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Old 10-28-2009, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you swear? Do you do it in front of your kids? How do you/would you react if your kid swore? Are there certain swears you allow yourself to say in front of your kids, and just try to teach them that there are adult words that YOU are allowed to say but they aren't allowed to say?

This is a bone of contention between a friend and me, so I am curious to hear others' opinions.

Thanks!!

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Old 10-28-2009, 07:37 PM
 
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I do, occasionally. I try to avoid anything really over-the-top, or to use the words too often, but sometimes it slips out. My kids do sometimes imitate me. I mostly ignore them; I think swearing only becomes an "issue" if you make it one by letting the words become a source of shock value. I did very calmly and matter-of-factly point out to DD1 when she started school that if she said XYZ at school or church or at grandma's house it would get her in trouble, because "most people don't think it's okay for kids to say those words, and even grownups try not to say those words in church/at school/at work/in front of people they respect." I just kind of passed on the information, the same way you'd mention to kids that people are going to stare if they go out with food all over their face or with sandals in January or something. I think kids mostly just need to know that there are times and places where using those words is going to make a poor impression on people; it's a social convention like any other, to me.

I do avoid using strong language around other people's kids, because I know that not everybody is as blase about the issue as I am.

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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In our house words are words.

We do teach about choosing your words for your audience.

-Angela
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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We swear a lot. My daughter does not swear AT ALL - and never has. She is not shocked by it but she seems to have picked up that it is not socially appropriate.

However, lately she's more sensitive to it and those words are more hurtful to her than others so we are working on more gentle language.

I am sensitive around other kids to it - or try to be as best I can. But I also don't think swear words themselves are the issue so much as respectful communication. So, for example, if I drop a cast iron pan on my foot and yell f***in h**** I don't really think that's a big deal; if I say "f*** you" to someone then that's a problem. I'd rather address communication then arbitrarily defined words.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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In our house words are words.

We do teach about choosing your words for your audience.
This is basically my answer, too.

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Old 10-28-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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For some reason (probably because I've NEVER heard my parents swear), swearing is really unnatural for me. For a brief period in college I tried it out, but then decided it's really not for me. So I don't swear. Neither does DH, unless he's been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto, then some slip out. Never around the kids, though.

Anyway, I wouldn't love it if my kids picked up swear words, and I would tell them that I prefer they communicate in a different way. We're sort-of struggling with this right now, as DD (five years old) has picked up "Oh my God!" from somewhere. Her bus driver, it seems? We are atheists and I don't personally have a problem with that, but I know that some of the people DD interacts with will, so I've been trying to get her to stop, telling her that some people take God really seriously, and hearing her use this expression might hurt their feelings. I haven't heard it in a week or so, so maybe it's sinking in.

We have a CD right now that my FIL made for the kids, and one of the songs on there is Johnny Cash's "Boy Named Sue." At the end of the song the line is "I'm the ----beeeeeeeeep!---- who named you Sue." My kids are incredibly intrigued by that long beep, and asked me what he was saying. I explained the concept of swears, saying there are some words that a lot of people consider impolite and that singers aren't allowed to say on the radio, and so sometimes these words are replaced by a beep.

Then, of course, the kids wanted me to tell them the words. I politely declined. Sorry, kids, I'm not teaching you all the swears today. You're on your own for that part of your education. If they come home saying swears or asking about them, though, I'll certainly talk about them calmly. I just don't think I need to give a 5-year-old and a 3.5-year-old those words right now.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:16 PM
 
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This is something we are struggling with now. DS is 2 1/2 and he uses these words in the right context with the right tone of voice (completely mimicking us). My approach is to ignore it. DH wants to address it, but I think that just makes DS think there's some kind of allure there. Bad word? Ooooh, I should use it!

Since he's picked this up, we're trying really hard to watch what we say. With DH though, these words are just peppered through his every day language! Gah.

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Old 10-28-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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We don't swear (well, we did before we had kids). If my dd swore (dh slips sometimes and I think she's repeated it before), I'd tell her that isn't a nice word and (whoever said it) shouldn't say it either.

I also don't believe that adults should be allowed to say x, y or z and the kids are not.

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Old 10-28-2009, 11:25 PM
 
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We don't swear. It saddens me that DSD does. It makes me happy that she rarely does so in our presence.

I don't think that every household where people choose to swear is an unhappy one, but I much prefer no to talk to each other that way.

To me it's about making every piece of your life beautiful, peaceful and kind. Some might feel plastic pollutes their child's toys - I believe swears pollute the speech and relationships in the similar manner, yk?

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Old 10-28-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
In our house words are words.

We do teach about choosing your words for your audience.

-Angela
Ditto... good to know we have a like-minded audience.

That being said, we really don't swear in front of the kids aside from an occasional word here and there.

