Swearing in front of your kids

[deleted account] ( 160 moms have responded )

OK, I'm going to make my first ever conversation opener...

Do you swear in front of your kids? and what would you do if you heard them swearing? Would you care? What would you do?

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K. - posted on 09/04/2010

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I generally don't swear, and especially not in front of my kids. If I heard some kid swearing, whether or not it was in the proper context, I'd keep my kids away from them. I hope to raise them better than that. To me it does show a lack of intelligence. There are plenty of words to use, if you're vocabulary isn't extensive enough to think of one then you must not be very bright. This reminds me of that old proverb "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

[deleted account]

I try not to swear at all and NEVER in front of any children. I don't approve of swearing infront of children and I would be really annoyed if an adult used bad language infront of my son.

Amber - posted on 09/04/2010

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I don't curse in front of my son. And I personally do not curse in anger, only in jest. For me, it is just a matter of respect...which is weird, because my mother, step father, and father curse all the time. I actually have to remind my mother to watch her mouth in front of my child.
I do goof around with my friends and we name call. The word bitch is a term of endearment with me and my friends. When children aren't around, it's every man for themselves.
I don't actually find any of the words offensive and they don't bother me, but I understand that they can hurt others.
My reason for not teaching these words to my son is simply that children can be vicious. And I don't feel the need to teach him words that could hurt others. When he is old enough to understand the words and only use them appropriately, I won't mind at all. I just don't believe that children have the ability to stop themselves from using those words to hurt others.

Mari - posted on 09/04/2010

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We don't swear infront of our little or hardly ever, since litle ones are like sponges. They repet it right away ad in completely inapropriate contects. If it would happen, I don't know what we would do, just may be explaine it is not good and nice but no we don't swear infront of him.

[deleted account]

Some of those things are just because she's not physically able or legally able. Words are just words. If she's using it in the right context and not abusing people with it, then I don't see the different between her swearing and me swearing?

Sherri - posted on 09/03/2010

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Because Anika you can drive, drink alcohol, stay up till you please, cook on the stove, etc. and your child can not. So you are allowed to do things that your child can not do. Not hypocritical just how it is.

[deleted account]

LOL, in my "I'm so smart" post I spelt hypocritical wrong. LMAO. And before you say 'spelt' is wrong, it's the British spelling.

[deleted account]

I'm not a fan of that phrase Collene. Why should I be allowed to do something and my kid can't? IMO its hypercritical.

And I have a university degree and a graduate diploma and I swear. My vocabulary is not limited at all.

Collene - posted on 09/03/2010

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0b0And I also think that the phrase.....
...Do As I Say, Not As I Do...
Comes to mind.

Collene - posted on 09/03/2010

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It can be a very hard thing not to say, especially when you hit your THUMB with a stainless steel meat tenderizer while trying to prep dinner. LOL. But everytime one of "THOSE" words slip out I get so angry with myself, because I don't want my boys learning those words and I want them to understand that there is a time and a place. And general conversation is not where it belongs, manners are key and I wouldn't have them swearing at there teacher or their future boss.
It can be a very tempting thing to say when the only thing that comes to mind at that very precise moment is a swear.
However, I find that when all a person can come out with on a regular basis is swears, that they have a very limited vocabulary and need to go back to primary school and start from scratch.....
EITHER THAT OR WASH OUT THERE MOUTH WITH SOAP... LMAO!

Shamari - posted on 08/31/2010

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I try my best not to even though my baby is seven months, I try to stay out of the habbit, I mean if you slip up sometime it's okay, and if the kid swears you tell them they're wrong because they're not allowed to, not an adult. Theyre the kid your the adult just cause you say it doesnt give them the right, but try no to make it a habbit.

Rachelle - posted on 08/31/2010

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yes i swear in front of my kids. and yes i have heard them all try to repeat those words BUT i was taught as a child that those are grown up words and saying them was not ok. so i didnt use them and my kids know that using them will get them into trouble.

