I’ve always thought that if I ever have a child, I will inevitably cuss around my kid(s) — I kind of cuss like a sailor. Whenever I am near other people’s children, I try my best not to cuss just because I know a lot of people don’t like it. But I don’t personally mind it, as long as it is not used in a hateful or violent manner.
I’ve been thinking lately that I’m not sure how I would handle the situation of cussing and my own kids. On the one hand I would not want to censor myself or my child, but on the other hand I don’t want to needlessly offend others around us. I know that if I or my child cussed in earshot of others, we may be judged incredibly harshly because of that.
I don’t have children yet, but I want to ask how Offbeat parents how they handle cussing/cursing around their children.
Have you chosen not to cuss around your children, or to just let it all flow? If you have chosen not to cuss around your children, how do you handle it when other people do? How do you approach those people and/or how do you talk to your children about these words?
If you have chosen to cuss around your kids, how do you keep it from being an issue when they are out of the home?
Comments on Do you cuss around your kids?
We swear around my son(age 2) but we try to limit it an we never use it in a violent way. I think they are just words but that we should respect other peoples wishes that they not be said in front of them, unless they swear first 🙂
Personally, I don’t find myself using that kind of language much so I haven’t really thought about it for myself. I have, however been dealing with this very issue at the after school program that I run. One of the kindergarteners let off his fair share of F-bombs and in the beginning it was not affecting other kids, but lately his friends are picking it up and let me tell you, their parents are NOT happy about it. I can understand, it’s shocking. I don’t think it’s very fair or practical to use certain words but make them off limits for kids. I don’t think that as adults we need to censor our feelings or the ideas that we are trying to express, but perhaps there is a way to do our expressing without using profanities that our kids will get in trouble for using at school?
I’m the same way, not a typical cusser. Not because I find it dirty or wrong but because I’m kind of in love with funny language. It’s been my experience that once cuss words enter a kid’s life they quickly become some of the most frequented vocab. Why limit yourself? There are so MANY amazing phrases to take the place of a traditional curse and lighten the mood. Relevant link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSEYXWmEse8
Side-note: I’m sure it depends on how well you know your kids, but it DOES bother me when children who like to show off try and use curse words to test boundaries. I don’t play those games.
I love love love your link ^^ I’m actually an English teacher abroad and just might show this video to my kids (aged 14-15) just to give them creative ways to avoid the f* word 😉
I am new to Offbeat Mama and I am absolutely loving the content! I am expecting my first baby come July! My husband and I are both Marines and we cuss so regularly that you would think F*ck and $h!t are they only descriptive words we know. I really hadn’t realized how much we cuss until I became pregnant. I would prefer us not to cuss in front of our child but I also think it pretty inevitable at this point. I DO LOVE THE IDEA OF USING YOUR “GOOFY WORDS” AS A WAY TO TRANSITION FROM OUR VULGAR SLURS TO A MORE KID FRIENDLY WAY OF COMMUNICATION! Thank you for this idea!
My father cussed around me as a kid and I picked up a cussing habit early. I kinda wish he hadn’t because it is just that much harder to break having started so young.
i swear around my 3.5 year old all the time. i swear so often, that i don’t even realize i’m doing it, really. she has yet to really repeat anything that hasn’t been… appropriate? if that makes sense? she will say “oh shit!” when she drops something and used to (and has since stopped) say “fuck fuck fuck” under her breath while cleaning or trying to do something by herself that is a little hard for her.
i think it’s hilarious. but we don’t even comment on it. the only word she knows she’s not supposed to say is “stupid” when it’s about a person, because it’s mean. if she ends up using swears toward people in a mean way, then we will have to discuss it. but right now, they are harmless… for now. i may change my tune when i get a letter from the preschool teacher about my daughter yelling “oh shit!” during the middle of class….
but i’m not too worried. 🙂
Hell yes. I agree. They are only words. My parents never cussed around me when I was growing up, (my mom swears that *I* am the one who got her cussing), and I have a FILTHY mouth. I try to sensor what I say, because my mom has a shit fit if my 3yo even *sounds* like he said shit. Or dammit. Although, when i was working at an after school program, there was a little boy who came back on a Monday after saying c**k sucker in the middle of his church service. He learned that from a little boy whose daddy didn’t censor himself. LOL.
