I have a daughter who is 17 years old, and English is not our mother language but in our country English is the official language and hence being fluent in English is a sign of good education.

My daughter was a good child (every child is good), she used to listen what we told her to do and was quite cute too. So, when she was 6 years old the year was 2010 and at that time in our country internet was not available in every home and even having a computer was considered a luxury (smartphone didn't even come in my city). The result was that my kiddie had no access to filthy world of internet where one cannot remain free from learning all the nefarious things. Everything was going on fine, she was manner-ful, obedient and soft in nature. Even her friends and school teachers never complained about her rather liked her much.

As I said English education was quite necessary and important but gaining proficiency in it was not a very easy task (especially for kids) and so I decided to have extra English classes when she got 13 years old. With the help of classes and mutual English conversations her English improved more than her friends at school and she started, a kind of, showing her English skill off by talking in English or using English terms even in friendly talks, she was respected for that in friend circle but I was unaware that she was also giving more time on internet than her friends (as the year was 2015 or 2016). I'm sure she watched things which she shouldn't have and learned things that she ought not to. As she was a good student in school, I didn't hear any complaints from teachers about her behavior or something else and things were pretty well till her high school.

When she entered the junior college and a few months passed, I could notice a little change in her behavior I conjectured that she was feeling as if she got a good view of the world and she knew what's the perfect way of life. As junior college is quite demanding, she used to get tired and irritated, she started giving less and less attention to our advices and often cutting us in middle by saying "I know all that". I must admit that she was becoming a little manner-less and consequently unhappy with her relations with her friends.

She is in 12th Grade in this academic year 2020-2021, and as she is from science stream they have to do the practicals. One day, I called one of her friends to my office and started having a little chit-chat with him (it is not unusual for me to talk with her friends because I was always acquainted with her friends and they too never disliked me). After a little talk, I directly asked him if my daughter getting through change for worse, he hesitated and said I could observe it on my own but his expression seemed to say that he had plenty to say but suppressing it for some reasons. I convinced him (or 'cajoled' if you want) to speak the truth, nothing but the truth and he said

Just yesterday when she was doing the practicals and when she didn't get the correct reading she said "mother-f" and became very angry on everybody near her.

I was a little bit shocked, how could that doll like creature speak those words? And then I found many other truths, her instagram posts always contain phrases like "it has been sh*ttiest of all days", "why the f-- I'm not getting my tune?" (she sings very well and plays ukulele). I want to blame internet for her change not her, she is one of the victims of this cultural crisis which happening in my country. I think she thinks curse words will make her quite famous in her peers group, she thinks that cursing in English language rather than in vernaculars will make others to think that she is very good in English. She is getting rude, manner-less, not taking the advices which will help her and disrespecting the elders. How she got out of my hand? She has developed a bad-temper, it's all because, I think, she gave more time to her mobile phone and internet instead of people around her.

  • Seeing that something is considered stylish by one's friends, and trying to do it to be stylish, is not being bad. Especially when the observation is correct. Unfortunately, it's much harder to be someone who doesn't swear than to be someone who does in our culture. But that mainly just means swearing is losing its force. Regardless, when you say "doll-like creature", we should remember that our children are humans, not dolls (thankfully). In any case, the real concern is anger and disrespect. If your daughter lashes out, is she feeling more pressured than supported? Be gentle with her. Mar 12, 2021 at 12:09
  • 2
    I regret those times before Internet when curse words didn't exist...
    – Laurent S.
    Mar 14, 2021 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


There are two things at play with your daughter that seem to add up to her being an ill-mannered person, but which should not be added together. And when looked at separately, they paint a picture of a rather normal teen.

The first thing is that your daughter is very nearly an adult will be expected by society to make her own good, informed, choices in just a few months to years time. What you see as her disrespecting her elders is most likely an attempt to gain some level of independence to make her own choices. My advice here would be to back off a bit. Don't try to control all her choices, but only in those areas where a wrong choice has long lasting consequences that are hard to rectify. For the rest, let her know she can always come for advice but that you won't hold it against her if she chooses differently.

The second thing is her use of curse/swear words. This can be also an expression of trying to get more independence, but it can be addressed separately. If you can hear/read those words being used without invading her privacy (e.g. in public instagram posts), then you can definitely use that to start a discussion on why she thinks she needs to use those words and how it makes you feel to see/hear them used. Try to make it a discussion between (near) adults and avoid heaping blame on one or the other.

If she uses those words only in a private setting, then you have to be more careful with breaching the subject, because you knowing about it can be seen as a breach of trust and that is not a good starting point for having an open discussion.


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