Swearing in front of your kids
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There is a time and place for everything. No at church, yes at the ball game. No in front of your boss, yes in front of your girlfriends. Knowing when and where it's acceptable shows that you have class and taste, not whether or not you do it at all. No, I personally don't swear. And I will not allow my children to. I'm not so naive to think it can't happen when they are with friends out of my presence. But I teach them at home, and slowly let go and let them discover their own way all while guiding them. I don't swear for personal reasons, but swearing when appropriate has no bearing on who a person is, their class, education level, etc.
@Collene, this is a DEBATE board. I didn't ask for advice because, if you haven't noticed, I already have to pretty strong opinions on the subject.
I never said anything about you keeping your child in a bubble, that was Krista and I think you may have misconstrued her meaning. What I take objection to is comments like "With your fancy degree Anika think about this..." and "No fancy degree regardless what posh wall it is siting on, is going to help prepare for raising another life!" from you. You might have hangups about your own level of education and socio-economic status but don't take it out on me. And actually, education does help you in raising your children. You see, I got these strong opinions/morals/values from what I've LEARNT and from research/analytic skills I LEARNT not from what I've been told to mindlessly follow.
Back to the topic, you say
"It is not a matter of naivety or grammar Anika, it is a matter of teaching our children right from wrong."
and that's the thing, I don't think swearing is right or wrong. I think it's on a spectrum and depending on the circumstances it can be closer to right or closer to wrong.
If you want to raise your children that way, fine by me. I just think you're perpetuating the taboos
yup I do....and no I won't care if she swears. They are just words. I will teach her that there are appropriate and not appropriate times to use them. But I don't see what's soo horrible about saying sh*t instead of poop....etc. we all know what you're trying to say, so just say it and be done.
We've already established that our parenting styles are polar opposites Sherri. We would make a good Wife Swap I feel. If that works for you, more power to you. But it doesn't work for me. I'd feel like a dictator. Sure, I am the adult and she is the child, but we're both people. I want her to learn that there are logical reasons behind my rules. "Because I said so" doesn't teach that.
Oh Krista, don't you know gilding is so 14th century! I went with diamonds and rubies for my degree and emeralds for my Graduate Diploma of Teaching. It's so magnificent in fact, I have it hanging at Musee d'Orsay in Paris! LOL.
@Collene, if you're going to cast aspersions on my language skills, can you at least use correct grammar and punctuation? Your post is slightly unintelligible.
And if there is no reason for them to exist, then why, pray tell, DO they exist at all?
And finally, I think of myself as fairly respectable, well mannered and well spoken and yet I swear. I don't see why you can't be both. I know when, where and with whom swearing is or isn't acceptable, and that is what I'm going to teach my daughter. I am also going to teach her to think for herself. I don't want an obedient quiet little drone that is seen but not heard. I want to raise an inquisitive free thinker. Therefore I will never utter "Because I said so." or "Do as I say, not as I do."
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Starfish - posted on 08/22/2011
I try to keep it minimal around my child, but sometimes I still do. It's okay, we've talked about it, and she knows some words are "adult words". She doesn't say them. Honestly, I wouldn't mind personally if she did, but I don't want her using that language in school, or around other children, because I know not every parent is as laid back on the subject as I am. She's six now, almost seven, and it's never been an issue for us.
Krista - posted on 09/19/2010
Sara, I agree with everything you just said. The uneducated, classless ones are the ones who have absolutely NO internal censor and who curse even in situations where it will obviously make most of the other people present uncomfortable.
But to make a blanket judgment about everybody who ever lets an f-bomb slip past their lips? That's just silly.
@Sara - It's not for you or your kids, but you don't judge others. That I can respect.
@Sherri - I disagree. That may be your perspective (and an elitist one at that) but it's not my perspective. And quite frankly, just because you're 'old money' doesn't mean you're intelligent. Being rich isn't the same as being smart. Just look at Paris Hilton.
I think we should be focusing more on the intent of the words than the actual words used. I could call you an dumb shit or I can call you a troglodyte. Neither of which is very nice but only one of which would be considered swearing. Does that mean it's ok for me to call you a troglodyte? No, because the intent is still malicious.
Cassie - posted on 09/18/2010
I just honestly don't cuss whether it's in front of my children, my family, my husband, or my friends. I didn't say a single cuss-word until I was in my late teens but realized I didn't like the way I sounded.
I don't necessarily have an issue with cussing, though I prefer that it is kept to a minimum around my girls. I have just never been a cusser and sound silly if I were to throw one out.
