Here's the complex part. Different parents seem to have totally different ideas about what is inappropriate as far as language goes. Like I am not bothered by the word "ass" particularly. It's a body part, and not that big of an issue as far as language goes. But, OTOH, sexist language like "slut" or the B word I can't stand and would never use around my kids. And of course I would never tolerate any language that was racist or homophobic or anything along those lines.
I've known parents who banned words like "hate" in their houses, and also who don't allow words like "drat" and "gosh" because they're stand-ins for curse words. I have no problem with the word "hate," although I do redirect my kids to other language when it's used about people. "Hate is a strong feeling to have for a person. Maybe you just don't get along with her?"
We aren't religious people, however, I teach my kids not to use religious curse words because I feel like it's more respectful around religious people to not use that language. I am not concerned about "gosh" or "drat" though.
So I think this is a complex issue and I'm really curious about where other people stand on it.
Yeah, like a sailor, I'd say. But I have tried tamping it down, and I do try to put a halt to the blaspheming, and I don't tolerate the racist & sexist ones. My kids, of course, now realize what the "worst" words are to me, and they will call each other those names when they are really angry, because if that's the worst word in the world, they want to express the depth of emotion they feel for their sister by using that. If I hear it, I have a serious talk with them, but I've only heard it once.
I swear a bit around the kids, I try to keep it to "damn" and "hell". I only use them in anger around the kids. Once my son told me he was wearing his "damn pants" and I explained to him that "damn" is a word you use when you're very very angry. I don't feel like forbidding him to use it, but I want my kids to understand the appropriate times to swear if they feel like it. Sometimes a swear is the perfect way to describe how you're feeling.
Case in point (IMO), a few months ago my daughter (3) was stomping around in a rage because of something her brother (5) did to her. She was growling and sighing and kept saying, "I so frustrated! I so frustrated at you, BuggaBoo!" But that wasn't really getting to the root of her intense feelings, so she went up to him and said, "I pissed off at you!" And, you know, she was. And he apologized for what he did. And she was able to calm down. And to me that's an entirely appropriate way to swear.
SAHM to DS BuggaBoo 12/07, and DD Doozer 03/10. Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.
I grew up in a home where at 17 I said damn in front of my dad and got grounded for a week -.- I'd never be that extreme, probably wouldn't punish beyond a "don't say that".
Wife to DH (12.10.2009), Anchorage based doula , Proud mama to Autumn (09.03.2008), Sylas (04.25.2010), (06.11.2012), Calliope(04.23.2013) .
Wife to DH (12.10.2009), Anchorage based doula , Proud mama to Autumn (09.03.2008), Sylas (04.25.2010), (06.11.2012), Calliope(04.23.2013) .
Yes. One of my many failings as a parent.
Oddly enough, my kids don't like it and they don't swear often at all, other than the occasional "damn" or "hell". Since we aren't particularly religious, that doesn't seem to be too significant.
Yes, I swear in front of my kids. I've tried not to, but I have a mouth like a trucker. Most of the time they are pretty good about not repeating words. DS2 got into trouble in preschool for telling another kid that he was pissing DS off. I figure that they are going to curse eventually so they may as well learn from the best.
Candy, Mom to Matthew (5/02) and Ethan (10/07)
Trying for #3 starting 5/13
I try not to. It's more that I don't want to get DS into the habit around other people than me attaching much meaning to the actual word itself (racism and sexism aside, that's another category). I'd be super embarrassed if he started saying a curse word at school or something when it was me he learned it from! I do enjoy the creative use of a curse word though, I will admit...
DH is the one that taught him the "f" word by accident though, even though he seems to hold me to a higher standard, before and since then.
WOHM to Leo (4/08) and enjoying the journey with DH
Announcing the arrival of Clara in August 2013!
Yes, though I've been trying to stop. I'm a nervous driver and things slip out when I can't merge during rush hour or when someone cuts me off. I really DO need to stop because DS picked up dumba** from me and occasionally it pops out of his tiny mouth... It'll be soooo much fun when he says it in public.
cancer-beating wife to DH since 7/4/09, mother to DS 5/1/11 + DD 8/21/2013
I swear in front of but never at my child. Consequently, I feel like she knows what are "Adult" words and what are kid words. Her teacher, who knows me well, always seems surprised but admits that Amelia is one of the few in her class that has never "popped off"...go figure. I have had this convo with many adults (some parents and some not) and we all generally agree from experience that there really is very little if any correlation between how much you swear and how much you did or did not hear adults swearing in your family growing up....so ya...if she doesnt hear it from me she will surely hear it on the school bus!