Mama to Ava (12/03) , Leila (4/06) , Violet (11/08) , and bonus mama to Madison (7/98)
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks very much for your answers, everybody! I don't usually swear as a general rule, but if the occasional one slips out, I don't freak out about it. Of course, we're talking about the mild ones - the D word, the SH word, the B word, the place opposite heaven word. Now that my DD is talking, I don't drop the F bomb or worse in front of her. The friend I spoke of is slightly more strict than me - She doesn't want ANY word - even crap - said in front of her kids. To each his own, for sure, but I just wanted to make sure I was not the "wrong" one here, like "omgsh, I can't believe you say ___ in front of her". I actually think it's better for my DD to know there are words that are not polite, and that she shouldn't say certain things in front of certain people. Thanks again!!

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Old 10-29-2009, 01:45 AM
 
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I used to swear a lot (esp playing World of Warcraft with my friends on vent), but I've cut back considerably. Now it's only the occasional stubbed toe type incident. DS (3 yo) has picked up choice phrases from time to time--it only takes once for him to learn it. My approach is that he can say those words at home at appropriate times. However, DH and I don't say them in public or around other people and neither should he. So far it hasn't been a problem and he rarely uses them at home anyway. Although, I admit I laugh a little on the inside when he accidentally hurts himself and a "damn it" slips out.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
In our house words are words.

We do teach about choosing your words for your audience.

-Angela
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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I swear a great deal.... and am now having to curb it since my 5 year old will too....

I don't care that she swears, but it is culturally unaccepted and so feel like I need to guide her in the right direction.

Basically what Alegna said.... swearing is like being naked, we can do it at home and only then only sometimes.... it depends on who we are with.

My favorite it when we are out with friends and my dd throws up her hands at something that doesn't make sense and says "WTF?"
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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We're with alegna too. I tend not to drop the Fword or the Cword around her, though i actually think they are perfectly good words, i know DD is still learning about context and don't want her to suffer for my choices of vocabulary. She does say "foxes!" (sort of) if something goes wrong because dad says "F's sake" in situations where he's frustrated.

In general i think words can be very powerful and swear words definitelyhave their place in the language. In fact i think when my teen girls are able to use the Cword with confidence i'll be incredibly proud of them!
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:52 PM
 
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Thanks for posting this! I am dealing with a similar situation, but since we don't swear in our house it seems weird to ask. The things my 4yo is starting to say is--OMG, Oh my gosh, and john-it (wish I think is darn it!) I think he's picking up these things at preschool, and although there is nothing terrible about these things he's saying, I hate the tone he's using! I guess it comes down to being respectful and peaceful, and these phrases are being said so harshly and sound so thoughtless. And he's just saying these things SO much, and I know he's just expermenting with new language, but it's really like nails on a chalkboard to me! I don't want to just forbid him from saying certain words, but I like the suggestions to come at it from a place of respect.

Thanks!!

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Old 10-29-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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We swear at our house. It is something DH and I are trying to curb. Mainly because I believe in having a large vocabulary and trying to find alternative words for situations. I believe some curse words most definitely have their place and should be used when appropriate but I don't want that to be the only words they can use to express themselves. I have a bigger problem with words being used inappropriately than just swearing in general. I have experienced many a time when I hear someone say "OH that is so gay!" For some reason those phrases or 'youre stupid' or 'shut-up' are more damaging than B word or S word. At least in my opinion

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Old 10-29-2009, 07:15 PM
 
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We do swear. My kids know that some words are grown up words and some are not. Some are also ok at our house and not ok other places.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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I think swearing sends the wrong message in the home. We have to set an example first and foremost.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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DP and I very rarely swear, and only the "milder" swear words. There have been a couple times that ds1 has used a "bad word". I have always giggled about it, and talked to him about it being a swear word. I tell him that it's not appropriate for kids to say, and that a lot of other people would be quite offended by him saying it in front of them, etc.
I basically tell him that dp and I don't really mind it occasionally, but not to swear in front of anyone else. He has never used a swear word in front of anyone else.

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Old 10-29-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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We do swear. My kids know that some words are grown up words and some are not. Some are also ok at our house and not ok other places.
Pretty much that.

We don't ever permit using a curse word (or a mean one for that matter) towards someone else. I don't let my kids drink alcohol or other adult things so I don't feel bad telling them there are words they can't use that we can. I do try hard to limit my own use of them and usually it's in pain or REALLY bad news (like "honey I totaled the car this morning")

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Old 10-29-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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Just wanted to add that we never use the "b" word and would be very upset if our children did. We would and have explained its sexist origins and usage. To me, swearing encompasses a very wide range of things and content and context are everything.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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I don't swear often. When I do, it's usually because some driver has almost caused an accident. Dh swears much more frequently - mainly when coming home from work and talking about work.

Words are just that in our house. There are no "grown up" words, etc. I have explained to my kids that swear words aren't particularly creative and in general aren't the most effective way to communicate your thoughts. There are many wonderful words in our language to effectively communicate. If someone says a swear word, I don't sweat it. However, I may say a simple, "Watch the language, please." I am particularly inclined to say this if someone is swearing more. This mainly applies to my husband (again, after coming home from a bad day at work). Anyone can say this to anyone else in our home. The kids will often give dh a, "Please watch your language, Daddy." To which he apologizes and watches his language more.