My pastor/one of my best friend's said shit in church. Not DURING church, but in a conversation w/ me afterwards. And yes, I can type that word, but 99.999% of the time I'd never say it. Just figured some of you would get a 'kick' out of that. ;)
Amber - posted on 09/18/2010
Sherri~ Have you ever been around "rich people" or CEO's outside of a work or professional setting? Because your comment basically tells me that you get your ideals from television or professional settings, and not real life.
I regularly socialize with people like this and outside of work, they are regular people. They cut loose and have fun. I've heard a lot of them swear, quite a few of them so much that it surprised me.
It's all about knowing when it's appropriate. Should you use those words in a meeting, no. Does it matter if it's said during a round of golf or when everybody is winding down with a couple of cocktails or in their own homes?
Krista - posted on 09/18/2010
You see the rich, well mannered, well educated ladies and gentlemen never do you hear them cussing like truck drivers as they are sitting in there fancy clothes for afternoon tea, or playing golf or the CEO's of NASDAQ sitting there swearing there heads off
Actually, most CEOs that I've met have had absolutely FILTHY mouths.
Times are changing, Sherri. Even "nice" boys and girls swear sometimes.
I do agree with you that it's tacky if people CONSTANTLY swear, especially if they have absolutely no sense of when it's appropriate and when it's not. But to imply that ANY swearing is indicative of an uneducated, low-class person? That is misguided, inaccurate, and sorry...rather snobbish.
And Collene, you have completely misinterpreted what I have said. You said "why give foul language a chance to creep in and ruin a child", and I said "UNLESS you keep your child in a bubble, he's going to hear cursing at some point in his life". I did not indicate that you currently DO keep your child in a bubble, so you can tuck away your hurt feelings for another day.
Charlie - posted on 09/17/2010
Well i used to work for those CEO's , Bankers , Actors even one Australia's richest Families the Murdochs some of whom i would see out at clubs or babysit their kids and most of them would occasionally swear again never at people just in conversation , perhaps its an Aussie thing we are fairly relaxed when it comes to swearing it doesn't seem to represent any class or education .
I'm not sure that I've ever been to afternoon tea or played golf. But I'll bet all my money that they let words fly. I have however sat on trailer porches...of nice Christian ladies that wouldn't dream of letting a crap or damn slip. Also been in the projects where nice Christian moms sent their kids to my kids' club to hear a Bible story and play some games. No one fits into a box.
**edit** Just remember that my lab partner in high school was one of the wealthier families in the community. His dad cussed like a sailor. And offered us wine while we worked on our projects.
Sherri - posted on 09/17/2010
It is not that you ARE uneducated it is that you come across as uneducated and quite honestly lower class. I guess the best thing I can think of is this to describe it.......You see the rich, well mannered, well educated ladies and gentlemen never do you hear them cussing like truck drivers as they are sitting in there fancy clothes for afternoon tea, or playing golf or the CEO's of NASDAQ sitting there swearing there heads off Then you have the poor, less educated people hanging out with heir homies and bros in the projects and I don't think one word if you can even decipher the English isn't a swear word. So when you swear/cuss in front of your kids and all the time you come across as less educated and much lower class. How you conduct yourselves and hold yourselves is how you are perceived.
Charlie - posted on 09/17/2010
Sometimes things are just so awesome there is nothing more to say but " FUCK YEAH " :P
I don have an issue with people who choose not to swear in front of their kids , good for you ! but to imply anyone who does so is uneducated or harming their children is just self righteous , sancti-mummy dribble .
Collene - posted on 09/17/2010
Thank you very much Jennifer!!!! You put into words what I had been thinking about this post the whole time. I just have to say I totally agree more than probably anyone.
It is not a matter of naivety or grammar Anika, it is a matter of teaching our children right from wrong. It is a general conversation and unfortunately swearing happens everyday, regardless what is said on this post, on this website. And NO I do not plan on leaving my boys in a BUBBLE, thank you very much!...
That comment made me very sad. :( I show the up most respect for all the women and men on the website and regardless of race, background or past history have no "BEEF" (as some might say), with anyone here. All I wish is to have my say and move on. I believe in a no swearing policy in my house because that is the way i wish to raise MY KIDS. I'm not raising yours. And I don't mean anything by what I say. You asked for advice and help and all you can do is throw it back in our faces. I come here to have a discussion about help and advice within regards to raising my children because as a parent, I DO NOT know everything there is to know.