Cassie - posted on 08/31/2010

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I swear in front of my son, but then again he is not even 2 yet. He is not in the repeating stage yet. Once he gets there, I will be sure to stop. I would FREAK out if I heard him swearing, even if he doesn't know what it means. It's not the best when adults do it, but completely not appropriate when kids do it. I haven't quit decided what a punishment would be for that just yet, but I know it would start with a good sit-down conversation on why it is naughty and how it could hurt some people's feelings.

[deleted account]

I agree Bernadette....you need to be polite! However, there are many people I know that can say just as nasty things without using a single swear word. I will not care if my daughter swears but I will teach her to be respectful! If she drops something and says "shit" to herself I'm not going to call her out on it. But if she is degrading someone....regardless of the words, I'd correct her behaviour!

Bernadette - posted on 08/30/2010

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I try really hard not to, and have gotten pretty good at it. My husband, on the other hand...I constantly have to pull him up on it. But it's not only swear words, I try to refrain from saying anything crude, rude derogatory as I am trying to teach her to be polite and treat people with respect. It's not so much about the swearing for me, but about it being disrespectful towards other people. Sure, she is going to hear it from other places, but a lot of people do find it offensive and I don't think that it's fair for those people to have to hear it from people who are just too rude to show some respect for their wishes. That's why I'm determined that, even though people are going to hear it in public, they are not going to hear it from my kids. I intend to raise them to be polite.

[deleted account]

Yes I do....shes gonna hear it anyways so I was happy for her to hear it from me. Depending on the context its used, It probably wouldn't bother me, but with her being only 11, hearing her swear would not work right now, cos she wouldn't know how to sentence it. She say it for the sake of saying it. So she doesn't swear in front f me yet.

[deleted account]

@ Toni. Bitch for me is one of those words where, I don't care if a woman uses it but I really can't stand a man using it when talking about a woman. It just really irks me. That's the only one that I really find disrespectful. The others I just think are funny. If that makes me crude, well so be it. :)

Elisabeth - posted on 08/27/2010

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Swearing is pretty laid back here too. There is a local clothing line thats called "Harden the fuck up" or HTFU and a common saying that is often used also on clothing or bumper stickers "DILLIGAF" which stands for "does it look like I give a fuck". Just a few days ago I saw a tshirt that said "This shirt says fuck, (in smaller writing) it also says shit cunt and drycleanable.". This convo reminds me of a song from a local comedian called "you can't say cunt in canada." 8-)

[deleted account]

@Anika its interesting that you find bitch offensive, that one is borderline for me I think it is entering the general language so may not be considered a swear word in years to come.

Clusterfuck yes its a swear word - all words that involve fuck are swear words!

My son can use any of the words I do not view as swear words although maybe not until he is older when he knows when is or is not appropriate much the same way I will with things like cow (at women not animals). So he understands when using them would be rude.

[deleted account]

@Toni. That is SO interesting. I don't really agree with you re wanker, bollocks and bastard. I HATE bitch. I think that is my all time hated one. I always glare at my husband when he refers to any woman as a bitch (he wouldn't dare call me a bitch), though I think he mainly does it just to irk me.

And what about 'Clusterfuck'. As in, 'The project was a total clusterfuck'? That's a favourite of mine. :)

And just to make it clear, if you use those other words (shit, crap, arse etc) in front of your kids, would you mind if they did too?

[deleted account]

@Anika yep I use them and I remembered another couple that are not swear words ass and arse.

Some swear words are ok when used in the correct meaning i.e. bitch for a female dog.

But here is what I class as swear words: bitch, bastard, bollocks, c***, fuck/ fucker/ fucking/ fucket/ fuckwad etc, motherfucker and wanker I think that is it.

[deleted account]

@Toni, I was just rereading your list of non-swear words. Do you use those ones in front of your kids? A lot of people would consider them unacceptable. And if those aren't swear words in your opinion, then which ones are? I can only think of two...

[deleted account]

I try to avoid swearing in front of my son and the day care kids.
Generally if they hear me swear its because I've done something to hurt myself (like drop the can of soup on my toe).

My son is too young yet to have had to worry about swearing.

