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How do you handle cussing/swearing with your kids?

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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
Replies (31-31):
by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 7:11 AM

same as others have said, retard, the n word and others like that are not allowed.  things like stupid, shut up, etc. are not preferred but happen.  it's more about self respect and respect of others then anything.  i guess i'm a tad old fashioned.  my dh was a sailor so he has a pretty dirty mouth but has toned down.  i would never cuss at or to my kids or other kids.  i don't think i've ever cussed in casual conversation unless i know the person well.  i am 28 and still can not even cuss in an email to my mom.  i think it is super disrespectful the way my dh freely cusses around and to his mother.  i say son of a crap, or frack, things like that.  all those rules go out the window when i stub a toe or find a spider though.  those deserve every bad word in the book, even some in german.  i couldn't tell yah what those german words mean they just come out.

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