Mama to Amelia - age 6
We swear in front of the children. What words are and aren't "cursing" is so arbitrary, I don't see how any particular small set should be off-limits.
We don't use ableist, sexist, racist, or other slurs. That's different.
I do encourage the children to use absurd curses when possible-- we use a lot of Shakespearean curses (thou spotty cur, thou carbuncle, thou wretched insolent knave, etc.) and a lot of supervillian/mad scientist curses (curse you, ironic timing of the universe!, etc.). But that's less because I dislike the Lenny Bruce set and more because I think it's fun to play with language that way. It helps redirect energies into creative outlets, usually quickly leads to giggling, and doesn't hurt our vocabularies, either.
My rule so far - might change as DS is 2.5 and it isn't really an issue yet - is that hurtful language is forbidden, but I'm neutral on standard curse words.
For example - calling someone a stupid-head would be unacceptable. Dropping something and saying, "Oh, shit!" would be fine. DS does actually occasionally say, "shit" when he drops something, and it isn't something I feel like I need to stop him from saying. Derogatory terms that happen to also be curse words would be off-limits because they are derogatory, not because they are a curse word.
A caveat - curse words are hurtful to some people, my MIL being one of them. Some people don't like to hear it, and we need to be respectful of that.
My DW on the other hand grew up in a house where not only would cursing get her mouth rinsed out with soap, she couldn't even say "darn", "heck", "lousy", "that stinks", etc.
These days DW and I both curse an average amount, in private or close relationships, maybe me a little above average. I observe the general rule of not cursing in public, around strangers or people I don't know well. We also specifically try not to curse when we argue with each other out of respect and to foster a resolution. When the little one arrives we'll probably do what I assume my parents did, hold off on the cursing in their presence as much as possible until they are old enough to understand the appropriate time and place for such things.
I've never had much of a potty mouth, but I do use curse words on occasion, and I haven't felt any need to hold myself back in front of my children. I use them so rarely. Sometimes when I'm hurt/angry, sometimes just to add emphasis to whatever I'm saying (usually when I'm complaining to DH about something at work, lol). I don't use the really really bad derogatory ones, and I never yell a curse word at a person (only at objects). And I've only ever heard my 4 year old use curse words in rare, but completely appropriate circumstances. One time she was playing with her baby doll and she dropped her on the floor and yelled "OH FUCK!" It was the funniest thing ever, but I was careful not to react because I don't want my kid thinking all she needs to do to get a laugh is to drop an f-bomb. But really I think I have heard her curse maybe twice in the last 6 months, so I don't think we have a problem. I'm more concerned about her use of "poopyhead" and "la la la la la you can't get me" (which she uses to get kids to chase her and then she freaks out and gets scared). Both things she learned at school, not from me (and poopyhead she learned from the rabbi's 3 year old daughter, much to the rabbi's chagrain).
I don't think I have ever heard my 2 year old use a curse word, and the girl is extremely verbal- she speaks clearly in full sentences and has a 3,000 word vocabulary (or something like that, I have no idea I just made that number up).
Fuck yeah I do. XD
In our household, words are just words and intent is what matters. I don't care if my kid stubs her toe and says, "Shit!" but if she ever calls another kid a "poopyhead" and means it, then she's in trouble.
And you know what? She's seven now and never swears. She's more likely to hurl a spell name from Harry Potter at you in fury, or just outright growl. The kids she knows who swear the most are the kids with the strictest parents about it. The one boy in her class whom she tells me swears all through recess is the one with the mom most likely to flip out over it. South Park nailed it.
Her school has rules (some ridiculous: we still have not determined what is an acceptable word to refer to the thing on which the children sit because apparently even "bum" and "bottom" aren't acceptable to some teachers) and we respect that other families have different sensitivities so we do have a rule about not swearing outside the house. Well, for her. If I stopped swearing it'd be like capping a pressure cooker and I wouldn't be able to maintain my pacifism for long.
And anyway, she's a citizen of the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. And we live in Texas. Good luck on finding a word for any bodily function that isn't going to offend someone somewhere in her life!
http://findinggaia.com - a novel about romance, shifting gender politics, and environmentalism
Ooooffff. My partner and I have very dirty mouths....and in two languages to boot. So I don't know what we will do when the little one comes along. I can't imagine that either of us will be able to clean up our language too much, particularly early on when we will feel like he can't understand us. I wasn't too worried about this until my cousin and her 2 year old came to visit and he wouldn't stop saying bitch. The worst was when he called a waitress bitch after she had been so nice and sweet to him. We don't say bitch, but there are plenty of other curse words we say that our son may repeat.