Hello! I have a 9 month old son, and this is already a pretty big issue between his dad and I. I cuss A LOT, and I grew up in a house where that was par for the course. He cusses a fair amount himself, but it was definitely not allowed in his house growing up. His only concern is that when our son gets to school and he’s still not old enough to understand that some words that Mommy says shouldn’t be said at school, we might be setting him up to get into trouble. To which my reply was, “If the teacher calls to complain about his language, I’ll just tell her that I don’t fucking care!” Just kidding. I do feel strongly that cuss words are just words, and I think that to go out of our way to label them as “bad” just makes them more appealing to kids. However, if people aren’t allowed to cuss, they are forced to come up with more colorful adjectives, which seems like a pretty cool thing, too. As it stands, we are both still cussing around our son. I know that my parents cussed around my brother and I, and neither of us ever got in trouble at school for cussing.
My parents NEVER cussed around me and I DID get in trouble at school for cussing. Just goes to show.
I have two children, one twenty who is a musician traveling the gamut, and a ten month old. I am not claiming to be the world’s best parent, but by this point in my life I have gained insight raising one; and watching many and now starting all over again.
I believe strongly, that parents teach by example..so if you naturally use curse words; well then they will pick them up! Is this bad? No, I think it is natural they could pick it up from strangers and culture anyway.
It is how you REACT to your children saying a “curse word” that is more important. Explaining to your older child that some words will get you in trouble in the workplace and at school should be explained. As for the LITTLE child? Well, if you do not laugh, or over react…they probably will not repeat it much…and they too once old enough can be told there are “adult” words that you do not say in mixed company.
But words, are words…and you are the parent. The bottom line is HOW do you feel about cussing? If your husband does not agree, that needs to be worked out ASAP because the parents dissension on child raising will bite you later on down the road.
I have 3 girls, 4 and under, and we have made an effort to trim the excessive curse words, while still maintaining the way we talk. Interestingly my 4 year old does not ever curse. Ever. And my 2 year old’s first phrase was, “oh shit, wooka dis mess” when the dog tore up the trash, and hasn’t cursed (yet) in front of anyone we wouldn’t curse in front of.
you made me lol!
Same here…. My first son NEVER cussed ever and my second sons first phrase was “Awww Shit” and got no reaction after the initial shock from me and has not since cussed… I cuss like a sailor! My Daddy is a tattoo artist and I spent many nights in the shop and my step-dad is a Harley Davidson Mechanic from Rhode Island and spent a lot of time around drunk bikers lol.
My boys are 12.5, 9 years and 18 months old. They do not cuss… and i get to the point where telling them the same thing nicely 50x and no change to “WHAT THE FUCK” and they straighten up real quick! My husband always says “Hunny?!” When I am blunt about something and I just feel that being open and honest with them (age appropriately of course) keeps them open and honest. Fuck, shit, crap, ass, ect are just words…. Yes they have meaning as all words do but just like any other words, you have to give them negative/positive meaning… If that makes sense.
Anecdote #1: Ten years ago at a dinner party, I swore in front of an acquittance’s toddler. The acquittance gave me a sharp talking to, and I apologized. 10 minutes later, caught up in telling a good story, I accidentally swore again — and the acquittance FLIPPED THE FUCK OUT. I apologized again, but it was really uncomfortable — I barely knew the guy, and his admonishment was pretty severe. I vowed never to be the parent who yells at friends-of-friends over an honest mistake involving the word “shit.”
Now that Tavi is starting to parrot us, he’s repeated a few things I’ve said — I mentioned something being “shitty,” and he LOVED that word. I sorta twisted it into “icky,” but it was a thing.
Anecdote #2: my parents swore around me as a child, and my response was to be a little prude, constantly chiding them, “Don’t swear!” (My mom still does an imitation of my little nasally Church Lady voice.) I didn’t start swearing until I was in high school as a result.
