Is swearing in front of your kids ever ok?

app-1294708908-swearing-kidI like a good swear – bloody, bollocking, fuckity fuck. There we go.

Sometimes it’s needed, sometimes it’s necessary. I’m not a huge fan of swearing for swearing sake i.e ‘i’m going to have beans on fucking toast‘. Not really needed or necessary but hey ho, each to their own.

What I’m less keen on is people swearing at, or in front of, their children.

I guess you could say it’s none of my business if people choose to swear in front of ‘their’ kids but when those 3 year old kids start telling my son to ‘fuck off‘ at pre-school it makes me a teeny tiny bit angry.

Now i’m not perfect, i’ve let the odd one slip out from time to time. Little F, or old eagle ears, as we like to call him, has heard and repeated me.

‘Bugger mummy – whats bugger?’

‘No um chugger – i said CHUGGER,  as in Chuggington, i think it might be on cbeebies soon, choo choo – YAY!’

But how often do you have to swear in front of your children, and not correct it, for them to start mouthing off profanities to other children? A fair bit i would have thought.

And Is it really that difficult to at least try and watch what you say? Apparently so.

However, although it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, you can’t tell people how to bring up their kids. I can however put on an extra large pair of judgey pants and give them dirty looks from afar.

Whats worse and what makes me really angry, really fucking angry (I can say that here as it’s in context and i assume you are all adults and not incredibly bored and/or gifted pre-schoolers) is when people swear loudly, pointedly and without reservation in front of other people’s children.

So, i was on a bus the other day and this little kid, about 5, was deemed at fault for making his mum miss their bus stop. He apparently didn’t stand up quickly enough. The barrage of abuse went something like this.

‘For fucks sake Harry, that was our fucking stop and now you’ve made us fucking miss it. Fucking hell. Your so bloody slow, now we’ll gave to walk all the fucking way home.’

Then extra loud she shouts ‘FUCKING KIDS!’,

I’m not sure what she was expecting here, people to start nodding in agreement or someone to chime in that indeed Harry was a little fucker.

I was sat relatively near the duo and had to fight with myself not to say something. Maybe i should have but i was afraid of the repercussions; not for me, but for my two sons and every other child on the bus. You see I was pretty sure the reception would have been equally foul mouthed and i didn’t want any more impurities to filter into their pretty little ear holes.

In my opinion It’s a parents job to help their children develop a good grasp of language and teach them what is/isn’t appropriate to say. If not for their own sake for the sake of other children around them.

What do you think? Is swearing in front of your kids ever ok?

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34 thoughts on “Is swearing in front of your kids ever ok?

  1. Sarah

    my parents only ever sweared in front of me by accident and it was once in a blue moon. I gave grown up not swearing in front of my parents and i still wouldnt at 24 and i want it to be the same for thomas

    Reply
  2. Amanda (@girlgonecoastal)

    It’s not okay, but… always needs to be taken in context.

    As you say, swearing for the sake of swearing is neither big nor clever, especially around children. However, I’m sure we’ve all slipped up once in a while, I know I’ve yelled ‘fucking hell’ when I stubbed my toe and tore off my nail. It happens, we correct ourselves and hope for the best.
    It’s when swearing is part of you every day conversation that it becomes a real problem

    Reply
  3. Amy

    I’m with you on the joy of a good old swear in adult company or correspondence but it’s definitely inappropriate to swear in front of kids regularly and openly enough for them to join in!
    Re woman on the bus, even if her fucks had been flips or some other innocuous word, her attitude to that poor child is absolutely foul! [Even if he is a little shit ;)]

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Exactly poor kid was only young, so sad that he got spoken to like that juts because he didn;t get up quickly enough. I know we all have our bad days but seriously that was on another level!

