What the F*#% did my kid just say?!

Saturday, February 22, 2014




By now you know I have a potty mouth.

I swear...a lot.

It's not to be cool, but more like, for emphasis.

I'm like the rapper - that's opposite from Will Smith.  I'm like the Gangsta Rapper (minus guns).

I'm like the Parent that needs Parental Advisory stamped across my chest.

But my lyrical, linguistic identity is built upon consistent use of puns (profane and non-profane), dry humor and well, swearing.

And you guessed it.  Naturally, when you cuss 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you raise potty mouthed little children.

Our first encounter with swear words happened at storytime in the public library.  You can read about THAT here.  Oh yeah, older one blurted out not one, but 2 swear words in front of a packed storytime hour.

And I handled it like a really appropriate parent.  I laughed my ass off - until tears tumbled out of my eyes.  The kind of laugh that you can't catch your breath.

I was mildly effected by the - should have been - embarrassing moment.  I should've felt shameful.  Like a bad parent.  But I didn't.

And it was definitely not the last cuss words I'd hear leaving the mouth of my then- toddler.

So far, the popular cuss words/phrases are:

"Dammit!"

"Fucking driver!" (with and without the exclamation point, and with or without being in the car)

"What the fuck Syracuse?!" (during a very close basketball game last weekend)

And literally, I've never yelled at my children for swearing.  It sounds crazy, right?  Isn't the "right" parental thing to do - is to yell at your kid?  Wash their mouth out with soap?  Send them to bed with no supper?

Here's why I can't even entertain a reprimand:

Point number one, I swear - so can I possibly ask my kids not to?  I mean, they hear me swear probably (at least), once a day.  It seems ridiculous to impose unequal language rules in the family.

Number two, I actually don't care that my kids swear sometimes.  I really don't care!  They don't go around daily, even monthly screaming the F word in public - or even at home.  When it happens, it's truly a slip.  And you can tell - it's a slip that was brought on by a big emotion - like anger or frustration.  So how can I blame them?  They've learned how to express anger and frustration with a cuss word - just like most of the population.

Stub your toe - tell me how long it takes you to scream, "FUUUUCCKKKKK!"

I bet not even, a millisecond.

My husband who swears occasionally - hates me swearing.  He thinks it's low class.  He thinks it's vile and is totally disgusted by my profanity.

My husband flips out on our kids when they use a cuss word.  Flipping out  is mild terminology.  My husband goes DEFCON 5 on their asses.  He screams.  He threatens.  He tells them they should never, ever say those bad words.  He's even been known to put them in time out for swearing.

On the flip side - here I am - Miss Free Spirit - Miss I Don't Give a Fuck - Literally.

When my kid cusses - I pause, lower myself to their eye level - and say very calmly, "Mommy and Daddy sometimes use bad words.  Sometimes we say them at home.  Let's try only to have slips at home - and not use those words when we're with our friends, at school, at the grocery store, etc."

I guess my thinking is - I don't actually want my kids to tell their classmates to effe off - or call them the B word, or the A word, at the playground.  But, I also don't want to make a big deal out of it.  Simple logic says, once you tell a child not to do something,  they like to do it more.

My husband's theory is to put the fear of God in them every time they say a bad word.

The truth is - for me, cuss words are powerful.  I don't know if they are any more or less powerful than words that aren't deemed bad.  Like is "fuck" more powerful than the word "rage"?  Is "pissed off" more powerful than "furious"?  Is "bitch" more powerful than "Unpleasant"?  Maybe those profane words are less powerful?

My vote, is that profanity is powerful.  Profanity is brought upon by emotion.  I will never yell at my kids for swearing - or put them in time out for foul language.  I refuse.

Interesting article written in TIME magazine about swear words titled, Nine Things You Probably Didn't Know About Swear Words.

Feel free to TWEET ME your comments, or write a comment on this blog-  or my facebook page.  How have you dealt with swearing in your home?




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