It is so the truth in how we as parents end up teaching our children curse words and phrases that in a perfect world we try to protect them from and set a better example.
Way before I was even married and had kids, I was instrumental in teaching my very young nephew the “s” word and exactly how to use it.
I remember that I was dressed for an interview and making some eggs for breakfast and I almost spilled everything in the frying pan on myself. My clothes escaped ruin but my reaction was quick and loud.
“OH SHIT!” I shouted and stomped my foot.
Of course, my 2-year-old nephew was right there and took it all in and immediately started stomping his foot around the kitchen and shouting “OH SHIT, OH SHIT, OH SHIT!”
All I wanted to do was laugh, which of course was not the right thing to do because it would only encourage him.
So began my start teaching children how to curse.
I have four children, and for most of their young lives my wife and I tried our best to keep our language curbed around them. But we all know that situations with kids can get heated and we lose our cool and words slip.
For the record, I do not take full responsibility for teaching my kids how to cuss, since they are exposed to it elsewhere, such as on the school bus and at school with their friends.
But anytime you use that language within their earshot, it gives them a permission to use it around you and at home. You hope that they also learn judgment about when not to use this colorful language.
Here is where I am at odds with the current generation and its use of the F bomb, compared with how I was raised.
Listening to the music of today and how my kids communicate with each other, I notice that the word “fuck” is used casually and often — much more so than when I was younger.
Back then, “fuck” was a powerful word. It demanded respect and was used selectively and sparingly.
I remember listening to songs just to hear that one utterance of the F bomb because it had so much power. The music of today uses it like any other word, which dilutes its impact.
I would really like to think that in exposing my kids to the F word I instilled in them that the power and responsibility of using it properly has been passed into their hands.
For related blogs on cursing and swearing, be sure to check out Chris Mele’s ode to his old man, a first-class swearing champion, and listen to the podcast of when Chris visited a haunted Halloween attraction and screamed a blue streak that would make a sailor blush.
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