I was the little prude too and also swore off swearing til highschool. Now I am actually in a friend’s phone as bigmouth sailor because of my language. I’m trying to watch it around my kiddo though, cause my hubster is the cussinest dude I know, so I’m trying to cut back to compensate. If my kid’s first real word is Fuck I will kill my husband.
Oh and we are trying to limit overly explicit music… we got a few calls from my stepson’s private christian preschool when he was 5 over him singing Ludacris, ‘what’s your fantasy?’ You know that charming little ditty… ‘back seat, windows up, that’s the way we like to fuck’ my stepson was singing that line repeatedly. My husband no longer listens to rap.
I remember nagging my parents to put a penny in the swear box whenever they forgot!
My 8 year old nephew was raised for the first 6 years in a swear free environment(some slips here and there). Then around 6 years old, he became more aware of when us and his papa swore. So, Papa made a promise that he would owe him money every time he swore. Well that turned into my nephew telling people that they owed him money every time they swore. That obviously didn’t take. Any ways, long story short, it took about 2 years of constantly explaining to my nephew that we are adults and if we so wish we may use adult language, but he is not an adult and can not use adult language. Now swearing around him isn’t an issue. He knows the rules.
Our other nephew is 7 months old (his brother) and I was talking to his mother and this topic came up. She think’s she’ll try a different approach, swearing with out anger or insult. We will see how this goes…
Ariel, you reminded me of my cousin’s story… My aunt had been working hard not to cuss too much, but since this was the second baby, it was less strict. So one day they’re doing something and it’s making my 2-year-old cousin mad.
“Mommy, you’re PISSING ME OFF!” But he had a lisp, so it sounded more like “pithing,” which was too cute.
To this day we’ll tell him he’s “pithing” us off. Babies are fun 🙂
I do cuss around my daughter (4 years) though I never cuss AT her. She has repeated what I have said, usually at home, and depending on the context of what she says, I may correct her. When we are out in public though, we kind of have the same rules as with discussions about poop/piss/dying/etc, that some people do not want to hear that and we can talk/answer questions later when we have some privacy.
Cussing never bothered me because I think there are more important things to worry about with parenting like being polite, not hitting, and listening. Plus, I am not going to stop cussing anytime soon so I have to find a way to live with it instead of constantly trying to stifle it.
I think that this is a great rule. My parents tried not to cuss around us, so they only cussed when they were very, very angry. When I was 13, a friend pointed out that I physically flinched every time someone cursed around me. I don’t want that for my kids.
I think that teaching my kids thoughtful and compassionate language usage better prepares them for life than teaching them that certain words are just evil. I also like that I can lead by example with this rule. (“Oh, sorry honey. I know that mommy’s not supposed to use that word outside the house.”)
Yeah, for us, curse words were usually used when someone actually was very very angry (not at us) which made me uncomfortable when the words were used elsewhere too until I got used to the idea that they could be used in other context.
But along these lines: in our family the truly banned phrase was “shut up”. I really think this is great because it’s so disrespectful to the other person and makes any type of dialogue impossible. That was one of the worst things if not THE worst thing you could say in our house.
Also: this whole article/thread reminds me of the movie “A Christmas Story” 😀
“Shut up” was frowned upon in my household when I was ‘growing up’ as well! We didn’t dare push the envelope with curse words! lol
My girls (4 & 2) don’t care about swearing, as long as other people don’t make a big deal about it. If someone says anything, then my girls tend to repeat it just for the shock value. There is only one word banned in our house – “Stupid” – because the only context it can be used in is a negetive one.
My sister started swearing young. Luckily, my mom heard her at home first and told her that it was perfectly okay to use those words at home with us, but that she shouldn’t use them at school, around the grandmas, etc.
My sister was four or five at the time and never ran into problems.
