do you curse around your child? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
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i've been thinking a lot about censorship and profanity as it relates to my child, lately, and i thought i would ask you guys a couple of questions. do you use profanity in front of your children? are your kids restricted in how they may speak? what about pre-verbal children- how do you speak in front of them? what are your reasons for the choices you make?

like i said, this is just something that has been on my mind. full disclosure: i must admit that i have a potty mouth. my daughter is not four months old yet, but i do not always succeed in self-editing around her.

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#2 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:27 AM
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i don't curse, but dp does. like crazy, he does! and he definitely does it around the baby, who is one now and listening and learning! i don't really care. i figure if she decides to curse, i'll either ignore it or help her attain a more effective vocabulary.

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#3 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:31 AM
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I have a horrible potty mouth! I curse like a sailor and don't realise half the time!

So far DS1 (who is almost 4yo) will use the odd curse word, but I explain to him that they're grown up words and not very nice grown up words and he can use them when he grows up. He accepts this and doesn't swear very often.

Don't know about DS2 yet, cos he's not talking, but I hope he's as good as DS1!

It's complicated.
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#4 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:32 AM
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Yep, I swear a lot. Hasn't been a problem.

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#5 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:32 AM
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Yeah, I curse around the little ones, so does DH. DS is too young to care and DD knows that not everyone likes it, not every conversation needs it, and that using a swear every other word is not a good idea.

The only rule we have regarding swearing is "only justifiable cussing allowed". And yeah, DD has a few choice phases of her own for when she needs them.

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#6 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:40 AM
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I have a horrible potty mouth! I curse like a sailor and don't realise half the time!
Me too.

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#7 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:46 AM
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I try my best to not say curse words in front of my daughter, or any other kids for that matter. My DH doesn't censor himself as much as I do, but we're both working on it. I don't want my daughter saying those words. I don't think it's cute or funny (not saying any of you do!) when kids say inappropriate words, and they're just something I don't want her saying.
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#8 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:54 AM
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I don't cuss, dh doesn't cus. Pre children we didn't cus either. If others cuss around our children and they are going to be in our presence for more than a minute or so we say something. Dh is especially verbal about asking others (people we know and strangers) not to cuss around our kids if we begin to hear it. I find cussing in a majority of scenerios to be pretty tacky honestly. That being said, my very best pal cusses like a pirate. She censors around my kiddos but not for a single second when it's just her and I. I grew up with her cussing up storms so I guess I'm used to it from her.

Generally I don't care if people I'm closely aquainted with cuss when my kids aren't around (as long as it isn't every other word like they have no vocabulary) but, if it's a public place or a person whom I don't know well I think its horribly distastful. I fully understand some people could care less and I've heard all the arguements about how they are words just like any other words BUT, I think what I think and thats not going to change. I'm pretty colorful so it's sort of surprising that cussing never really caught on with me honestly. Strange.

When I hear kids (especially small children) cussing I can't help but have this grimace plastered across my face. If it keeps up and they are old enough to realize what they are saying I'll actually speak up and say something to them whether their parents are present or not.

I think we've all cussed. No biggie. BUT, I don't think a practice should be made of it in public matters (or around children in general). In life I'm fairly liberal but I'm sort of old school when it comes to this issue.

~TRACY, wife to loving dh, mommy to dd (10/05), ds(12/08), 3 kitties, & 2 pups.
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#9 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 04:10 AM
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Yes I curse. I am not too fussed about words. It is never at a person - if anything matters about using such words, I think its that - for me at least. I don't mind saying 'ah f**k!' when something doens't go my way or 'S**T!' when I stub my toe on the door. But I would never curse at someone - thats more than just a word iykwim. If one can just as eaisly say 'oh poppies!' when something doesn't go their way or 'ahh fiddlesticks!' when they stub their toe on the says to me that words are just words. You can even replace such words when using it at a person in a negative way - I don't do that either though because it means something different. The words I happen to use in other situations just happen to be 'curse' words.
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#10 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 04:11 AM
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I swear a lot. So do my kids (especially the 9yos, they picked up a certain phrase from my unedited Die Hard movies ). I don't believe in censorship. Period. I'm extreme on this because I was censored in every way imaginable as a child. My kids can read, watch, and say whatever the f*** they want! I consider myself a perfect example of what censorship and repression accomplishes (I'm the exact opposite of what my parents wanted me to be, and don't speak to my parents). Not saying anyone on this forum would take censorship to the extreme my family did, though.

I do teach the kids what the words mean and what situations they're appropriate for, though. I've honestly had very few problems with them being potty-mouthed (the words aren't forbidden, and thus have little allure). I also don't think I've been embarrassed by my kids anymore than the average parent.

