A few days a week, I pick up my daughter from her preschool, get her strapped into her car seat, hand her a Ziploc of Goldfish crackers and raisins, and pull away from the curb.
Then I roll up the volume of the radio on the Howard Stern show.
This makes me feel a little guilty, I guess, because some of the language is salty and I know it and I recognize that there are a legion of people out there who would raise their eyebrows at the fact that I am letting that kind of thing fly into my little girl’s ears like a nasty gnat.
But still, I’m not gonna lie to you: I put it on.
I love Howard Stern’s radio show and I don’t get to listen to it too much what with working and taking care of my two children and blah blah blah, and so the 45 minutes or so I spend in the Honda each day fetching my daughter from school is when I crank him up.
It’s not that bad, I tell myself.
She isn’t really listening.
And if the language really does soak in at some point, and one of my kids wants to try it out themselves, I’ll just take a fresh loaf of Irish Spring and jam it in their pie-hole, right?
Take it easy. I’m only !$#%@&! joking.
I know that’s not the way to nip it in the bud. Yet, truth is, the only way to nip your kids’ foray into cursing in the bud is probably to keep them from hearing it in the first place.
But, I don’t think that’s gonna happen over at my ranch.
See, my wife and I have been known to string a few oaths here and there. And yeah, there have even been times when we sounded like the Notorious B.I.G getting stung by a swarm of angry bees, right there in earshot our young ones.
I mean: How wrong is that?
That’s a question I have been asking myself lately, not really in an effort to tame my spicy speak so much as to really get to the heart of why I don’t seem to be all that worried about it to begin with.
I know people who get really flustered if you drop a cuss in front of their kids. People who will call you out on it. I think I wish I was that way too, secretly. But, it’s hard, you know? It’s really @&$!%*! hard when you’ve perfecting the art for so many years.
To be honest, I suppose I’m torn about it all in a way because, on one hand, I know that it’s probably not beneficial in any way/shape/or form for impressionable young ears to hear bad words. On the other hand I can’t seem to convince myself that they aren’t going to hear it somewhere/somehow anyways before long. In my mind, it’s almost like trying to keep them away from chocolate or fried food from day one. The more you try and ‘protect’ them from something that’s everywhere around them, the more they are going to want it in the end.
But I realize that that could be the lazy part of me talking there, too.
In all seriousness, most of the time, I refrain from talking like a sailor. However, I’m here to admit to you that I have my lapses. My kids have heard George Carlin’s list by now. I’m not proud of it. But still, at this point in time, I’m not losing much sleep over it either.
In the end, is cursing around kids a curse in itself? Am I relegating them to a life of unsavory hobo-ness by dropping language bombs on occasion? Are they going to walk into their first job interview some day down the line and sit down in the chair and announce to the person at the desk, ” I really want to !$&%@#* work here, sir, because this has been my dream all of my $#@%*&! life.”
Or is it just another bump in the long road of decision making that they are going to have to travel down, no matter what?
You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.
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