Should we really call them "bad words" to our kids?


As Noah is getting older, he’s starting to learn that there are certain words in the English language that he’s gonna get a lecture about when and if he says them. I’ll let you use your imagination as to what those words are.

Some people call them “bad words.” And I have to wonder, is that really something healthy to teach our children? That some words are “bad?”

I for one, try not to swear too much, but sometimes I enjoy saying almost every word that I would tell my son is a “bad word.” I like to put them into my writing sometimes to emphasize certain emotions or points; I like to use them to be funny during certain conversations and with the right people; And, as much as I’m working on it, there are times when they just slip out when I least expect it. Like when I see a cop’s red and blues glaring in my rearview mirror.

I used to be married to his mom, and I know for a fact that she occasionally uses some of the “bad words,” too. And, I’m 99% positive his stepdad uses the “bad words” sometimes as well. I know his grandparents do. I know some of his aunts and uncles do. In fact, there are very few adults I know who never say “bad words.” Most of them, if anything, enjoy a good cuss word here and there. I think it’s part of our human nature… to rebel against the norm when it won’t hurt anybody.

So if most of the grown-ups use “bad words,” what does that teach my kid? As he himself grows up, he’s going to hear a lot of the people he loves use a lot of the words that he has been told his entire life are bad.

Now, I’m no Einstein, but I’m pretty sure that when you teach a child that something is “bad” and they see you doing it, they will then naturally think you are “bad” for doing it. And, due to the rate of “bad words” that will be slipping out of Noah’s parent’s and his grandparent’s and his aunt’s and uncle’s and everybody else’s mouths, he’s gonna think he has a pretty damn bad family. Pardon my French.

When he gets older, he’s gonna think his friends are “bad” as they experiment and push their boundaries. He’s gonna think his siblings are “bad.” And, he’s gonna think he himself is “bad” when and if he decides that he wants to try those words out for himself.

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