As we all know kids don't come with a manual. No fancy degree regardless what posh wall it is siting on, is going to help prepare for raising another life! And when it comes to swearing I just prefer to say "NO, there is a better way, there are other words you can use".
If you don't like what people post to your question then don't ask them. But having said that, i would encourage you use this site as much as possible because it is obvious we could all use the help.
Swearing or not, ALL our kids will grow up to be wonderful citizens of the human race, as long as we the carers of the next generation have are mindful to change the future to a better one by starting with our future.
Jennifer - posted on 09/13/2010
I want to start my post by saying that I am not judging anyone just stating my thoughts. I was raised in a house where my Dad cussed like a sailor. I never heard my Mom say one bad word...and we were told that we were not allowed to use those words at all. Growing up, I just did not get in the habit of swearing at all. Through my years I have come to believe what my Mom always said...there is no need to use foul words when there are plenty of words in the english language. She always said that people who use foul language show their lack of proper communication. Not to offend anyone, this is just how I feel about it. I do not allow my kids to swear and in cases where they have picked it up from someone at school or their equally wonderful father, I give them an appropriate word to use instead. Now, I am not naive, I imagine they use it when they are not around me...but I have explained to them that it is disrespectful to themselves and others. I am raising them in a christian home and there are Godly principles I apply to this as well.
Krista - posted on 09/13/2010
I think there comes a point when ALL of us rely on "because I said so." I'm not a fan of it, but I'm not going to say that I'll never use it. I just recall very well what it was like when I was young, and my mom would lay down rules, but would never explain the rationale behind any of them. So to me, they seemed really arbitrary, which definitely chafed. Obviously, if I've explained the rationale behind a rule on several prior occasions, I'm not going to explain it every time, and will probably say, "I've already told you why you have to come home by 10pm. If you keep arguing with me, though, I can make it 9:30. Up to you." When my kids are old enough, however, I do want them to participate in the setting of the rules. I will have final say, but I do want them to be somewhat involved in the process.
I'd love to answer you Anika, but my brain doesn't always function in that way. Meaning I can't think of certain things 'on command' so to speak. Maybe that's why I use 'because I said so'.... there probably IS a logical explanation to give my kids. I just can't think of it. ;)
Starr - posted on 09/12/2010
Most of them time 'because I said so " follows after you have explained many times why. It's not like our children ask"Mommy can I touch the stove burner" And we simply say 'No, because I said so" We explaon to our children as well. But there comes a point where they already know right from wrong and already know the answer so we just go ahead and answer 'because I said so"
Johnny - posted on 09/12/2010
How does explaining things to your kids and not just relying on "because I said so" suggest that the mom/dad is not in charge and that kids will not be expected to help out around the house/do their chores?
I will undoubtedly utilize "because I said so" when my children are teenagers and deep down understand the real reasons behind my requests while pretending not to. But I do not use it now, when I know my kid needs a greater explanation of the forces of the universe and why they require her to "pick up that cup". Until I know that my kids are just being sassy and are not confused, I don't think that 'because I said so' is all that useful. I want my children to get why their behavior is unacceptable and understand why I want them to do certain things. It's my job to teach them, not to be their own personal dictator.
However, I have always required my daughter to help out. She will be expected to do her own chores. She is now 2. She helps unload the dishwasher, she waters in the garden, and lots of other things. It's not just a 'game' but also me teaching her how to do daily tasks. If time permits, I always try to show her how to do everything I'm doing (within reason of course, I'm not teaching her knife skills quite yet).
I actually see teaching her 'why' certain behaviors are acceptable and certain ones are not as being very related to things like doing chores and tasks. Even for doing her homework or riding her bicycle. I want her to see the value in acceptable behavior as well as the value of her hard work. I am sure there will be many times, particularly in the teenage years, when she won't give a rat's ass about that. But in the end, I want her to learn that you don't just do stuff because other people tell you to. You do it because it will bring you and those around you the results which you seek.
I have no real idea exactly how that relates to swearing. This conversation is a bit perplexing to me. I've gone to great effort to avoid swearing in front of my child (although I have substituted swear words for terms like stupid & dumb dumb for when I'm driving - which I have learned on this thread that some people consider swearing). But honestly, I do not think that utilizing swear words in certain circumstances is harmful, low class or will lead to trashy kids (whatever!) My parents NEVER swore in front of me. To this day, I have never heard my mother swear and my father only ever blasphemes. Yet somehow, despite also never being exposed to that type of TV or movies growing up, I have learned quite well how to do it. So I am not at all convinced that my not swearing will have any impact on my child's language development or whether she turns into someone who sounds like they guest star on "Trailer Park Boys". I just avoid it so she doesn't go to preschool dropping the f-bomb.
