When Jack was 3 he was told off by me for doing something or other. He obviously felt the punishment (go inside for a while) was unjust and as he stormed inside he threw his hands in the air and yelled "I'm so fucking frustrated".
I didn't get angry or worried, if anything I was impressed that my three year old could express himself so succinctly (albeit inappropriately). But it made me realize, I swear sometimes and yes sometimes it is in front of the kids.
Later once he had calmed down we had out first conversation about inappropriate language. It's a conversation that has come up now a few times with both children. But the truth is, it is rarely about words that seem to be judged as 'swear' words.
As a parent these days it seems that more and more words are considered 'bad' and truth be told I have less issue with the 'swear' words than a lot of the others. And it seems I am not alone.
One family I know doesn't allow the word 'can't' in their house as they feel the truth is you CAN do anything it's the effort that is often lacking.
In another family the word love is used sparingly, only meant for their immediate family as they feel that it is too often used these days and is watering down the meaning.
Then there are the new swear words, stupid, idiot, moron, hate, shut-up and the ever present and yet totally unexceptable (in our house) bored!!
Truth be told I would rather hear my kids say 'fuck' than say I'm bored, or I hate or call someone stupid. And more and more I don't think I'm alone. Don't get me wrong, my kids don't swear. It's interesting to me that in spite of hearing it in the media or at home somehow they both know that there are ok words and words that aren't.
In fact Jack said I word the other day (wish I could remember what it was, but it was something like damn) and afterward he looked at me thoughtfully and said "mum, is that a bad word? Cause if it was I didn't know". And so we talked about what the word meant and why it's not really one of the words that kids should say, and how maybe we shouldn't use any word it we don't exactly know what it means.
And that was it, we haven't heard a stupid, shit, shut-up or bloody hell out of either of our kids in many months.
And if you ask me if I think they are using these words when they are not around an adult I'd also say no. They seem to have understood the concept well enough that it is ingrained, but the truth is I don't know for sure.
And sure once in a while we will all be singing a song and suddenly I'll realize that the next word is a swear word, but I don't rush to change the channel, but I may well try and mumble my way through it. :)
What are your thoughts on swearing? Do you do it? Do your children? What's on your 'bad' words list?
Watching - True Blood S3 (good to work to)
Reading - The City and The City, China Melville
Listening - after a cranky day last week 'The Wedding Singer' soundtrack
State of mind - relaxed (I love school holidays) tired (thanks to a late night on the weekend) busy (thanks to an extra bit of work that had to be done RIGHT NOW)
PS. The above photo is of the gig I went to on Saturday. It's 'The Herd' and totally appropriate to this post as it is some of their song that my kids like to sing, swear words and all!