      Reply
  4. ourlifebusymakingmemories

    Swearing isn’t good… I generally don’t do it and it tends to shock people if I do reach limits when a little swear word pops out. The other half, swears like a trooper or used too, since becoming a daddy he’s tried really hard to reign it in and has done really well. We started with a swear box and if anyone swore infront of the baby then a donation had to be made… By the time we opened Sebastian’s bank account the box contained £350!!!! :-O
    If a child just Drops a little profanity into conversation its so hard to resist a shocked snigger, but It’s when kids swear and know the context that is appalling!

    A few weeks ago a friend of mine was taking her little girl for her jabs and the family who came out in front with a baby and a pre-schooler. The pre-schooler turned round to my friend and said “don’t go in there… That fucking bitch just stabbed my fucking brother!”

    Not good. How much swearing must be done in a household for kids to use it in contextual conversation!! Shocking!!!

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Kelly i am shocked!! To be honest sounds like the girl was pretty intelligent for her age but wow she shouldn’t really even know those words.
      p.s £350!! That’s amazing and such a good idea :)

      Reply
  5. Dean B

    I agree, it’s not okay… I’ll speak for myself and my husband, we try not to swear in front of T. I actually even invented a few words which I use most of the time… Instead of saying the F word I say something like “flipping ding-dong bells”. And I’ve heard T say that too, and even F, her best-friend and it makes them laugh. Admittedly though the F word would still slip by, especially if I’ve just stubbed my toe etc… She’s only repeated the F word once, when her Dad said it while some crazy-driver over-took us and we ignored her. So far, I haven’t heard her say it again, fingers-crossed. If I hear a kid though at her play-school say it to her, like you I’d be upset about it.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      I think if they do say something rude then ignoring it is definitely the best reaction! it is a bit tempting to laugh but if they get any sort of reaction i’m sure they would just keep repeating it. F repeated the F word once and i convinced him i’d said Duck. I’m far from perfect but i really do try and watch what i say so it really shocks me that some people juts don’t care!

      Reply
  6. happyeverafterbride

    I have often thought about this myself and I try to control myself now by developing good habits in regards to cussing. Saying Sugar and Far out instead of some of their more severe counterparts. I think I’d be okay if my kids pick the playground-friendly versions up in the future, but I was taught how to swear by my friends when I was 6. I don’t think there’s much my parents could have done to avoid that!

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      I’d not really be happy with them picking up swear words at school so young but i guess there is not much you can do?! When they are teens i figure they are old enough to make those choices and it’s pretty inevitable that most of them will swear by then – i did!

      Reply
  7. HonestMum.com

    Fab post and really made me realise I do slip up more than I should. Well you’ve inspired me to stop. My folks never let me swear and my Dad abhors swearing! Do love the odd swear though (such powerful adjectives)…and try never to in front of the kids but sometimes shit happens (hehe!)

    Reply
  8. Dawn Frazier

    Ah the poor little boy! I would never dream of speaking to my children like that. Sometimes in the car or if I bang my head or something, the odd word slips out that shouldn’t and I just tell my children that just because Mummy says it, doesn’t mean it’s OK for them to say things like that. My son knows which words are the ones I don’t want him to say. I just told him that sometimes grown ups say these words but it’s not nice to hear little children saying them.

    Reply
  9. cariemay

    I don’t generally swear in everyday life so I don’t think I’ve said anything that I would be too upset about the girls repeating (unless they were listening while I was in labour when apparently I came out with all sorts of weird and wonderful phrases that would make a navvy blush). I think what would upset me most about the little boy on the bus is not so much the language itself a the attitude; it’s much harder to explain to a toddler why that isn’t how we speak to people rather than just tell them that that isn’t a nice word to use.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Ha ha – i have visions of you F’ing and Blinding now Carie. But it’s the whole tone too isn’t it, the shouting and the anger. He didn’t even do anything wrong.