I looked after a 7 year old (he was 3.5 years old when he started care with me) that I caught swearing.
He was just being silly and he said something to the effect of "I'd kick him in the ass."
I just looked at him and asked him what the word meant. He didn't know so I told him.
I asked him where he heard the word. He told me it was something his Dad said on occasion. I asked him what he thought his Dad or Mom (they were divorced) would think or say if they knew he was using that word.
He honestly answered that they would not be happy and he actually said "My Mom would be disappointed in me."
I told him that as long as he promised me he would not use the word anymore I would not say anything to his Mom or Dad.
We then had a conversation about swearing and being an adult. I broke it down that really the words (the ones he knew because I asked him) were not horrible bad words, just rude. And that just like we should remember our manners and not call people names, we should try not to use swear words because they were rude.

From what I have seen and from my own experiences, freaking out when a child swears tends to draw more attention to it then need be and for some kids is what encourages them to continue to swear.

I swear so rarely that when I do, (even though I am 32 years old) my friends stop and stare at me.

I grew up in a house that was a home day care setting. I am now running a home day care, swearing is a habit I have never really gotten into.
I am really good at doing it in my head.
The only swear word that has escaped my lips in the presence of children is "Oh sh*t" when I hurt myself.

Oddly that was the only one I really ever heard my Mom use as a child and for similar reasons.

:)

Starr - posted on 08/26/2010

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I occasinly swear but try to censor myself. To me swearing is not needed. Its like smoking a ciggarette. It becomes a nasty habit that fills the lives of others. I feel I am teaching my kids respect by telling them not to swear. Its going to happen Im sure as they get older but Id like to think I had nothing to d with it.

Leah - posted on 08/26/2010

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I think this is a great question. I try my darndist not to swear in front of the kids but like a normal human being, do slip up from time to time. Now that my oldest is 3 1/2, she is mimicking everything we do, so we really have to be careful. Just the other day, my husband was talking to his friend on the phone and said 'what the fu*k!' and my precious little girl came outside and said it to me! I flew in the house and asked my husband what he just said. He looked at me blankley and I repeated what she had said to me. He couldnt stop laughing! Although it is kinda funny (and cute!), I really really try to discourage that kind of talk and have to keep reminding my husband to watch his mouth (he was in the Navy, so he literally swears like a sailor!). I have gotten into the habit of saying things like 'gosh darnit' and 'shiznit' (instead of shit). And yes, it would bother me if my little princess started swearing, just to hard for me to fathom those kind of words coming out of her mouth! If she does swear (like repeating my husband!), I just tell her its a bad word and only mommies and daddies can say it.

Sarah - posted on 08/26/2010

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So I told my husband about the motherfucker ad and I think he swallowed his tongue. He is the quintessential "prudish American". Although if you told him that he would vehemently deny it :)
As an American, I will say that different regions have different ideas on vulgarity. We are in the South, which is the most uptight, prim and proper region. Needless to say, I don't fit in ;)

[deleted account]

@Anika sorry to prove you wrong lol (although NZ and Uk are close in many things). I don't necessarily think vulgar has to be bad - I love vulgar comedy proper gross out stuff, so I guess maybe we do have different definitions!

Ah such a pity I would love to see the TV company brave enough to run an ad like that...AND I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the complaints flooded in hehe (the devils in me tonight ;-) )

I know exactly what you mean my dad had all the Americans on one of his dive trips calling his mate bollock they had no idea hehehehe (lmao is just not sufficient tonight) hehehe.

[deleted account]

@Toni Wow, I am SO surprised that you are British! I almost said in my earlier post that maybe NZ isn't so against swearing because we're more closely connected to the UK! And then you go and prove me wrong LOL. And I guess I thought you were more against it because you classed it as vulgar. Maybe our definition of vulgar is different.

And sadly no, the motherfucker ad compaign was just a billboard.

Oh and also, don't let all the Americans know what we constitute as swear or dirty words! Otherwise I wont be able to use them when over there! There's nothing more funny than saying "Bollocks!" around a bunch of prudish Americans (not saying all Americans are prudes) and them not knowing what I mean. LOL.