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#11 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 04:23 AM
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DH and I do not curse around each other or around our kids. Not because of religious or moral issues -- we are not particularly conservative in other areas -- but because we find the public use of language that is offensive to many/most to be a mild act of violence. If someone swears at me, I wince like I've been hit and I've never had a relationship that has really survived something like that. If someone is swearing in the space I'm in, it makes me uncomfortable and I will want to leave or ask them to stop. Don't want my kids around it, no, because I don't want them picking up the habit.

We try to cultivate a positive attitude that makes allowances for difficult situations and tries to find the bright side of them, reducing the occasion for cursing, too -- ie, no swearing because I broke something or in my car at the driver who cut me off. I might remark to my children that "I guess he has somewhere he needs to get to fast! Hope he can get there safely"

My dd and I discuss "curse" words and potentially offensive language as it comes up in books we read together or movies we see. And we do read/watch some adult material with her. (She is actually even more conservative about it than I am and has requested that I stop my occasional use of the word "crap", for example.) I try to avoid putting my sons in situations where they will be exposed to curse words at all...would rather wait till they are older, because once they start asking questions, I will give them open and complete answers.

I sometimes still use the word "crap" under my breath, though But mostly it is even milder euphamisms, if anything. Crumbs! Fudge! etc.
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#12 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 08:00 AM
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Oh, gosh. We are both trying so hard to clean it up!

I mostly don't want him to toddle up to his sweet 92 year old great grandma and shock the living daylights out of her. Things like that. He's just a baby now and we are making headway.

Thinking of starting a swear jar, every swear in child's presence/earshot and the offender puts a dollar of their fun money into his savings account. But then maybe we'd feel guilty for not swearing? A paradox.
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#13 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 08:33 AM
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I swear a lot but under my breath around my children. Unfortunately, you can hear our next door neighbour swearing at her kids on a daily basis (you can even here her smack her kids through the walls as well).

I don't believe in censorship etc but I would prefer my children to learn the nice words before the naughty words lol.
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#14 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 08:44 AM
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I cuss on occasion. DD hears it and repeats it sometimes. I remind her that some words (like some behaviours) are OK in certain company but not to be used in others (and sometimes we run through which people she can say what with).

She is 5 and I don't think she has ever really messed it up.

nothing more to say I guess :
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#15 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 08:55 AM
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I swear a lot, my DH rarely swears. Growing up I was allowed to use any words, phrases I heard my mother say. . .but I never heard her drop the f word until I was older and I never really heard her call anyone a name (other than my father after the divorce). I tried to be good about not swearing, even saying "sugars" as my swear word when DD was little. . .now, I've given that up and swear when the need arises. My children are old enough that I've explained "Adult" words to them. I've also explained that some words are just never appropriate in certain situations or around certain people (elderly, around other kids, around their grandparents, etc. . .). I've been lucky that my children don't use most of my more colorful words, I have heard them say crap. . .like these treats are crap for our bodies and I've had to explain that it isn't too nice to say this around others (like at a party).

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#16 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 09:50 AM
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I don't curse and I have gotten DH to be more careful about his words. I don't think it's appropriate for children to hear or say those kinds of things. My own parents never cursed around us as kids and it was never acceptable. As a result - I don't and I'm proud of it. DH's parents have no problem with it, but I've told them that I don't like it. I won't tolerate that kind of language around my children. To each his own. I just don't think curse words are very intelligent. We have hundreds of thousands of words in the English language to effectively convey a thought and the curse words just sound base IMO.

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#17 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 10:09 AM
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It's nice when kids learn curse words after their impulse control is a bit better developed.

I get tired of hearing boring word ruts (like people that drop f***ing between every word). I enjoy some of ds's more creative utterances. He is very much a quoter and picks up words easily and makes them his own. He is very attracted to insults, for some reason. I was very glad we didn't curse around him when he was younger (dh did a little bit). The whole "just explain that it isn't appropriate" approach wouldn't have worked when he was younger because he isn't a people pleasing or compliant kid.

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#18 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 10:17 AM
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We curse, but we're trying to stop. By "trying" I mean that every once in awhile one of us will realize the other is swearing and say something about it :P Fortunately our daughter's only 10 weeks, so we have a bit more time to work on it.
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#19 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 10:23 AM
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I hate cursing. I hate hearing it and rarely use it myself...but there are occasions when I am so mad - and my language gets out of control (in that case, it might be around my child and I hate that). I think that a curse word can be appropriate in a particular circumstance - showing extreme emotion. So we don't curse around our little one because we just try not to curse in general. For me, I really think its because i grew up in a violent and angry household - cursing was always AT someone and was usually name-calling. I get that people can curse without attacking a person, but I also just want to be a more positive person...and curse words are so negative, I want my children to grow up in a peaceful, positive home.
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#20 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 11:17 AM
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Neither DH or I do. Well, I do lose it some times to DH but hopefully I will totally eradicate it b4 my 4 y/o picks up on it. I used to have crazy potty mouth, like Sopranos level, but stopped it for my children's sake. Growing up, my father cursed around us and although we children weren't supposed to, of course we eventually did b/c of his example. My DH comes from a mellow family and he never uses profane language, mainly, I believe, b/c he rarely heard it. I don't even like people to use words like butt or crap around my kids. I've replaced my swears w/ things like fudge, or bizarre ones like "nutty fudgekins!" which tend to mentally crack me up and take away the frustration I'm feeling at the time.

