We do swear sometimes. I won't lie. It comes out, we are only human. When I stub a toe, slam a finger or get a cupboard door in the forehead that bad word censor just disappears. I've seen the looks on my kids faces when they hear me swear too. Shock like MOM, how could you say that! I'm to the point when I do catch myself swearing in front of them I apologize and tell them I should have used other words. Which is true, it's not nice to swear.
The first time my oldest said a "bad word" was when she was a toddler. We were going to the mall and some guy was on his cell phone and said "what the F-K" as we passed by him. Well, little K liked that phrase and instantly repeated it! Wonderful. Luckily we didn't make a big deal about it and she eventually forgot about it by the time we left the mall from shopping.
Another more embarrassing time is when she was in preschool and we got a call from her teacher. They let us know our little three year old swore. She spilled juice on her shirt and said "My F-ing shirt is wet!". We explained to her that was a bad word to use. Again, an isolated and innocent incident. K is almost 11 now and she is appalled when she hears swearing whether it be by us, by her peers or even in movies.
My son is a different story. He's always been an overall good kid, never one to do anything out of spite. He's not naturally mean. He never swore before and now recently he's decided to test out the swear word waters according to his sister. I thought she was maybe exaggerating the truth to get him in trouble. That was until I caught him in the act.
We were playing with cars this weekend, we made a cool track and everything. I placed a car on the ramp to send it flying and he says "let's F this car up!". I wasn't sure if I heard him correctly, when I repeated it and asked if that's what I heard he tried to convince me he said something else. When he realized I wasn't buying the lie he gave up and apologized for saying that. I told him to please use other words. He could have used "mess this car up" or something else. I gave him a few examples off the top of my head.
I'm not sure if it was the actual swear word or the violence of the phrase coming out of my 7 year old that bothers me more. I know kids will be kids etc but you don't have to F anything up to have fun. When I asked him where he heard that phrase he told me he and his friends at school have contests where they see who can swear the most. I felt my heart sink, oh boy.
I can tell him it's not a nice game, which I have. I can tell him not to play with those boys anymore, which I have. We had a long talk about how bad words don't sound nice, they can hurt people's feelings, they aren't words for kids to use and so forth. Will he listen? I don't know. I didn't yell or freak out about it, that never solves anything. I just talked to him hoping it doesn't just go in one ear and out the other. We can't wrap our kids up in a plastic bubble and protect them from the bad things in this world but we can guide them and try our best to educate them to make the right decisions.
For now all I can do is keep an eye (or an ear) on him and correct if I hear it again like any other negative behaviour. I'm just hoping it's a phase and it doesn't become a habit for him or there isn't a more serious reason behind it.
Have you dealt with swearing and your kids? I'd love to hear your advice! Leave a comment and lets chat!
Posted by AME. Comments and opinions on this blog are those of the author.