[deleted account]

@Anika - I'm a reserved Brit I'm afraid not from the US (ok not really reserved, I'm not posh enough to qualify as a reserved Brit haha but I am British) - which could help explain why I feel the way I do about swearing :-) I agree that it could definately be a cultural difference, I can count on one hand the amount of times I've heard my mom swear and most of them were as an adult!

"It was a Fathers Day ad which said "Get your motherfucker a new bike". LOL, So funny. Though I'm sure you're appaulled."

OMG HOW funny, I can't believe they showed that on TV, there is no way that would be allowed in the UK! LMFAO That is hilarious! :-)

Bugger, damn, sod, shit, crap, cack, goddamit, bloody (hell), tits and dickhead are not swear words in my book (I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them) and are part of my daily language - bugger me being a favourite of mine ;-D

As I have said I do swear quite badly on occasions and will not stop but I will try not to do it in front of my son, he will learn the words and he'll most likely use them (but not in earshot of me or there'll be trouble). But tbh I have never thought about this issue so much, and I think maybe you think I care about it more than I do. I can find humour in swearing and am not offended by it (or I would not do it) I just also happen to think it is a little crass but hey ho never mind.

I'm sorry if this post is a little giddy I am really giddy tonight for some reason maybe the thought I have my hubby for a long weekend :-)

[deleted account]

@Toni- I guess that's the difference. My parents, (my mother especially) swear like sailors too. Strangely though, I NEVER swear in front of my parents. It's weird. You're in the US I guess Toni? Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm in New Zealand. Swearing just isn't as big a deal here. Don't get me wrong, not everyone here likes it either but it is different. I know when I've visited the US I've really REALLY had to watch what I say. Its a cultural difference I suppose. We even had a car ad here where the main word spoken was 'Buggar', which I'm not sure if you use in the US, but 'buggar' is a colloquial of sodomize, but in the ad sense it was just the same as damn or shit. I did hear of one advertisement here that was deemed unacceptable. It totally cracked me up. It was a Fathers Day ad which said "Get your motherfucker a new bike". LOL, So funny. Though I'm sure you're appaulled.

[deleted account]

@Anika I have found that professionally it is a no-no to swear and in child areas (off the top of my head) it is inappropriate. I think one of the main reason I find swearing so vulgar is because the many of the people around me do not swear and the ones that do sensor themselves around certain people like children and the elderly and my dad does not swear infront of a woman unless she swears infront of him, so the people closest to me set the example that swearing is wrong because if you have to censor yourself in certain instances it is not the right thing to be doing.

Sarah - posted on 08/26/2010

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We do swear in front of the kids, but I try to keep it to a minimum. Not only for her sake, but also b/c I realized that for a while every other word I said was fuck. I blame it on my husband, he works in construction ;) Bu honestly, I plan to keep it down while she is little and in the repeat phase and when she's older I'll explain that some words are not appropriate for kids but are ok for adults. It may sound like a double standard, but there are lots of things that it's only ok for grown ups to do, so...? I did accidentally teach my nephew to say shit. He spent one week with me and he learned shit, shoe and bad (as said to the dog, which means he points and says bad whenever someone -dog included- gets loud or too hyper). LOL

[deleted account]

LOL Elisabeth. That reminds me of when I was little, I couldn't say Truck, I'd say Fuck. So my mum tried to teach me to say Lorry. hahahahaha.

[deleted account]

@Toni, there are places that swearing really isnt appropriate but I tend not to frequent those places anyway. I mean, where do you go regularly where you'd really watch your mouth? I can only think of daycare or any child based place.

And i still just don't see what's so wrong about it. Its not going to cause physical harm to anyone. I don't use it to insult someone. What's the harm?

