Swearing: Wrong or not?

By | August 16, 2010

What’s your opinion on swearing?

Now I’m no angel and I do swear.  I won’t swear in front of my grandparents, but then they’d hit me so that’s just self-preservation, and I’m trying to limit my swearing in front of C but when I’m in the company of people my own age then I do swear, rather a lot if I’m drinking at the same time!

Me and M have different opinions on children swearing.  I don’t think children should swear.  I hate it when I walk past a group of primary school age children and every other word is an expletive.  M, however, thinks its alright if it’s not directed at someone but just used in conversation.  Obviously he’s not condoning a 4-year-old swearing but when it’s teenagers he’s ok with it.

I guess we’re both entitled to our own opinion but we’re going to have to agree when it comes to what we expect of C when she gets older.  I don’t think I’ll be comfortable hearing her swear until she’s grown up and moved out (I’ve only dared swear in front of my own mother since I’ve been married) but I know it won’t bother M.

I do think of it as a respect thing.  Obviously that’s just how I am, maybe as I get older myself I’ll think this less but currently, in my mid-twenties, I just don’t feel right swearing unless it’s in front of people I know well.  Am I just odd?

We have “friends” who actually tell their 2-year-old to say various swear words, and not just the nicer ones, because they think it’s funny.  They do it when M and I visit their house (which is getting less and less now) and we both think it’s so wrong.  What’s funny about a toddler saying things which you’d  tell a 6-year-old off for?  What happens when they say it at school?

What are your opinions?  How will you feel when your children swear?  Will you let them or reprimand them?

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9 Comments

marketingtomilk on August 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm.

I’m a total hypocrite.
I think children should never swear in front of their parents until they leave home. And then they should never ever use grade 1 words.
Even though i do. Swear a lot. ESpecially in my blogs. It’s needed for emphasis you see.
And my mum now reads my blog.
But to be honest she started swearing in front of us once we were adults too.
Only for emphasis.
So it’s a fine line. Except for teaching your kids the words. That’s just wrong.

M2M

Jenn on September 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm.

Correct. For emphasis that you are freaking angry.

Heather - Notes From Lapland on August 16, 2010 at 8:07 pm.

I will never understand those people that teach their kids to swear cause they think its funny or cute, its just plain wrong. however, chances are that once your kids starts school they’re going to pick up swear words. At 4 years old mine has just picked up one from her older cousins, so I guess we all have to deal with it. I’m just not sure what the best way is. I don’t wont my kids swearing in front of us, their grandparents, friends parents, and teachers – so how do you get them to stop?

Ross on August 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm.

I’ve made a strong point of teaching my daughter (now 8) that these are not “magic” words. She knows they’re rude, and therefore doesn’t much want to use them just now. But if I’m actually openly discussing them with her I never use euphemisms like “the f-word” or anything like that. It just confuses things and makes the word exciting. I’ll just say the word calmly. I want her to develop a proper grasp of what language is about. Swearwords exist as swearwords because sometimes inappropriateness is… appropriate, if you see what I mean. I just want her to get a good sense of what they mean before she tries using them. She’s smart enough to grasp that. (I avoid them completely around my son, who at 3 will simply repeat anything. But if I do slip up, I make a point of not reacting when he repeats the word, because that’s how he knows he’s struck gold!)

Ross on August 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm.

– addendum. first, I wasn’t saying my daughter was now 8) – but that she was now 8! Secondly I just want to underline that lots of these words can be impossible to avoid in everyday life, you’ll hear them on the street, the bus etc. The kids ALREADY know the words. So giving them some kind of context, imho, is better than pretending they don’t exist.

b4kersgirl on August 17, 2010 at 9:35 am.

That sounds like a very sensible thing to do. I agree if you make swear words ‘exciting’ then they’re more likely to want to say them.

MummyMatters on August 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm.

Until I went on maternity leave, I worked in the motor trade, as does my husband, as does my mum and sadly this means that swearing was a normal part of conversation. But I hate to hear children swearing, I think it sounds awful. Since I have become a stay at home Mum my swearing has tailed right off and I try my hardest not to swear in front of my children. Curly used to tell me and Hubby off if we swore and I’m pleased to say at the age of nearly 9 he doesn’t swear.

My Mum isn’t quite as good at minding her language in front of the children so after looking after Little Bean one afternoon, LB came home and when she bumped herself on a chair declared “shit” – thankfully this is one of my Mum’s milder words but one that I didn’t want to hear come out of my 2yo’s mouth. It has come out once or twice since but I have pretended I haven’t heard and thankfully it seems to have worked.

I really don’t want my children to grow up as “potty mouths” but once they get to school its just going to be a case of telling them that we don’t want to hear it and hope for the best!?!?

I definitely don’t condone parents “teaching” their kids swear words, its just not cool!

RuralMummy on August 17, 2010 at 9:42 am.

As a teacher I unfortunately come across quite a lot of children that swear, most of the time they are unaware of what the words mean (thank goodness)…there is nothing more depressing or saddening than a 6 year old telling they’re friend to F off…
I swear a lot around adults but have learnt not to (obviously) in work or around children. i think that some lighter swears probabaly slip out at home…but as long as you explain to your children that this is NOT for them to be copying its not too bad. I would hate for my daughter (shes only 12 weeks) to start swearing, but I do feel that in todays time & society its kind of inevitable.

The Contented? Maybe on September 26, 2010 at 11:53 am.

Really interesting post. I’ve been pretty bad at letting the odd swear word out in front of other people’s young children and wonder how I’ll react when it happens to me (I’m 36 weeks pregnant).
I was about 12 the first time I swore in front of my mum, but I deny responsibility because I was coming around from anaesthetic after an operation and so didn’t have full control of my dictionary! We swear (mildly) in each other’s company now, mainly for emphasis, but I would never swear in front of my in-laws – that would be far too rude ! 😉