My goddaughter, at around 4, understood that there were words we don’t use in front of grandma. She understood it so well that she explained all about it… to grandma. doh!
it’s definitely a good thing to think about, and i’m sure it’s different for many families. for me, i decided when i was pregnant that i wouldn’t stop cursing just because it’s what you’re “supposed to do” as a parent. don’t get me wrong; i do believe there are good ways and bad ways to use curse words. but seriously? they’re words. that’s it. they can be just as destructive as anything else in life if you let them, which is a little crazy when you think about it.
i wanted to show my son that words are just that: words. if you don’t pre-install some huge, heavy, negative meaning behind them, then they aren’t that powerful. why do we have to be taught that certain words are bad? or that a certain religions aren’t right? or that gay people don’t have the right to get married? to me it seems that falls in the same line as racism, sexism, or just judgment in general.
so far it’s fine. he’s 3 1/2 now and still doesn’t repeat any curse words. he does, however, get very upset when my husband or i use ANY word in a negative way – curse word or not. if i say “jeez louise” in an upset tone, he promptly puts his pouty face on and scolds me “don’t say dat bad word, mommy”. so really, it shows me that what is “bad” for him isn’t so much the word, but rather the emotion behind it. everyone is different though so what seems fine for us may not be for others. 🙂
I try really hard not to… and I reprimand my husband for cussing in front of Evan.
But then, we were dyeing eggs on Easter, and I dropped one… and dropped the f-bomb. We were subsequently treated to a fifteen minute 21-month-old parade of “f— f— f— f—” through the kitchen. It was SO HARD to not laugh and reinforce the behavior. :-/
Oh, and that’s on top of my saying “oh balls” about something and having Evan pick that one up, too. SIGH. For all the grief I give my husband, I’ve “taught” Evan most of the off-color things he says.
My saying is “shit balls”. I just cracked up at the image of a little boy walking around saying, “Oh balls.”
My mother always tells the story of her and her brother overhearing someone use the f-word. They didn’t know what it meant and were discussing it and trying to figure it out…within hearing of their two-year-old younger brother, who proceeded to parade around the house saying f-, f-, f-, right into a gather of their mother and her lady friends for tea (or something equally proper). My mom and her (not so young) brother were the ones that go in trouble.
I guess the point is that two year old’s will end up repeating the most inappropriate things one way or another.
I have the mouth of a sailor. i try hard to not swear around my daughter but i am a stay-at-home mom and sometimes it slips. But to me, most of them are just words. If my daughter picks up my “bad” habit as she gets older i will tell her how and where we use those words, because sometimes they are not appropiate and some people dont appreciate the use of certian words.
That’s more or less what my parents did. (Although apparently my first curse was in front of Dad’s boss… whups!)
I swear (cuss) like a trooper and have never been very apologetic about it, as, like you say, it’s never in a hateful or violent manner. I have however, always tried to stop myself swearing around other peoples kids as I feel it’s the parents decision when it comes to swearing.
I have never really censored myself around my own son though, until aged just two, we realised he had started saying ‘shit’. I don’t know about anyone else but cuss words coming from a child’s mouth just didn’t sound right, especially since he didn’t know what shit meant. These days, I try not to swear around my child since I don’t like how it sounds when he swears and I don’t want to have to explain to him before he finds out for himself why I sometimes jokingly call his dad a wanker or a nobhead.
I don’t mind if other people drop a few swear words around my kid unless they’re completely unnecessary or used in a hateful manner or as a personal attack on someone.
“I don’t know about anyone else but cuss words coming from a child’s mouth just didn’t sound right, especially since he didn’t know what shit meant. These days, I try not to swear around my child since I don’t like how it sounds when he swears…”
Thank you. I curse very randomly around my children. My boyfriend is a frequent flyer with curse words. My oldest son (he’s 4) has tossed a curse word in at times and I correct him by telling him it is a bad word and to not say it. I was so torn on the should I/should I not curse around him but you have summed it up perfectly for me. I couldn’t quite figure out why I didn’t want him to even though I did but that’s it. I don’t like how it sounds coming from a child.