Elisabeth - posted on 08/26/2010

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I do swear and I do swear at people (in traffic). But I try very hard not to in front of my chidren, sometimes I let slip though. I only tend to class the 'fours' as swear words (f***, s*** , c*** ect.) and most names as swear words. I won't call people names in front of my children, although I do let the names run riot in my head. My parents never swore, my mum even considered 'poo' a swear word, hmmm. My husband however, well seems like every second word is f*** or s*** and thats when hes in a good mood. I've tried very hard to teach him not to swear in front of the kids, does anyone have any ideas?
I've heard my oldest swear once, I couldn't help but laugh because of the way she said it, but I changed the word into 'truck' instead. Hehe I know shame on me...

[deleted account]

@Anika, nevertheless there are places that are not appropriate because many people are offended by swear words. Also I realise that many people who swear are very intelligent (as you say I also like to consider myself intelligent others may disagree), so I lump myself into that category because I have seen people swear AT people and they are generally the unintelligent amongst us which is probably why I consider all swearing makes us sound unintelligent but its all opinion really :-)

I can see that other parents have to teach their children what is appropriate and what is not, I feel that swearing is not good for anyone so I will teach my son it is not appropriate although I am not naive enough to think he will not swear :-)

[deleted account]

My oldest is now 4. I never really censored myself and we went through the use of swear words when he was 2, no biggie... Now he has quite a temper, the rule has been and will maintain @ if you stub your toe then I don't care...well w/his temper he is "damning" everything! He'll play Wii games and if he loses he'll say something like "that damn car" "damn tank" etc... But its over and over and over again... really irritating! He'll get reprimanded for that! Then last weekend we were @ farmers market and I heard a lady use vulgar language to her kids and I thought to myself "OMG" until I remembered that I probably sound like that on more then one occassion :( eek! I felt bad then! For maybe the 2nd time in 4 yrs!!! When the things we do don't look good on others then MAYBE we should rethink the things we do... I don't mind so much, but having my son use them over and over in place of more appropriate words...ugh...sometimes I question my previous thoughts...

Sherri - posted on 08/25/2010

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I try not too but I do slip here and there. I say those are adult words and you can not say that. We never ever allow are children to swear and my oldest two never have. My youngest is only 4 and can be pete repeat and doesn't always realize what he is saying. It is never okay. To me Damn, jerk, idiot, and Oh my God are all swear words. These are words that are not allowed ever to be said they are just as bad as the standard swear words.

[deleted account]

@Toni, what I mean by places that are not appropriate is, if the world was like me then any place would be appropriate but I accept that most people are not like me and I try not to offend them (even if I think they're wrong). So in my house, if my child swears and its just 'Fuck! I fell over" then that's fine by me. Swearing at me or another person is another matter (and my husband and I never do that). But, at daycare for example, one, its against centre rules and two I know other parents wouldn't agree, so its not appropriate. In the middle of the supermarket? Well, I don't care what perfect strangers think. I also don't feel that swearing makes you sound unintelligent. I consider myself very intelligent (though, don't we all! haha) and my husband is also very intelligent (though don't tell him that!) and he swears like a trooper. I think it depends on the context in which its used. And lastly, do I worry about my child teaching other children swear words? No. Kids are going to talk about everything, swear words, sex etc etc. I expect other parents to talk to their own child about such topics. I'm going to teach my kids that some people don't like it and where and when its appropriate. In our family its going to be similar to the religion topic. We're atheist. I'm also going to have to teach my child that she can't go around telling other children that Jesus was just a dude!

Jenny - posted on 08/25/2010

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I swear often and don't censor myself in front of my children. I do not swear AT people or call them derogatory things though. Niether one of my kids swear. On the rare occasion one has slipped out, like from my 2 year old, we do not make a big deal about it as I think that's what makes them latch on to it. I don't view swearing as disrespectful but like everything else in language, it comes down to context. I don't care if my kid's swear in general but they MUST be respectful.

Charlie - posted on 08/25/2010

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I swear but i am TRYING to cut down in front of the kids because i say terrible things but i never swear AT people usually when i hurt myself or break something " for fucks sake " is one i say but now i just get to " FOR " and stop myself LOL .

Im an Aussie girl with mainly guy friends its hard not to swear .