I explain a lot to my kids when there is an explanation and it is necessary. Sometimes the only explanation IS because I said so though. I'm the mom, so I've earned that right. When they are the mom (or the dad) they can have that right too. ;) I'm pretty much just trying to figure out things as I go though... my parents never actually MADE me do anything.
When did I say my child would not be doing chores? I'm a big believer in children learning self-help skills as soon as they're physically able. My daughter will grow up doing things around the house. If she asks why, I'll explain why. If she can come up with a good argument why she shouldn't, I'd encourage that and give my responding argument. I'm all for intelligent debate.
?? - posted on 09/12/2010
Holy crap, Krista, I was thinking the same thing. I read Anika's posts, and it's like reading the reply I was thinking up in my head. Trippy as hell!
I will just parrot Anika and repeat:
I think of myself as fairly respectable, well mannered and well spoken and yet I swear. I don't see why you can't be both. I know when, where and with whom swearing is or isn't acceptable, and that is what I'm going to teach my son. I am also going to teach him to think for himself. I don't want an obedient quiet little drone that is seen but not heard. I want to raise an inquisitive free thinker. Therefore I will never utter "Because I said so." or "Do as I say, not as I do."
Although, when my son says "WHY?" 500 thousand times after every single thing I can possibly think to respond with, I will say "because I said so" and he laughs like it's the funniest joke in the entire world.
Sherri - posted on 09/12/2010
I am confused so your children will never be expected to help around the house or have chores? If they do they will be allowed to argue with you about getting having to do them? Even after you have explained to them many times why and the need to contribute as part of the family unit and they are fully aware of why?
Starr - posted on 09/12/2010
"Because I say so" teaches her nothing but how to follow commands."
Well it does that anf others. It teaches that I am the adult and I will not take my children running me. It shows that what I say goes in my house. When they are of age they can leave and do what they want. Im not asking anything out of them beyond respect and doing the right things in life that I will instill in them. When they are out of my house they will then be adult enough to decide what works best for them. Its my job to teach them, keep them safe, and love them!
Sherri - posted on 09/12/2010
I am saying that when children are very young of course you need to explain to them why things need to be done a certain way or why they are doing things, what is expected of them etc. However, when my teenagers are questioning why I am expecting them to do there chores that they have done for the past 4 yrs and why they have to clean there rooms etc. They are not questioning me because they don't already know why things must be done but because they are giving us lip, which usually means they just don't want to do them. Well sorry but tough you live in this house, you also need to contribute to the running of this house and I don't want to hear it. Do it because that is your job as a family member in this house to help it run as smoothly as possible. So when they start we stop them before they can form the words and are told Because I told you so end of discussion!!
My child doesn't run my house either. But I feel my job as a parent is to teach her what is right and wrong and WHY it is right and wrong. "Because I say so" teaches her nothing but how to follow commands. What happens when you're not around to tell your children what to do? Are they going to have the skills to make a safe, intelligent choice? Or are they just going to follow the loudest or most insistent voice?
'Because I said so' does not explain anything to the children, explaining why they need to do something does not mean that they do not have to do it and does not mean they will have any less respect for you as a parent. A simple put your coat on because it is cold explains and means they are more likely to follow your request without too much fuss as it is reasonable.
I have to say ladies you have changed my mind on the use of swear words, children should never swear still imo but teenagers particularly older teenagers should not be disciplined for using swear words in general (obvs not at people), as I must admit I do find that on occasion it is quite satisfying swearing. I still think though that when done excessively swearing makes you seem unintelligent and low class - even if your not.
Sherri - posted on 09/11/2010
I have to say I use Because I said so all the time to my kids. They are expected to do what I tell them, when I tell them and we do not allow them to say why. Simply because you were told to do it end of discussion. In our home it is not a democracy you are the child we are the adults therefore you have to do what you are told to do wether they like it or not.
Krista - posted on 09/11/2010
Anika, I didn't realize that your degree was fancy! Is it gilded? Or is it festooned with gemstones?
Collene, unless you plan on keeping your child in a bubble and never taking him out in public, he IS going to hear cursing at some point or another. So it's going to "creep in" and be exposed to our kids whether you like it or not -- and you can either completely forbid it, and hope that they continue to eschew bad language into adulthood. Or, you can talk to them about it and as they get older, provide them guidance and judgment so that IF they choose to swear, they know how to turn it on and off, depending on the situation.