My mom used to say to me, “I don’t like hearing such ugly words coming from such a pretty girl!” While I find her wording a bit problematic, I think she was getting at the same thing…
I have always felt that kids cussing is no big deal, only to the general public. But I told my kids not to cuss because I thought my traditional leaning husband would freak out. The we watched the documentary “Fuck” and Kevin Smith was talking about how you can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth to your kids. So he chooses to not censor his kids in any way. My husband and I discussed how we can’t tell them about free speech and then tell them they can’t say something. So we had a discussion with them (they are 4 & 6) about what free speech means, and how they can say any words that they want to at home. They can’t cuss at school or in front of their Gram, and we made sure that we made that rule because other people will freak out if they hear a 4 year old dropping the F-Bomb, but that saying those words were OK as far as we are concerned.
I feel the same way, about censoring yourself for your kids…but at an appropriate age. My daughter’s 2, and I think it reflects badly on my parenting skills for her to be dropping bombs at this age. So I try to tame it a bit now…when she’s old enough, I TOTALLY will have a talk about when & where to use certain words! (and I’m going to have to check out that movie–I hadn’t heard about it) …:)
Yea, I’m getting the sense that the key here might partially just be the kid’s age.
When they’re super young, they just parrot what you say, and I guess you have to decide for yourself whether or not that’s okay with you, considering how sort of uncontrollable it is.
But then when they do get a little older, I think I would lean toward the approach of basically saying to them that WE don’t care how they talk at home, but others might care in public – almost making it more of a “be courteous to others” type of lesson more than anything else, which also kind of removes some of the power you’d otherwise give these words by basically saying, “look, we don’t think they’re a big deal, but other people do so let’s respect those people and only use these words at home”
My boy is only 5 months old and I cuss around him all the time. Some friends, however, have an 18 month old who is starting to talk more and more and is really into just mimicking anything she hears.
They choose not to cuss around her and have replaced “fuck” with “fart” and “shit” with “sharks”. It’s almost better than cussing. I’ll walk into their house and hear, “Oh fart this farting shark!”
My old roommate had a two year old son, and he was starting to parrot people dropping the F bomb, so we replaced it with fork since he was having some problems pronouncing that particular word. It was hilarious a couple of weeks later when he told his mom’s douche bag boyfriend “fork you” as clear as you could please.
I’ve wondered this same thing. I have a 2-year old who repeats everything I say. I have a sailor mouth that I’ve tamed a LOT since I had her, and I don’t want to hide my personality from my daughter, but I don’t like the idea of her running around dropping f-bombs at 2. It’s not funny or cute to me to see a toddler saying cusswords, it looks like the parent doesn’t care. I’m doing my best to censor her a lot while she’s this young–when she’s old enough to comprehend, we can talk about when & where to use certain words. For now, I have to say things like, “SHUT the front door!” and “What the french?” and all sorts of silly things. The up side of that is it makes me feel silly when I’d otherwise feel mad!
My husband has decided to bring back antiquated or English words in place of cuss words, such as “haberdasher!” and “bollocks!” and “the inpropriety!” It’s really quite amuzing when he and his friends get together and they sound like a table full of Victorian gentlemen!
And by English, I meant British, of course. lol
My husband also says “bullocks” and now our son does too. It’s hilarious! lol
Ironically, if I was caught misbehaving when I was younger my Mum would yell at me to stop or I would get such a “bollocking”, by which she meant a telling off!
Lol. “Bollocks” is still a real (but quite mild) swear word in Britain. And “a bollocking” still means a telling-off too. I love that you guys are using this as a “replacement” for swearing!
I agree, I saw that and thought “But it’s still swearing!”
Yeah, it would NOT be thought appropriate for a child to say “bollocks” in the UK.
“bUllocks” is young male cows btw.
But people in the US aren’t offended by it because most of them don’t know what it means or that it’s a mild swear word in Britain, so we consider that word passable. And anyway, we don’t have children yet, so there’s always time for him to drop that word, too (but, I must admit, it’s my go-to word)! 🙂
I thought this too, and American friends often catch me off guard using it. They sometimes seem quite surprise that it refers to testicles. I’d say it’s mild-to-moderate here.
When I slip up and use it at home in front of the squidgelet I change it to ‘hillocks’ which is a satisfying word and should be used more.
hehe, I’ve caught my nieces and nephews saying “oh, bother!”