[deleted account]

As you have said yourself there are times when these words are not appropriate so to me that says that I should not be allowing my son to use them. I am not a fan of swear words anyway, even though my language is foul on occasions (when there are no children about). I think it makes people sound unintelligent and low class when they swear, myself included; however, I am trying to limit my swearing because it is becoming far to regular an occurance for my liking.

I don't think this answers anything really does it Anika? My brain is not working this week I think it's gone on it's holidays but forgot me, if this is confusing let me know and I'll try and straighten it out :-)

Joanna - posted on 08/25/2010

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After reading some of the responses for parents who don't care if their children swear, I'm curious... What are your thoughts on your kids teaching those words to other children who's parents AREN'T okay with their kids using them? I'm not naive enough to think my daughter won't learn some of them from classmates, but I'd rather not find out it's because the parents are telling their kids it's okay.

Joanna - posted on 08/25/2010

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I'm not a swearer by nature, but I'm human and do slip up. And my nearly-3-year-old has caught on and now uses my swear word (god dammit), funnily enough, in situations where if I were her I might use it too (like when she drops her cup of milk on the floor or stubs her toe... and she doesn't speak well so it comes out like "gah-ammih!" I just ignore it because the few times I told her it wasn't a Paige word, she replied with "Paige say mama word!" and thought she was being grown up. *sigh*

Naturally it's my husband that's the swearer, but does she ever pick up when he swears? of course not.

Lyndsay - posted on 08/25/2010

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I will admit it, I have a bit of a potty mouth. Since I've become a parent I've tried to hold back, but sometimes I slip up. Its hard, I think swear words can be very descriptive (particularly the F bomb, it really gets the message across). So far my son hasn't repeated any of my swear words, that I know of. He's 3, so we shall see. I don't think I would really care, I think it would be more important to teach him that there is a time and a place for everything and swear words are NOT okay in most places, like school or out to dinner with grandma.

[deleted account]

Interesting. I'm the same as Laci and Emily. To me, they're just words. If you get all up in arms about them, you just give those words more power. I've never sworn at someone to their face, I think that's rude but I will admit that swear words are some of my favourite adjectives (or is that adverbs?). As long as my daughter does it in the right context and in appropriate places (ie not at daycare. If I can't swear there then neither can she!) then i won't care. I don't understand people who say its only for adults. IMO that's just hypocritical. Some things are only for adults (sex, alcohol etc etc) but words shouldn't be one of them. Oh and I HATE it when swear words are beeped off TV. If you don't like swearing, then don't watch those particular programmes. Have you ever watched 'The Osbournes"? Every second word was a swear word, you beep them all out you've got no show!

[deleted account]

My language can be really bad (the only swear words I never use are C*** because it's vile and I have only ever used motherf... when I was in labour). Up until a couple of months ago I still swore in front of my son but as he has started copying what I say (I said helicopter the other day he answered with copt? - too cute) I am censoring myself somewhat because I do not want my son learning 'fucking hell' from me!

When he does say a swear word I will do the same thing I do with my nieces and nephews who have all at one point or another swore in front of me - I'm the cool young aunty so they think they can, they soon learn otherwise I hate kids swearing. I tell them they must not say that word again it is a rude word adults use and if I hear them use it again they will be disciplined by x! None of them have been brave enough to repeat it in front of me or they would have been disciplined by what ever I had told them :-)

Rosie - posted on 08/25/2010

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i swear like a sailor, and i don't censor it much unless i'm around people i know it would offend. but that does not include my children. each one of them has sworm maybe 2 times each and havn't done it since. they KNOW it is words that adults use, and it is unacceptable for them to use until then.
i havn't figured out when i will be comfortable with them swearing. i know that at 18 i'll be fine with it, but before then when they are teenagers, it's still a mystery to me.

[deleted account]

I don't "casually" swear. But there are definitely times when I'm angry & I do. My daughter has on a couple of occasions sworn. My first reaction is usually shock, then I tell her that is wrong, that little girls should not talk like that. I've told her that just because mommy does it sometimes does not make it right. That it is wrong for people to talk ugly like that. I've told her that talking like that makes her look like a bad kid.

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