In the country we live in curse words are said by everyone including your grandma, but everyone seems to know there are certain situations they are inappropriate in. I wonder if there is a way to somehow teach that you just use different language depending on the situation.
Excited, anxious and proud to be pregnant for the first time! My partner and I can't wait to meet the little boy sometime around Sept 20th.
Once I drove over the curb whilst turning a turning a corner, and my then two year old shouts out, "Mom! What dd you f***ing do?!" We still have a good laugh about it. We swear in front of him, and he rarely uses the words himself. Life's too short to worry about being perfect.
The way I see it, words are just words. It's the way you use them that matters. I would rather my child say, "What the f#ck?" in general than to ever hear him say "You're ugly" to someone. I don't mind swearing as long as it is not negatively directed toward someone. Words should never be used to hurt someone, regardless of the word.
I really think people do kids a disservice by using words in front of them when they are too young to understand the ramifications of their repeating them. If you only hang out with a very homogeneous group of like minded people, you can get away with it. But if your child goes to preschool, you are setting them up to get punished. And I think that's a bit mean to put young kids in that situation.
I've had kids be shocked and call it cursing when we say darn. I explain that darn means to mend a hole so that's what we say when there is a problem that needs mending;-) I don't mind substitute curse words in the least and think it is quite good enough that we don't actually curse.
Ds is a tween and has a full vocabulary of curse words. I don't care if he uses the occasional one if there aren't other people around (especially younger cousins who look up to him.) But I remind him he has other, more accurate, word choices. I don't want him being one of those people whose vocabulary has the f word interjected every other word. Nothing sounds stupider to me.
i am not the curser. i do occasionally. but ex is one.
i have never 'watched' my tongue around dd.
she swore when she was little for the fun of it.
she rarely swears now.
like pp i worked more on her intent than actual words.
How do you handle this topic with other parents? The anti and pro cursing camps are two very disparate parenting choices--once the kids pick up the words, they're bound to repeat them in front of their friends. And for someone who's very anti, there's a perception of loss of innocence that's hard to reconcile. But it's so hard to bring something like this up--do you, or do you just suck it up and handle it with your own kids?
not necessarily. dd and her best friend cursed around our family but not in public. for some reason they figured out it was not a nice thing to do in public but it was fun doing it around mommies. dd at 3 always asked us what rhymed with luck and she'd get mad if we said the word.
As a child i was more focused on that dd understood the impact of hurtful words. swearing didnt matter. she swore appropriately but did not swear at people.
i think there's classiness around swearing too. some swear words are appropriate, and some not.
its one thing to say shit or fuck when one hammered ones thumb or dropped something, but to call another person names - whether you are 4 or 40 is not ok in my books. to call someone a mother f****** is not something dd grew up hearing.
i guess we are talking about two things here. swearing and name calling. swearing is ok (i can see in some stiff upper lip social situation where even that is inappropriate, but i havent seen any social class that doesnt do it) name calling at any age is not.
I swear a lot, but I try not to do it in front of the kids. I don't really swear in anger -- I mostly swear when I'm hanging out with friends, like when DH and I are playing cards with another couple the talk can get pretty raunchy. But it's all in fun.
We don't, no. I have slipped exactly once, when I was driving through a snowstorm and we lost traction and skidded for about 20 feet (I said "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!" and DS sweetly asked, "What's the matter, Mama?") - but I feel completely justified, as I was pretty sure we were going to crash into somebody or some thing and I had 3-y-o DS in the car plus was about 6 months pregnant at the time... not a great time for an accident.
DH and I differ on the "other" words, but I think he's coming around. I really don't want to encourage words like "that sucks" or "I screwed that up" or "shut up" in my house. My mother raised us not to speak that way and ACTUALLY, PHYSICALLY washed our mouths out with soap when we slipped. Blech. I do not want us to be that extreme, but at the same time we can all learn and practice expressing our emotions while still being polite, or else we're free to go to a room by ourselves and just let off steam.
Cady, wife to Patrick (8/2/03) and mother to Bradley (11/24/09) and little bean (edd 5/31/13) . Planning our first home birth and looking for any information and advice on the subject!
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