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Old 11-01-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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My language ...could be better. I'm a royal klutz and every burn, cut, or stub is accompanied by at least mild cursing.

My stepdaughter knows these words, and she knows there better be a good reason to use them in our house, and they don't get directed at other people.

She also knows they're off limits at school or at anyone else's house, ESPECIALLY anyone she calls "grandma." (I know her mom's language use is similar to mine, though I have no idea what her policy is at her house.)


So far, so good..."What did you do on your first sleepover?" "Jade and I stayed up ALL NIGHT and said swear words and played Harry Potter! It was SO COOL!"

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:56 AM
 
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i swear mildly.

however my dd was brought up to know the power of words - rather intonations. she had the right to say anything she wanted as long as she wasnt intentionallyy hurting anyone.

she went thru a phase of saying the f-word as her dad uses it regularly, but what was funny when she decided a certain word was a bad word and i should not use it at all.

dd has heard sh** come out of me often enough but she was more attracted by her dad's F***.

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Old 11-02-2009, 03:00 AM
 
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I do use the "small" swear words 2 of them on occasion ie stumping a toe mashing a finger etc. The kids know those are not nice words and I tell them not to say it again if I hear them. I never told them they where adult words but I did tell them they where not nice and as such they shouldnt say them.

There are certain situations where it would be horrific should they say them so I discourage it. I do try to limit my use of them but if one slips out I dont worry much about it.

My reaction to the word usually depends on the word for something like s*** I say that isnt very nice and not appropriate for anyone to say and for the B,F or GD words those I tell them in no uncertain terms they are never to say it again and consequence happen if it is repeated. I have never nor will I ever say those words in front of my kids. I cannot STAND those words to the point of having them blocked on my computer with word changer in firefox. But I dont consider crap or fart or oh my gosh to be bad words at all. They have however heard them on TV and know they exist luckily it hasnt been an issue yet.

 
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:04 AM
 
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We swear, my kids swear. All the time. We have never even discussed it, but my kids have all picked up on when it is and is not appropriate to swear. My 12 year old will curse all $#$^* day, but NEVER in front of his grandma (MIL) and only very mild curses in front of my mother (who curses quite a bit). When they were in school and now (we homeschool) when they are in classes/on field trips, they don't curse. And they don't curse in front of their friends who don't curse.

I thought it was completely adorable when they would "try on" curses as toddlers. I also thought it was completely adorable when they would try on mature multi-syllabic words. One of the girls used to say "Actually, here's how it is" at the start of pretty much every sentence. So cute in baby-voice.

eta: This is pretty regional, it seems to me. In my daily life, everyone curses. My workplace is full of potty-mouths. All my friends curse, although many do so less in front of kids or in "official" social meetings (like homeschool group business meetings or PTA meetings). We throw around the F-bomb like it's spare change.

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Old 11-02-2009, 10:01 AM
 
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I'm a big believer in words being words, and that there are no bad words, only bad intentions. I'm aware of how and when we (the adults) use the swear words, but we don't hide that we do it. Like someone said earlier in this thread, kids learn quickly that certain words are inappropriate for children and not socially acceptable, and so they often just don't say them.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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I'm actually glad to read this thread, as I agree with most of the replies ("Words are words"). I do swear, probably more than I should, and my kids will use some of those words. . .although they are more likely to tell me that I shouldn't say XYZ. We also talk about choosing your words for your audience, which is about more than swearing. I did try to modify my language at first after having children (i.e. using "poop" instead of the alternative), until our neighbor made a comment about one of her sons saying "poop" and how horrible that was (he probably heard it from one of my children ). Which really brought home the point that a "bad" word simply depends on the audience.

Funny story - the first time one of my children swore. . . We were at the drugstore and I had pulled the kids in our wagon. I'd asked an employeee for help finding something, and was hauling the wagon after me but not really paying attention to my children (I think my twins were about 2 1/2 at the time). My son stood up in the wagon and yelled "SHIT" at the top of his lungs. He'd obviously already internalized that these types of words have high attention-getting value. I actually found it more funny than embarrassing (and the employee was a college-age guy, who probably didn't even realize that 2 year olds shouldn't say that word).

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Old 11-02-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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I don't swear in front of my dd. When dd picks up negative words and uses them at home I tell her those aren't appropriate words to use in our family. I usually don't use swear words or put downs. On the few occasions I have and dd has picked up on them I tell her we should both work on not using those words and we do.
I don't believe in having a double standard when it comes for language because I think part of being a parent is being a good role model. Swear words are words that carry a lot of heat and they are generally viewed as very negative words. I personally don't like to be around swearing and I don't gravitate towards people who swear, but each family needs to make their own choice. There are many negative consequences for children who swear in our society and there are some for adults who swear. It is also very hard to just stop swearing when you are in the habit of it and that can cause a lot of problems for children and adults when they are in school or work.
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