Teach Your Children to…Swear

We rambled and ambled on into new territory this week when I found out that my son had picked up on some of my favorite sayings. I had thought that I had been good about keeping these from him, with few exceptions I was certain that I hadn’t said anything in a tone louder then a whisper.

Of course my voice is just deep enough that my whiser is more like a dull roar and so my son’s vocabulary now includes the following:

Jackass, moron, asshole, oh fuck, dammit and some kind of guttural yell that he says I make. I can’t say that I am pleased or proud about this, but I would by lying if I wasn’t proud about his ability to use the words properly.

Example A) We are on the THE 405 (yes, I said THE and you know who you are) when I was forced to swerve because of a “semi” who was trying to enter my lane. My son belted out: “Oh fuck! You stupid jackass.”

We had a conversation about what language is appropriate and how to use words. I thought that it had been effective when I learned otherwise. This morning he told me about one of the characters on Scooby Doo. That is innocuous enough, but the problem is that he said that this person was really mean, a real asshole.

So the good news is that he seems to understand the correct application of these words. The bad news is that he knows these words. And now I find myself having to censor myself more carefully in front of the children.

It is not that I swear constantly but rather when I am irritated I admit to engaging in a minor flirtation with said words.

I wonder if I can get myself to start screaming Goodness Gracious more frequently. Oh, one more phrase that we both say. “Great Googly Moogly.” That is not so bad, maybe I’ll focus on that one.

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15 Comments

  1. Anonymous October 4, 2005 at 7:13 am

    dont know if it means anything or not but i let my kids cuss. hey there are just words and they now how to control it.

  2. soccer dad August 30, 2005 at 3:45 am

    In the ten years since my first was born, I can count on one finger the times I’ve used a word in their presence I didn’t mean to. At the same time, since my oldest entered the third grade a couple of years ago, we’ve had a number of conversations about the “s” word, the “b” word, and all sorts of other things as he’s heard them on the playground at school. What I’ve consistently told him is that there are the right environments for such things and the wrong environments for such things and he needs to learn what those are.

  3. Jack's Shack August 29, 2005 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Judi,

    I can imagine you would have had a conversation after that.

  4. judi August 29, 2005 at 6:03 pm

    While driving along with my 12 year old daughter a few days ago, someone cut us off, missing us by just under two feet. It was the opportunity my daughter was waiting for all her young life: within seconds, she was leaning out the window, both birds blazing.

    We had a little mother-daughter talk before we got out of the car…

  5. Jack's Shack August 29, 2005 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Sandra,

    I appreciate the specifics in the ages of your children. 😉 Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Sandra August 29, 2005 at 1:13 pm

    We try to avoid profanity at home, but it is not always possible…

    However, we managed to teach our kids (4.75 y.o. and 3.33 y.o.) that, although saying bad words is a bad thing, big people like Mom and Dad are allowed to say them. Kids are not, until they grow up.

    It works!

  7. Jack's Shack August 29, 2005 at 4:21 am

    Well folks it certainly sounds like I am in ^W#%%&#%&^ company, doesn’t it. 😉

  8. The Misanthrope August 29, 2005 at 2:48 am

    Years ago, we took Daughter to the drive-in to see “Look Who is Talking,” But when part two of that movie came out I did not think it appropriate for Daughter because of the language. Then she blurted out to me, “Just because they said asshole in the first one does not mean I go around saying asshole.” After I turned away so I could laugh, I eventually relented and she was able to see her movie. Kids say the darnest things.

  9. PsychoToddler August 29, 2005 at 1:44 am

    Yeah, some of these 13 year olds can cuss up a storm.

  10. Danielle August 29, 2005 at 1:27 am

    just wait till he starts playing x-box live… what kids say on there is just scary!

  11. callieischatty August 29, 2005 at 12:18 am

    My daughter went to a preschool at shul with a little boy who cursed like that.

    While it may be cute to Mom and Dad it didn’t go over really big in the social scene with his peers.

    I think its better to stay away from real profanity until they have the judgement to know when its ok and when its a bad idea to say Fuck…

  12. BarbaraFromCalifornia August 28, 2005 at 11:27 pm

    LOL…Living in Los Angeles, and knowing the traffic on the 405, I would probably say the same thing!

    All jokes aside, we must be careful what we say, as the parrots who live and breathe among us have ears as large as the world.

  13. Melliferous Pants August 28, 2005 at 10:48 pm

    When my sister married I threatened to teach her future offspring to swear. The worst of her vocabulary is “T.O.’d.” Swearing is much less creepy than not even being able to say ticked off.

  14. Anne August 28, 2005 at 9:07 pm

    My son was two when he first started muttering “Oh f*ck” from his carseat. I started saying “Oh goodness” but it was too late.

    I wonder how many other toddlers have vicarious road rage.

  15. PsychoToddler August 28, 2005 at 8:36 pm

    I’m surprised I don’t hear more cussing from my kids.

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