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Kids swear earlier than previous generations...and their parents swear more

""By the time kids go to school now, they're saying all the words that we try to protect them from on television," says Jay, a psychology professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. "We find their swearing really takes off between (ages) three and four."

But if you want to understand why children are cussing more, he says you have to ask why their parents are, too. Jay, a profanity researcher for more than 30 years, finds two-thirds of adults with rules against swearing will themselves swear at home — a kind of lexical tick that's knit deeper into our neurons every day."

Article is longer than that and worth the read:

Is this something we need to counter or just accept a "new standard" of acceptable speech? Do you care if your kids cuss?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 8:29 AM on Sep. 21, 2010 in Parenting Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 8:29 AM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • My son watched every kind of movie out there starting real early. My mom cussed like a sailor in front of him. He has yet to cuss and he is 14. Why? Because he was taught right and knows how to act. Why blame it on TV or why automatically say that just because a parent cusses that the kid is just going to do it. That is a lie. I only started the occasional cussing when I was near 30...and I grew up like my son. So, this is bad parenting if your kids is still a kid and is cussing.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 8:36 AM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • I will admit to the occasional slip up, although I really dont want to use such language. I'm trying to train myself out of it bechause curse words serve no real purpose other than to self limit one's vocabulary. I dont like hearing anyone use bad language, least of all kids. I have friends who have young children who can let fly with words and be on par with Ozzy Osbourne and the parents are flummoxed as to what to do because they dont want their child to swear at such a young age. The first thing to do is stop using that language in front of the kids! If mom and dad use those words, the kids are going to do it as well.

    Answer by duckigrrl at 8:39 AM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • mine did it one time, i was mad and told the one kid to tell her sisters to get their asses down in the kitchen. she said it word for word. i had to explain to all three that they shouldn't say that word and niether should i. now they say butt and laugh at me everytime i say ass.

    Answer by noel1978 at 8:50 AM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • My Hubby's every other word is the F word and uses it in front of our boys. It took a little getting used to when we were first together. He doesn't really use any of the other ones. Our boys know not to use it, and I have never had a problem with them at school etc... It's all in how you parent, if you let them, they will. We are the parents, not their friend, so they do as we say, not as we do, or there are consequences....
    Nothing on cafemom is going to tell me how to be a parent.

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 8:57 AM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • funny you asked, since this just came up the other day in a mad fit..of mine. i dropped the f-bomb, as a past-tense verb..and my ds asked, ''what's 'f-ed up' mean?" we occasionally slip up, and he hears something he could easily pick up and use (they always know the context, don't they??? ahhh..) and i have to apologize quickly for using such language. he knows if we 'slip' again, because at his young age, he corrects (more like scolds) us for doing so.
    i hate hearing certain words more than others, although as i told my ds (in another convo) that the reason penn/teller lose a lot of credibility with me is his constant use of language (i agree with him a lot, otherwise). now, admittedly, that stems from my own inability to NEVER curse and my own distaste for my slack-habit. i haven't completely controlled my tongue; how can i teach my ds to control his, completely?

    Answer by dullscissors at 9:12 AM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • best answer would be that it all comes down to personal responsibility to control one's temper (that's my problem) and continually strive to use proper vocabulary and speech, rather than rely on curse words thrown in randomly, to get your point across. like everything else, the more positive example they see, the more the child will immulate in a positive/proper manner.

    i admitted, i am at fault in my own i can't say what anyone else should or shouldn't do. i have to work on me, first, in order to teach my child better.

    that is all.

    Answer by dullscissors at 9:15 AM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • I don't have a problem with the words themselves. If my dd drops something and says "oh f##k" I don't care...but if she says "F##k you" to someone then I do care (just the same as if she said "I h@te you")

    Answer by Mamitamaria at 9:29 AM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • I swear quite a bit, rarely in front of my child. I talk to my child about the difference between language that you use in private (like when you drop the shampoo bottle on your toe in the shower) and language you use in public.

    He's 4 and seems to accept those guidelines.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 10:36 AM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • It does seem hypocritical to swear and then punish children for saying what they hear. I think it is proven fact children learn what they live more than what they are told to do. There is however the I am the parent and you are the child factor. Do as you are told, and if not swearing is what you are told..ya better not swear. I can see how my little ones would have an issue with this if all they heard me and DH do is cuss. BUT my teens know they had better not let me hear them swear...although I am sure they do when I am not around...I did, didn't you?

    Answer by salexander at 2:19 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

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