I totally say ‘bother’ all the time. It’s partially training from having had young brothers when I was an adolescent, and partially training from Pooh being my favourite book (please note, not movie) when I was tiny.
My son used to try and get away with “What the hell?!” but when he got the idea that I didn’t like him saying ‘hell’ he now spurts out “What the…?” I’m okay with that.
My stepsons was 5 when the first jackass movie came out. Let me tell you-that little guy worked that movie into everything he spoke about so he could get away with saying it and he’d never even seen it!
I do also totally <3 the idea of using not-cursing as a way to get creative with alternatives – AND I love the idea of just co-opting curse words from other cultures, too.
i curse a lot, and until recently, never cursed at work. i work as semi-management in a manufacturing facility, so most of the team members curse. i started to every once in a while as a way to “bond” with them in a weird sort of way. since i let the cat out of hte bag, its been hard to curb it elsewhere at work, say with other managers. i know they curse but not at work. plus, being a woman in a male-dominated field has been tough enough. so basically, i need to quit.
im pregnant with my first and she is due in august – so im giving myself until then to slowly think of other things to say in their place (which my mom taught me was still a curse word if you say it with the same intent – but come on, sometimes youre angry).
so basically, i could turn it on and off and now i find it harder to do, so i need to get that control back so i dont let the words fly when the bambino comes. its not that i really care, but its the potential of really offending someone that is going to change my behavior so the baby doesn’t pick it up. and like my mom said, its always the intent behind something that makes it bad, not the word itself. (but i totally agree with not calling something stupid, or gay, or saying they hate someone, things like that)
I swear a lot, but have been trying to cut back because my 4-year-old is starting to pick it up! I don’t inherently have a problem with him swearing, but I haven’t yet come up with a good way of communicating to him the full weight and meaning of using words that would horrify most if not everyone at his school, nor does he yet have the impulse control needed to only use certain words at home.
I am trying to impart the notion that words have power, and how we use them matters. That should – I hope! – eventually translate to better use of all language, not just profanity.
We don’t cuss too much at home, but don’t limit it either.
My children have learned at both school and church w/ grandparents that certain words are bad. These words have ranged from ‘cuss’ words to words like ‘stupid’ or ‘weird’. Each time they bring home a story or lesson learned, we reteach them what we want them to know.
We’ve said that there are no words that are bad, but that you can use them to be mean to someone else or you can use them to simply express yourself. We’ve said that we think they are too young (ages 7 & 9 now) to use ‘cuss’ words because we want them to expand their vocabulary and learn to say what it is they are really feeling, not just stammer out a bunch of filler crap. We’ve said that at some point during their teenage years, the band will be lifted, but that they have to first show us that they have learned self control and mastery over what they say.
It’s an ongoing conversation each time they bring home new things they’ve been told. We also tell them the meanings of the words, since most often they don’t know and we don’t want them to use the words incorrectly when they are older. 🙂
My mom was pretty strict about cursing when we were kids. The main baddies were obviously off-limit, but we also weren’t allowed to say “damn,” “pissed,” “shut up,” “stupid,” or “freaking.” As a result, I felt really bad when I would accidentally swear when I got hurt and I would scorn my peers for cursing.
This all went out the window when I got to middle school, though, and now the hubs and I playfully call each other “fucker bucket.”
We don’t have kids yet, and I know I don’t want them cursing in front of me, but I’m more afraid of cursing in front of them. Just this Sunday, I visited my 13-year-old brother for the first time in a month and found it very hard not to curse in front of or at him. After he made fun of me for whining, I quickly turned to him and shouted “Fuck you!” to his face, something hubs and I do to each other in jest all the time.
Also, when it’s gaming time, censors are totally off. You try restricting yourself to “fudge, fudge, fudge!” when you’re being eaten by zombies.
“You try restricting yourself to “fudge, fudge, fudge!” when you’re being eaten by zombies.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
When I first started dating my boyfriend I tried not to swear in front of his kids. Until I saw him at home playing video games. He’s the kind who will shout profanity. With “Damn it!” and “FUCK YOU!” ringing through the house at full volume, I figured the kids were pretty well exposed. The only rule seems to be to not swear AT the kids. So far, neither the three year old nor the six year old seems to have picked up swearing. I don’t know if they were ever told not to, or if they just tune us out when we aren’t talking *to* them.
