I have never been a person to cuss all the time. I do not say F*** every sentence. Although depending on my mood it definitely happens more. Since becoming a mother there definitely is one thing I hear a lot, mostly from my own mother, and that is to stop cussing, “You’ll be surprised how fast they pick things up.”
It doesn’t stop me. Why? Because first cussing is natural. It’s not terrible. I do believe it can get excessive. Some people that in my opinion do just look illiterate and uneducated because it seems like F*** and Sh** are the only expressive words in their vocabulary.
I do not believe strongly in censorship.
Yes, kids should learn things at age appropriate times and yes, kids should be kept from things that they may not understand yet. However, if they are exposed to something earlier then you expected it should not be avoided it should be considered a teaching moment.
You do not have to make a huge change by trying to curb your potty mouth once you have kids. What you should do is make sure you do not excessively cuss for no reason. Utilize cuss words in appropriate, expressive ways, and I would even praise my kids if they repeat those words in appropriate, expressive ways. Also, the most interesting and important teaching moment when it comes to cussing.
TEACH YOUR KIDS WHEN IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE.
If your child gets in trouble for cussing at school, punish them because even if it is allowed at home it is not allowed at school and your child should follow school rules when at school. If they get in trouble by grandparents when at their house, let them be punished, because at grandma’s house we go by grandma’s rules.
This is a very important lesson for kids to learn because as they become adults, they need to know they cannot always just do what they want no matter what they think. If you’re at work and you are always late, you’ll be fired. If you cuss or are insubordinate to your boss, you will be fired. They need to learn how to deal with the repercussions of their actions.
This is a huge reason that I am okay with cussing around my kids and if my kids repeat it. They will learn when it’s appropriate and they will learn that if they repeat it in inappropriate situations that they will deal with the repercussions.
Will Swearing Harm Your Child?
There does not seem to be much research on swearing and its effect on children. In all likelihood swearing itself does not harm your child. Swearing can be harmful when aimed in inappropriate ways. For instance, if you child is called a “Bi***.” No matter how often you say, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” you cannot deny the falsity in this saying. Words do hurt. But does watching a tv show or movie where there’s cuss words harm your child? Does hearing mom and dad cuss harm your child? I doubt it.
How Should You Discuss Swearing with Your Kids?
Teach them about time and space.
When is it appropriate? When is it not appropriate?
Expand your vocabulary and theirs.
Be more colorful. Cuss words are not always the most expressive and colorful words you can use. It’s easier to use other words with more class and pizazz if you expand your vocabulary. Doing so is wonderful to expand your child’s vocabulary too.
Words can hurt.
Teach your children empathy. Help them understand how it makes them feel to be called names and cussed at. Once they understand remind them that is how others feel too.