      Reply
  10. mummydaddyme

    Ha loved this post. I am quite sweary, not ridiculous swear words but I do drop an S Bomb into conversation when I am agitated. I have sworn in front of Mads a couple of times in the heat of the moment when talking to Mr E and I have instantly regretted it. As for swearing at her? Never ever! X

    Reply
  11. 3yearsandhome

    It takes something really bad to make me swear although I use the word ‘bloody’ in pretty much every conversation (something I’ve amusingly passed on to all my Swiss friends who now do it too – result!). Consciously swearing at kids or around them is just not right. It’s really not okay. And yes, I will judge anyone that does it. How could you not?

    Reply
  12. Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    Oh my gosh, that’s awful!! I only ever let the f word slip out by accident but I did used to use it quite frequently before having kids. I also like to swear when it’s appropriate but have just about managed to control it when around the littles, although Cherry does say bloody sometimes, that one still slips out quite a lot! x

    Reply
  13. Mother.Wife.Me

    Ooh great topic! I am potty-mouthed, but like you not for the sake of it, I don’t use profanity as punctuation. I do my very best not to swear in front of my daughter, but it took her repeating one of them a few months ago for me to go cold turkey, because it was a dreadful moment. My big pet hate though, the thing I think is one of the biggest no-nos is parents who swear AT their kids. I was witness to this a year or so ago in the playground, I posted about it at the time, because the way the woman spoke to her daughter was hideous and the swearing at her just made it even more so. There’s no excuse for swearing at a child. Ever. #MBPW

    Reply
  14. jojoka1963

    Eesh, I’ve seen it so many times too! Despite my little faux pas with Lily recently (the bugger off incident), I can keep a lid on my potty mouth most of the time, and would definitely never display foul behaviour, as the erm, lady (?) did with her child, that you saw recently.

    Reply
  15. muffinmummy

    I’ve had my four year old start singing a little ‘bugger, bugger, bugger’ song recently which made me cringe – (it was at home mind you!) I tried to convince him that I’d said butter or somesuch twaddle but he was having none of it. I do have to say though that I’m of the opinion that the only kind of people who would swear the way the woman on the bus did, unashamedly and as if it was normal, would be someone who grew up with adults swearing around them. I’m guessing we’re all pretty middle-class mummies here so its very shocking and unacceptable to us but unless we can lock ourselves into some sort of gated community (one with lovely clean streets, no crime and neighbours who bring home cooked muffins round – OK I’m daydreaming here!) then I don’t really know how to put an end to this generationally perpetuated evil of modern chavness…

    Reply
  16. notimeforironing

    I overheard a mum in a park last year effin at her boy, was made worse when she grabbed his scooter and through it across the grass! We took a wide birth! I wouldn’t swear in front to my boys, but it does make me feel better to have a good swear when they’re not there. I heard my 4 yr old putting rhyming words together the other day, ‘clock, dock, cock, sock’ had to turn away and laugh, totally innocent so I ignored it.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      well she sounds lovely!! I love the rhyme :)) It is funny the things the come out with and you have to try your hardest not to laugh! The thing is reacting just makes it worse so best to ignore :)

      Reply
  17. MumalearyMuma Leary

    Nooo- I just wrote a really long reply and then lost it- if that isn’t an excuse for a f%^k then I don’t know what is!!
    I am a total potty mouth but try not to swear in front of the girls but do slip up occasionally. Oops.
    I think it is the context and who it is aimed at and the tone used that is of most important here and, I would say that the woman on the bus and the one with the scooter are probably behaving like that towards their children regularly which breaks my heart.
    I used to work for children at risk of going into care and those who were coming out the other side and the damage done by parents makes me want to cry. It is so hard to know whether to speak up or not though isn’t it as you don’t know what will happen as a result. I really feel that more people need to be aware of the lives that care leavers lead and wrote a post about it: http://mummetamorphosis.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/a-life-less-ordinary/
    Sorry- totally not a publicity thing but it feels relevant to this post- feel free to delete if you don’t want it on here.
    Great post. Found you through the blog hop thingy. :-)

    Reply
  18. Pingback: 2013 Year In Review Q&A | Hurrah For Gin

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