you can use the word “fuck” properly in just about every part of the sentence. 

I know it’s my fault. I really have a mouth on me sometimes.

I can’t help but laugh every time you say it even though dad tells me not to.

 Two adorable examples come to mind:

One summer day we were playing in the sandbox and you complained about the “fucking bugs”. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants. We live in an old swamp and I hate the fucking bugs, too.

But I think my favorite would be the night we were working on craft projects and you dropped a paper plate full of glitter. It went everywhere — all over the table, rug, and floor. You froze, then looked at me with fear in your eyes, and let out a soft and innocent “fuck”. I could never be mad after that.

Maybe I don’t have a lesson in this letter, and maybe I’m a nieve first-time parent, but I really don’t care if you swear. Pop Pop and dad really want to curb your habit, but I just always feel there are bigger fish to fry. Plus I’m not a fan of censorship.

Just always know there’s a time and place. If we’re hanging out at home, let it fly. If you’re at a job interview, maybe not so much. 




Dear daughter,

When you take god and the devil out of the equation, you become responsible for your own actions. 

Too many people use religion as an excuse for their wrongdoings. 

I’m sure by now you know what it feels like to be hurt. Keep that in mind in the way you treat others. Empathy is held dear to families of humanist parents. We are good humans and we own up to our mistakes and learn from them. We respect others.

God and the devil have absolutely nothing to do with the personal growth you will experience from the ups and downs of life and your interactions with others.

It is your responsibility to acknowledge when you are wrong and become a better person because of it. 

You don’t need religion to have a moral compass. In fact, you’re probably better without it. 

The Golden Rule isn’t Christian; it’s found in cultures all over the world. Please keep it in mind.



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