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How do you handle cussing/swearing with your kids?

Posted by on Apr. 17, 2012 at 11:10 PM
  • 31 Replies
2 moms liked this

Do you have words that are "off limits"?  Personally, I don't get it.  It's all just language--who decided that "damn it" is somehow a bad thing to say while "darn it" is not?

My kids are very young (all 4 are under 6 years old), and I would much rather hear one of them utter "oh, shit" than, "I hate him," or "she's stupid."

With our 3 & 5 year-olds, we have explained that there are some things they shouldn't say in front of other people, but we explain it in the way of "you have to abide by the rules of the house" (like when they are at a friend's place with more restrictions on tv, video games, bedtime, etc.).

Now we are very consistent in requiring good manners - every request must follow the "May I..., please?" format, and "Thank you" is necessary.  However, I just don't understand the whole "bad words" thing.  The most I can concede is that cussing is just lazy--it's the exclamatory or insult equivalent of "yada, yada, yada," for people not creative/descriptive enough to come up with more apt wording.

So, for all of you who have strict language rules (and even more so, those who are genuinely offended by swearing/cursing), do you have any compelling reason other than "society has deemed these words as bad?"

I ask b/c, my kids will be in school soon, and I live in the south--I get looked at like a monster if I slip and cuss in mixed company, and like the devil incarnate if one of my kids let's out a "son of a bitch" after accidentally knocking something over.

What's the big deal?  How is language so controversial? 

(Please, no comparisons to the n-word or other racial slurs that have been used to degrade and humiliate.  I'm talking about "shut the fuck up" vs. "shut the front door," where the meaning/intent is identical, but the "cleanliness-factor" is not.)

by on Apr. 17, 2012 at 11:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
rebeccasmly
by on Apr. 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM

We have explained to our children we prefer them to not speak that way but to choose better ways of describing how they feel. They have come up with some pretty creative ways to express themselves. I do not use "bad words" myself. DH uses them occasionally, mainly at work though because I like to set an example at home of what I want the children to do. Tonight he slipped and our oldest (nearly 14) asked him if he could have articulated himself better. :)

jltplk25
by Gold Member on Apr. 17, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Hate and stupid aren't allowed in our house so...
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larschick
by Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 9:24 AM
Hate, stupid, douche, retard....etc r not allowed in my house. Cursing is not generally allowed but I do slip up sometimes. If the school would not allow it then it's not allowed.
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vixen42
by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 9:36 AM
1 mom liked this

I personally get offended if someone says God D*mn because I feel that is taking the Lords name in vain and if you call me a C*nt I will kick your rear.I told my kids my house my rules when they are adults living n their own then they can decide how they choose too speak,and don't call my kids a bad name even in fun,one of my old neighbors called my son who was then 2 a little sh*t and she got too see a side of me she never saw before.I was raised ladies never talk that way I have slipped up but I try too watch it

 

goddess99
by Michelle on Apr. 18, 2012 at 9:43 AM

I swear like a drunk sailor always have always will. And I don't give a shit. I know what you mean. Personally alot of things/words I don't think is a big deal but society does so it's tricky. My dd has words that are off limits, but in all honesty I don't care. I've said things to her like "you don't say that word, especially in school because you will get in trouble there" ... I'm a swearer, her dad is a trucker so yeah he's a swearer too, her stepdad not so much, with him it's more British stuff like Oh bloody ell... lol .. Hate and racism is 100% unacceptable. But because none of us are racist, I have Never heard any of those types of words come out of her mouth.

Daisy79
by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM

If she had said "little turd," would that have been different?  It's not terribly clear whether you had a problem with the word or with the intent behind it (i.e. she said it in a very mean-spirited/insulting way, in which case I wouldn't put up with someone talking like that about my kids either).

Also, I have personally experienced a huge disconnect.  Once, my neighbor's son (about 9 ath the time) was in their front yard shooting an airsoft rifle.  His mom had told to stop or go to their back (fenced) yard to do that.  I was bringing out my baby girl to play on the lawn at the time.  As soon as his mom went back in the house, he started shooting again!  I ran over, took the gun from him and told him never to shoot that while my baby girl was playing on the fucking lawn again, and that his mom could come by to get his gun back.

When she did come by, I was the villian for swearing!  And I did not swear AT him, it was just near him.  And come on, he's 9, it's not like he'd never heard the word before.  I, of course, apologized for the language - it was a slip after all, but I think by far the lesser of two evils (a cuss word vs. putting my baby in danger).

Why are people so crazy?

Quoting vixen42:

Iand don't call my kids a bad name even in fun,one of my old neighbors called my son who was then 2 a little sh*t and she got too see a side of me she never saw before.



FindersKeepers
by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM

My biggest issue is using descriptive words as insults.... 'gay, retard, stupid, sissy, like a girl, fat, Jew'..... anytime you are using someone's name or a descriptive word as an insult, I don't allow it.    I also do not allow making fun of other people's race, religion or belief.    The kids are not allowed to tell each other to shut up or answer each other (or anyone) in a nasty tone.   

As far as cussing goes, I rarely cuss.  My DH cusses some, but mostly around his friends.   Since they started trying it out, I told the kids that they can cuss "when they are not smart enough to think of a better word".   Cussing makes people sound ignorant and uneducated.   Langauge is something we are judged by in society and my kids should know that. 

My son is 16 and went through a potty mouth stage around 13/14 trying to get a rise out of me... I killed him with sarcasim and would say things like "oh honey, are you having a dumb day?  Have you lost all your better words?"   and not make too big of deal of it.   Now he said to me , "thanks alot, now I can't cuss without thinking that it makes me sound stupid" .    =)  My work is done.  =)

FindersKeepers
by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 11:19 AM

So your elderly neighbor called your 2yo son 'a little shit' in jest..... and you launched an attack in return???

Personally.... I would rather my kids hear the word 'shit' as a term of endearment than see me over-react and yell at an old person.   What kind of lesson is that?

Quoting vixen42:

I personally get offended if someone says God D*mn because I feel that is taking the Lords name in vain and if you call me a C*nt I will kick your rear.I told my kids my house my rules when they are adults living n their own then they can decide how they choose too speak,and don't call my kids a bad name even in fun,one of my old neighbors called my son who was then 2 a little sh*t and she got too see a side of me she never saw before.I was raised ladies never talk that way I have slipped up but I try too watch it

 


delanna6two
by Platinum Member on Apr. 18, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I have my moments...but I try to keep it down....I will tell them to be watchful too.

scherrie
by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

 I dont allow my kids to cuss period I do understand that they will do things when they are not around you but I dont tolerate it at all Just want to teach my kids some respect for themselves me and my hubby and other adults

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