My mom was really strict about words I could/couldn’t say as well. She hated words like “fart” and “crap” so we were always hearing and saying things like “floo floo” and “tee tee.” I rebelled as a kid by hiding in my family’s car with my BFF and yelling out the really bad cuss words where no one could hear. I felt like such a badass.
Hahaha. “I felt like such a badass!” That’s awesome! My mom didn’t swear infront of us until my parents divorce and then it all went out the window. But I’ve always explained to my boys that those are grown up words and when they are grown ups they can say whatever they want!
Video game cursing doesn’t count in our house either, I have a sailor mouth but my son, who is 10, doesn’t like to swear.
Gosh darn is right up there with his worst words (according to him).
Watching his alternative swearing is hilarious!
His biggest insults are J (for jerk), and calling people Butt. So he’ll say, ‘Did you se that J? He shot me right in the face! Darn him, the butt!’ With this bemused, serious voice. It’s amazing.
I was raised around swearing and was told early on that there are appropriate places to use it and there are places where we don’t. I have not curbed my swearing around my daughter and neither has anyone else in our house. I’m also a huge Amanda Palmer fan, so she goes around singing lyrics that include all kinds of fun words.
There are 4 adults and 3 kids in our house, the youngest is 3 and we all swear as appropriate. The 3 year old sometimes swears when we’re out and about, but as she gets older, she’ll get it just like the others do. I’m not worried about it at all.
I have found that most people turn what she’s saying into something else in their heads anyway, like thinking she said “Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck” ha!
I swear around them, but I don’t swear a whole lot to begin with.
I actually felt a twinge of pride the first time my older one cursed. (I think she was around 4 at the time.) Because, she used it in proper context. Literacy rocks!
I have a tendency to drop f-bombs, which I sometimes think is backlash from growing up in a homedaycare…I couldn’t say it then, so I overuse it now. I just finished my B.Ed, so this past year I have been trying to eradicate certain words from my vocabulary, and as a result my swear of choice has become ‘crudmonkeys’ or ‘son of a bee sting’. That being said, I am a drama teacher, so I have mixed feelings on swearing at school. Generally speaking, a school code of conduct will forbid ‘inappropriate’ language-but what does that mean? Inappropriate in what context, and to whom? It’s been a challenge for me as an artist, and me as an educator, and I think I will continue to have mixed feelings about this subject once our baby is born.
Also, we don’t edit language from friends or movies, etc. We stress that it’s a matter of self control; that they need to learn what to say and when to say it before being given free reign.
I cuss like a pirate, and always have. How did we handle this with the kids (all 6 of em?) when they are young, they naturally copy parents. So when they copy one of the ‘forbidden words’ – we gently tell them no and let them know those are ‘mommy/daddy words’. If they repeat the words, it’s a NO MA’AM! or NO SIR! moment, ‘those are MOMMY words!’ This has worked, VERY well with all 6 of the kids and the other kids that are pretty involved in our life through friendship or babysitting.
As the kids get older – 12 being the first milestone we allow them to use some of the original curse words around us. 12 gets to use ‘crap’, 13 gets ‘hell’, 15 gets ‘damn’, 16 gets to use ‘bitch’ and anything beyond that is something they need to wait until they are older (or around their friends) to use. Right now I’ve got from an almost 18yo to a 4.5 yo with all ages in between and the 11 yo can’t WAIT to be 12 and ‘cuss’ LOL.
Also, we don’t allow the word ‘freaking’ for the under 13 set. It sounds too much like ‘fucking’ to most people and peoples perceptions do matter to us in some ways.
That is exactly what we do. E knows that there are certain words that are “big people” words and that she is not to use them until she is old enough to understand what they mean and decide if she wants to use them.
What about “shit”? How old do your kids need to be to use that word? What about “ass”? “Or “retard”?