At the risk of being flamed, I think profanity makes you look uneducated and low class, certainly things I don't wish for my children. And I say this as a reformed f* bomb dropper.
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#21 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 12:22 PM
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I never heard my parents using any swear words whatsoever growing up until I was a teen and my mother was so angry at my brother once that she used the word "damn." Horrific, I know.

At age 11 and 12 my friends and I cursed like little sailors because it was fun. When we moved the habit fell away. As an adult I only did now and then whenever I heard it alot, depending on who my friends were. I never swore around my daughter until she was a teen and only then whenever I was very frustrated or angry. My current hubby swears alot and that's gotten me to do the same again although I won't swear around people that I know don't like it.

Hubby cusses in front of his kids which I don't like. Among adults I don't have a problem with it (except in the few cases where some people insert the f bomb around every other word in a normal conversation as if they have an extremely limited vocabulary ) but I don't understand adults who use those words around children. I don't buy the argument that they are "just" words. Words have meaning, for good or for bad, and they can sting or they can uplift.

I don't cuss around my daughter or around my grandkids and hubby doesn't either. I've never had to tell him not to, luckily he just realizes that it's inappropriate around certain people or in certain situations.
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#22 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 12:58 PM
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I swear ferociously. So (unfortunately) does my six year old dd...

At least she uses it in the correct context?

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#23 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 01:10 PM
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I don't. Neither does my DH, though he used to swear up a storm before we had kids.

As a child, I hated my mother's rules about language use-"Shut up" was off limits as was swearing. Her explanation for that-"save the strong language for the moments when you really need strong language, and it will mean a lot more when you do use it." As an adult, I've embraced that, because I've seen how true it really is. As with most things, there's a time and a place for "colorful language" and I know that when I let loose with a colorful turn of phrase, my husband knows I mean it.
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#24 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 01:29 PM
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this is definitely something i am working on. i swear way too much.

my kids are turning 3 and turning 5 and my older has definitely uttered some choice words at really awkward times.

i'm always like...omg. where on earth did she learn that?
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#25 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 02:43 PM
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I sometimes say crap, but other than that I don't swear at all. My DH does, but not in front of the children. When my oldest was 5 he told me he knows what the worst word is... "dang damn it" DD won't believe me that dang isn't a bad word, she is convinced!

My kids say "tarter sauce" and "barnacles" for emphasis like sponge bob
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#26 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 02:46 PM
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Well DH IS a sailor, if that tells you anything. I curse on occasion as well. I'm really trying to watch it though because DD (almost 3yo) is starting to repeat things. Usually out of confusion, she just wants to know what this strange word means that she's never heard. She'll say it once and I tell her it's a bad word and she doesn't repeat it again. The only thing that "caught on" for awhile was, when she would hear a strange noise she'd say, "What the hell is that?" I have to admit, that one was rather amusing. I think the only reason it caught on at all is because people would always laugh when she said it. I just kept reminding her, "We say 'What's that?' remember?" and she stopped saying it. Also I refused to explain the noise if she asked that way. Even if she starts to say it now, she'll catch herself before she does, but I rarely hear her say it anymore.

So, I don't really mind if people use a few swear words around DD or if a movie/song has a couple in them. There is definietly a line, although I'm not sure exactly how far is too far. I just know it when I hear it and I will speak up if I do.
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#27 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 02:47 PM
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We do. We do refrain from the really bad stuff though. Our 7 year old knows what words are "grown up" words and that he shouldn't say. He'll say something once in a great while, like pissed off or something but nothing much.

Our 2 year old has quite the mouth though so we're really watching what we're saying right now.
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#28 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 02:51 PM
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DH and I swear quite a lot (actually, I think I'm worse than him) and ds has reapeated me on quite a few occasions, he's only 3 and unless he's using it against us or his sister, I don't sweat it. DD doesn't use the words at all, suprisingly. But she's very genteel and I don't think it's ever really occured to her to use them.

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#29 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:15 PM
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I spell out words when I am hot about something but now that DD is turning 1 I am stopping spelling. I am afraid she might one day drop something and say "Oh, s * i t"
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#30 of 149 Old 04-26-2009, 03:27 PM
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i curse occasionally.. as in every time I stub my toe the f word slips out. My son says "oh my gooooodness!!!!" because that what I USUALLY say - but just not what slips out when im in sudden unexpected pain.
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