Our world is a microcosm of our homes.
I cannot believe how many young kids I hear use cuss words like it's no big deal.
So, my guess is that those words are no big deal in their homes.
Dear parents, those words are big deals and please be far more careful about what words you use inside your four walls.
You see, those same words are being used by those same children when they get outside of those same walls.
If it's not appropriate for your children to use at any time, why are you letting them hear it spew out of your mouths at any time?
Much to the chagrin of many Green Bay football fans, Aaron Rodgers became the starting quarterback a year ago, replacing Brett Favre, who still can't decide when he wants to retire.
He said the following a year ago about the transition, knowing he was going to get his share of unhappy fans.
"I understand it to some point if I put myself into a Favre fanatic's shoes," Rodgers said of getting booed. "The things I can't understand, the things I really take personally, is when I'm driving up to the (parking lot) gate and punching in my punch code and somebody says 'F.U.' to me. That kind of bothers me. Or when a little kid is yelling swear words at me. That kind of gets to me. The boos, they expect a high level of play and they miss Brett Favre. I understand that. But the 'F.U.' and the little kids saying swear words to me, I don't understand that."
The problem is that too many people either understand that or tolerate that.
Too many kids who haven't sniffed their teenage years are being allowed to use those disrespectful words without consequences.
A simple rule can be implemented in youth sports - one cuss word equals 50 laps around a football field, baseball field, basketball court, soccer field or a track.
Can you imagine that conversation?
"Why is Johnnie running?"
What is the parental response to that?
If you defend your kid right there, it sounds like you are defending the cuss word.
So, what do you say?
"OK, coach, I'll make sure that doesn't happen again."
If that is your response, how do you then justify using that word in your home?
"Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." - Luke 17:1-2
OK, why 50 laps?
I know, you say that's too many.
Yes it is.
And, so what?
I am a firm believer that the punishment should not fit the crime.
The punishment should far exceed the crime. That way maybe our youth will understand they want no part of those consequences.
I remember I stole a bag of chips from a little grocery story when I was 11.
My mom found out about it when I got home.
When my dad got home and found out about it, my punishment was much larger than those bag of chips. I'm not sure how I slept that night, but I'm sure it wasn't on my back and I have no idea how long it was before those welts from the belt subsided.
Those words are not coming from a kind heart and a gentle spirit.
Those words illicit an immediate point and that comes with a tone and meaning which is far from gracious.
And, of course, the garbage kids are being allowed to watch on television, the Internet, the video games they are allowed to play and the songs they listen to don't exactly help the situation.
But, once again, who is allowing that stuff to be watched and listened to?
It can no longer be a part of their lexicon.
The everyday vocabulary for our youth must be changed and that starts with the adults.
(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)