“Swear” #!@%

by Sherry Riter in Communication


Alyssa told me that many of her friends’ parents not only curse, but also curse at their children. I guess I am naive, but I can not imagine saying profane words “at” my daughter especially on a daily basis! Exactly how do parents expect their children to respect them, if the children are disrespected by their parents?

“Swearing” and “profanity” describe a word, expression, gesture, or other social behavior which is socially interpreted as insulting, rude, vulgar, desecrating, or disrespectful.

I heard on the on the radio the other day that 31% of children ask their parents to stop cursing. Many people punish their children for using profanity, and yet they use it regularly. I believe as parents that we should “practice what we preach” with everything and that includes not cursing or cursing.

As a whole, society has become tolerant of cursing and profane gestures. Comedians who use the most profane language are upheld in their cursing by having tickets sell out to their shows. Any time of the day you can find someone “flipping the bird” while driving on the highway to show their total aggravation and disapproval of another driver. Bathroom walls of public restrooms have cuss words carved into the tile and plaster. Television shows and movies have intermittent and sometimes constant cursing. This is just a few of the things pertaining to profanity that society has grown to tolerate.

Do you approve? Do you believe it is “ok” to curse? Do you believe it is “ok” for your child to curse?” If yes, at what age does your child have to be before he has your approval to curse? If you do not approve of cursing, why? Does anyone still wash their child’s mouth out with soap for cursing or is that now child abuse?

What happened to breathing deeply and counting to ten before speaking?

I’ve created a poll in the right side bar too…(it got corrupted so I deleted it)

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 blueviolet October 19, 2009 at 2:24 am

I never once cursed in front of my children as they were growing up and neither did my husband. It was just a personal preference but one I felt strongly about. I still don't curse in front of them actually.


2 Under the Influence October 19, 2009 at 3:16 am

I use the word "sh@t" around my family – but not AT them. It's generally when something is not going right for me or I have hurt myself. My kids know they are not permitted to use curse words. We don't have an "age" defined as "ok to curse." I guess when they no longer live in my house. For us, I guess it falls under the same rules as alcohol consumption. It's ok for us legal aged adults to have a drink, but not the kids.


3 Unknown Mami October 19, 2009 at 3:42 am

Funny, I had an argument with my husband about cursing today. I admit that I have been very guilty of having a potty mouth, but since my daughter has been born I've really made an effort to stop. There are far more eloquent ways to express myself. My husband hardly cursed before and now that we have a daughter he curses all the time. I told him it needs to stop.


4 Sara E October 19, 2009 at 7:17 am

I rarely ever curse… and I don't like it in front of my kids either………BUT… when my husband has made me extremely mad, I have blurted one or two words in front of them which is not very good

I generally just say dang, doughnut, fudge… stuff like that 🙂


5 Tonya October 19, 2009 at 8:34 am

I rarely ever curse…and it is usually when I stub my toe and the occasional one slips out, or when I'm really really upset but I'm not usually talking to anyone at that time haha.
Visiting from SITS. Have a nice day.


6 Oh Sew Good October 19, 2009 at 10:45 am

I would love to say I don't curse at all however, every once in awhile the odd h e double hockey sticks slips out. I'm not convinced though that dang, nuts, carpola aren't curse words when we substitute them for the real curse word though. What do you think?


7 Tammy Howard October 19, 2009 at 10:51 am

I think a well placed cuss can work. My kids have definitely heard me cuss. They have also heard me express myself more eloquently. They have never cussed in front of me, although I suspect the eldest may when adults are not around. They're words. Like most other words, when they're overused, they become meaningless. When they're used sparingly they can often be the best word for the situation.


8 index.html October 19, 2009 at 11:55 am

I don't think there is anything wrong with cussing when it is used wisely and on occasion meaning it is not directed towards anyone and not said with anger. I do cuss but very rarely maybe once a week if that. I don't have any kids but if I did I would try to avoid cussing around them.


9 Scrappy Girl October 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm

We do not use curse words. If my children said a curse word they would have a privilege taken away for one week. Manga Dork says she is definitely in the minority at her school…she says everyone curses and they even try to get her to say words. Strange.


10 Tater Tot Mom October 19, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I completely agree with Tammy that when these words are used too much, they lose their meaning. I cuss occassionally but try not to around my son and usually when I stub my toe or something, it's a guteral reaction. I usually use things like, good gravy, jiminy christmas, jiminy crickets, wackadoodle (actually used this when talking to my doctor the other day and was completely embarrassed!)…those are just a few…I think it's more fun to think up crazy things to say instead of cursing!


11 confused homemaker October 19, 2009 at 1:33 pm

I think there are cultural norms around it too. I grew up in a family & neighborhood where everyone cursed, even our Priest cursed. It was cultural in many ways.


12 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I think of cursing as one of those morale debates…it depends on what you consider socially unacceptable. I admit I say sh!t a lot when I'm frustrated and let the ocassional f^@k fly out of my mouth, but never in front of children and definitely won't be talking like that to my own child. If I do slip up and say a curse word in front of Miss M, I will explain to her that it's a grown-up word. I don't think it's hypocritical to prohibit your child from cursing just like othey are not alllowed to partake of other grown up activities like drinking alcohol.


13 The Blonde Duck October 19, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I know it's terrible to curse, but I do. It's my dirty little secret.


14 Pam October 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I don't believe in cursing "at" your kids. I try to practice what I preach. An occassional word slips out, but so rarely that my 16 year old could tell you specific times in her life that it has happened.


15 Stephanie Faris October 19, 2009 at 9:31 pm

My boyfriend doesn't even let his daughter watch movies that are PG-13. He freaks when a movie that's PG has a curse word in it. We aren't allowed to say butt or fart because those are "bad words." I've gotten to where I say "bottom" all the time, just to make sure I don't slip when she's around!


16 Deb October 19, 2009 at 9:47 pm

It would be a very hot pan of water spilling all over me for my kids to hear me curse. I was a preschool teacher, that pretty much weeds all of the cursing out of ya.

Sounds like there's a lot of "Do as I say, not as I do," people out there? Considering I'm shocked at the language I hear on prime time television, I guess cursing is mainstreaming…


17 2cats October 20, 2009 at 12:40 am

I have never nor will I ever curse at my child, who is now 25.
When he was small I used to say cr*p a lot. He thought it was a funny word, which worried me. I changed it to crumb. A word I say to this day.
My husband used bad language all of the time. Never at our son, just in general. Our son never swears in front of me but I imagine he does around his father.


18 Susan Fobes October 20, 2009 at 2:33 am

I try not to curse around my kids (oh crap comes out occasionally)but I have heard worse from others…


19 Organizing Mommy October 20, 2009 at 4:13 am

I am going to be the old fashioned one hear and say: WHAT? No one needs to curse, or use profanity for any reason. I've never done it with my children and I would be shocked to hear it from them also. Why has this become so culturally acceptable anyway? Sorry to be such a zealot.


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