Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: discreet, my @ss
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As I mentioned elsewhere, 5-yo ds has been known to let fly the odd F-bomb :LOL We're perfectly OK with this.
Our reasoning is that for us as adults, profanity has a valid place in our "toolbox" for expressing strong emotions. Why should it be any less valid in ds' toolbox?
The line for us between acceptable & unacceptable language is that language may not be used to hurt. This applies to all words. It's fine for ds to exclaim, "s***!" when his block tower collapses. It's not fine for him to call the person who accidentally brushed against it a s***head. It also wouldn't be OK to call that person clumsy or stupid.
Of course, even as adults, there's appropriate & inappropriate situations for certain types of language. We talk differently in a church or at a job interview than we would at a pool party or alone with our best friends, YK? Ds picked up on this very smoothly & he uses substitutes when he's around, say, the ILs, or my nephew (who's a slightly primmer version of Alex P. Keaton, but that's another story :LOL)
I've heard the argument that swearing becomes a "crutch", harming a person's ability to express strong emotions in other ways, and I don't think it holds water. I think the causality of that argument is flawed: maybe people who already *have* a limited vocabulary turn to swearing as their only means of strong expression. Ds swears very rarely (probably because there's no shock value to it for him) and has plenty of vocabulary for expressing himself other ways.
The bottom line for us is that it's more realistic to provide him with the full range of language that adults use, and help him navigate appropriate context & situation, than to teach him certain words are just inherently "bad," "rude," or "disrespectful". The wearing of shoes is immensely disrespectful in some contexts, i.e. certain houses of worship. But that doesn't mean I'm being disrespectful if I wear my favorite sneaks on the lawn at home.