We have a very "swearing active" household...pretty much any and all swear words (except racist words) are used frequently and freely in our house, with no censorship at all. We are DEFINITELY of the belief that words are just words and that the English language should be used to its fullest. With that being our family policy, our kids (including our 5 year old dd) have always been allowed to swear as much as they wish. BUT what we have instilled in them is that there is a time and place for it. At home: any time and always is ok. Other times: school, older relatives' homes---perhaps not as much. They have learned very quickly and easily when not to swear. We actively allow and encourage our kids to use whatever words they feel comfortable using, and we will absolutely not change that policy.
Swearing? - Page 3
I'm old school, I guess, according to the answers here. Apparently people on mothering.com swear a lot. I don't and neither do the people I work with or am friends with. I don't think swearing is cool or interesting or adorable when toddlers or kids do it. My kids don't swear because neither my dh nor I swear. There are so many words in the English language that could describe our feelings at any given time, it's really unnecessary to resort to swearing as a fall-back verbal exclamation point.
Edited by chaimom - 12/26/11 at 1:12pm
It's ok to be "old school." But our opinion is that words are just words, so why fear them? Plus, it's a real part of the culture. Kids are going to hear these so-called "bad words," and they are eventually going to use them. So why are we trying to shelter them from them? Take away the taboo and they are just words. If that is done, then there are no swear words anyway. We feel that it is very unrealistic to keep kids away from swear words and to tell them such words are "bad."
We try not to swear in front of DD. Occasionally DH and I let one slip but we try to set a good example. I also have to watch the swearing where I work so it's good practice to not swear. I don't think swearing is wrong but I prefer to save special words for special occasions and in our household it's not appropriate to use swearing in our daily conversations.
I don't want anyone to think I don't understand the theory that "words are words" and intention is important. I do want you to know that I've been involved in conversations, and also witnessed conversations, where people could not utter a single sentence without inserting a swear word. I personally don't like those kinds of conversations.
Shann, I disagree with the idea that it's part of the culture and therefore why try to avoid swearing. Swearing is not appropriate in all places at all times. I know three people in totally different professional circumstances who lost their jobs because they swore in the workplace. One person was called unprofessional and two people swore at a supervisor. Somehow these people did not learn to differentiate between when it is and is not OK to swear.
No. The whole point of a swear word is that it IS a taboo. If the "f" word became just another adjective then another swear word would emerge. That's how language works. ALL languages have swear words because swear words serve a function.
Bottom line: I don't like people swearing at me. Many years ago I had a boyfriend who used to say "F__k you" to everyone including me. I asked him to not say that to me because I really didn't like it and it hurt my feelings. He could not (or would not) stop. That ended our relationship.
My father rarely swore and the worst thing he ever said was, "Damn." My mother NEVER swore. None of my sibs or I swear in front of my mother and we never swore with my father. My DH has never sworn at me and rarely swears at anyone.
I'm not saying I never swear. I do. Just not often. For me the moments when I do swear give me a deep sense of satisfaction because it's such a rare thing. :)
Edited by verde - 1/1/12 at 7:06pm
Like a number of you, we have a very open attitude to swearing in our house, both my boys, who are three and five, swear both round the house and in public. My bf and I have never seen it necessary to change our behaviour or language, just because we have children around, and we simply see swear words as a normal part of everyday language to be enjoyed. This has created problems for my eldest, who has just started school, and the teacher there doesnt share my opinion about swear words, so lets just say we are in the middle of some 'heated discussions' on the topic with the school.
we swear, our kids swear but we have explained that there are some places you don't swear and that there are often BETTER words to use than swear words. I think it is disrespectful to swear in certain places and that applies to children as well as adults. People need to learn that while some behavior is appropriate at home or around friends it may not/is not appropriate at work, school. I think it is doing a disservice to a child to not teach them that certain behavior is inappropriate in certain situations. While one may think it is okay to swear where ever, the people around them will not agree and that could impact the child in a negative way. I believe in giving my children the ability to fit into any situation because it broadens the possibilities for the child.
I swear like a sailor, and I consider this to be old-fashioned because my grandparents were some salty, salty folks. I'm perfectly capable of switching away from my vernacular when in the company of nice people. I'm sure I'll have a few very interesting conversations with educators, grandparents... but I intend to explain what the words are, what they mean, and what the response from different kinds of people will be when daughter uses those words. Then she can choose how to express herself.