Oh, and there is PLENTY of reason to use those words, Collene. They are incredibly satisfying. If you choose not to swear, then good for you! However, I would greatly appreciate it if you (and some others here) would set aside the superior attitude and the assumption that those of us who DO choose to swear are lazy and uneducated.
Collene - posted on 09/11/2010
It may be hypocritical or not. Unfortunately, Is it not true??? We all have things we don't like, but we have to deal with on daily basis. Its that saying that is one of them.... I choose to believe that saying, because I wish for my children to learn a better way than I did, including SWEAR WORDS. With your fancy degree Anika think about this... Why give foul language a chance to creep in and ruin a well mannered, obedient, respectable and well spoken child? If you have such a large vocabulary, why choose those words at all? The English language is so vast and wide in it's expressionism, there is no reason what so ever to use those words at all. Yet, we do. Why? Because the human race has a lazy tongue. And swearing is a habit most of us fall into. Sorry, but it's a fact.
I totally agree Krista. It totally astounds me the violence that's shown on US TV/movies and then they get all uppity about one little c word (Kevin Smith's 'Chasing Amy' is an R18 pretty much due to one c word utterance. Pathetic IMO). I'm trying to think about NZ made TV shows. Sex is definitely shown but not so much the full frontal nudity. Language yes. Violence? Not so much. Most of our TV though is American or British which gives an interesting contrast. Oh and most of our shows are free to air (as opposed to cable) so shows like the Sopranos were on for all to see. Oh and as an aside, it totally cracks me up when you're watching an American show and they cover up the top of people's butt cracks. Why? We ALL have them. What is so offensive about a little butt crack?
@Starr, no children can't swear at school. But I don't think they would be suspended for swearing unless it was at a teacher. For us, swearing will just fall under discussing differences in people. I plan to be open and honest with my children about everything. Don't get me wrong, I won't encourage my children to swear and I would never condone swearing at someone. I just won't make a big deal about it if they feel over and swore. I'd rather teach my child how and when something is acceptable than forbid them and have them do it behind my back.
Brenda - posted on 09/10/2010
i have to admit that i have swore in front of my kids and they ahave repeated what the heard, and i do care about them swearing. i just explain to them that i said something wrong and its not nice to say and please dont say it again. and they listen to me. i cant punish them for something that i do from time to time, but i try to let them know that that was an ugly and mean thing to say. i think if you make too big a deal about it they are going to want to say it more and in the wrong place at the wrong time around the wrong people....
Starr - posted on 09/10/2010
@ Krista E. I agree with the fact that oour children are going to hear these words and as teenagers, I would not punish mine for using them. I guess I was thinking on the early years. Even as teenagers, If theuy live in my house they will not use it! @ Anika, I just wondered if it made a difference if how our parents raised us. Glad to see that you would not allow your children to swear infront of others who do not accept it. But, how would you tell them....It's not bad to swear but don't do it under these circumstances? Are children allowed to swear in school where you live? I just find that might be hard to explain to your children.
Krista - posted on 09/10/2010
I think you're not off-base about it being a cultural thing, Anika. If you look at the big three "adult factors" of television (language, sexuality, violence), you can see a stark contrast in some societies. From my very limited experience, in western Europe, there is more language and nudity on TV, but not much in the way of overt sexuality (it's more matter-of-fact than it is titillating), and there doesn't seem to be much violence. In Canada, language isn't as big a deal, we're not as freaked out by nudity or sexuality, but while we have violence, it's not as graphic. With American television, it seems that mild language is okay, implied sexuality is definitely in there (but actual nudity, even if non-sexual, appears to cross the line), and there are very realistic depictions of very graphic violence on television. It's interesting when you start looking at it, and I think you're right in that those cultural differences are making themselves evident in this debate.
Yes, I would have to agree with you (but I don't know who you are, it's blank. Strange), it does appear to be a cultural thing. There's been a Professor of Linguistics on morning TV here lately and she has said it is a lot more common in New Zealand and Australia. Don't get me wrong, there are people here that don't like swearing but I think, on the whole, we're a lot more relaxed about it. We have swearing on free to air TV and it's bandied about a lot in general conversation. I guess a difference might be that it's not necessarily a name calling thing here. It's just a 'expression enhancer'(though of course that's not always the case). I also wonder if it's because we're a bit more secular and liberal (to a certain degree) here?
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