You never really know what’s going to come out of a child’s mouth. It could be something silly, it could be something gross or it could be the dreaded swear word that you didn’t know your child even knew. What do you do when your child(ren) curses? Do you quickly cover their mouth, tell them not to say that, wash their mouth out with soap, or maybe you just ignore it. I was hopping around different blog communities lately and one of the topics of conversation was swearing on blogs. It kind of surprised me that people are so averse to it and will actually click away if they see even the smallest bit of swearing. This all got me thinking about children swearing and if it was acceptable, whether or not parents should punish their children for swearing, and if parents swear around their children.
Thanks to my husband who has strong feelings on this subject, I was able to find a couple of articles that I found to be very interesting on the subject of children swearing that were able to shine some light on the subject. According to Timothy Jay, a researching of psycholinguistics and obscenities at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, “Kids say swear words as soon as they talk” (Pappas, 2012), which is something I actually have to agree with. Despite popular belief, children don’t learn how to swear from watching television and video games; they learn it from being around other people: their parents, siblings, friends a preschool, other family members, etc. As Jay stated, “Little kids are like language vacuum cleaners” (Pappas, 2012) they pick things up from wherever they are and considering when your child is young, I highly doubt you allow them to watch “teen-TV” let alone “adult-TV” and they are more likely to watch SpongeBob Squarepants in which swearing does not exist (to my knowledge), they’re picking it up from somewhere else. “But I don’t swear!” You’re saying. Think back to one day where you stubbed your toe really hard and that curse slipped out of your mouth so fast you didn’t even realize you said it. Yeah, your child was there too.
Another thing that I found it fascinating on the website didn’t come from the article itself, but one of the comments that was left, “My toddlers don’t swear,” which made me almost literally burst out laughing. Just because you don’t hear your children swear, doesn’t mean that they don’t do it. At a young age, you learn when to say things and when not to; though, sometimes you may slip-up and end up swearing in front of your parents which makes them turn as white as a ghost—especially if you’re in public. Children aren’t as naïve, I don’t think, as people make them out to be. Children are observers—they watch their siblings or other children get in trouble when they curse, so they know not to do it in front of others, more specifically their parents. But the question still remains: why try to hide swearing from your children? Why should they hide it from you that they know these words? What is so bad about cursing?
How do you—or how do you think you would—react if/when your child(ren) swear? Do you believe swearing is bad or acceptable? Why or why not?
That’s right, we’re not done with this topic just yet, I have more research to share with you and more things to discuss!
Leave a comment letting me know your thoughts! I’ll either respond to your comment below or address your comment in a new post.
Pappas, S. (2012, January 18). ‘Modern Family’ tot’s potty mouth no big deal, experts say. Retrieved from http://moms.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/18/10184299-modern-family-tots-potty-mouth-no-big-deal-experts-say
Posted on June 18, 2012 by Felicia