My husband used to call me sailor and it was not a term of endearment. I swear. A lot.
Since having children, I have toned it down a little but in my recent Babble post, Cursing in Front of the Kids – Do you do it? I shared that this seems to happen a lot in front of kids.
I recently came across an article called Cursing Around Your Kids Makes Life So Much Easier. The title made me curious. Does it really?
The author, a mother who lives (and drives) in Los Angeles, recently retired her rule about swearing in front of her children. She now does it although, a little less than when they were first born.
So I asked some mothers that I know about their thoughts on cursing and whether or not they do it in front of their kids.
Here is what they had to say:
FROM THE MOMS WHO JUST DO IT
“I’m a nice mommy with a dirty mouth. And I do curse, but within reason. He and I have heard worse at school.” —Lisa
“I do curse in front of my kids. I don’t have a problem with it. My youngest one seems to know it’s not ok to repeat what we say, especially at school. My older ones are in high school where, I’m sure it’s a free for all.” —Melissa
“Yes I do! I gave up a long time ago trying to control my language at home in front of my kids. My kids also know they aren’t supposed to use that language, but if they do just please don’t use it at school, church, or in front of their Grandma because I don’t want to hear about it.” —Sharon
“I’m not a big curser (is that a word), but my husband is. Ellie, who is 5, knows what words she isn’t allowed to say and will correct who ever she hears swear. When she was younger we let her say the word once, just to try it out and after that she’s done. We don’t have a big issue with her swearing and we just don’t make a big ordeal out of it.” —Theresa
“I am a potty mouth. With my oldest I was young and thought he won’t pick up on it. Yeah that didn’t work out so well. So with each kid I have tried to replace the foul word with a nicer version such as frick or heck. But I do slip sometimes, okay quite often. But my kids all know which words they are not allowed to say and I get “MOM you just said a bad word” occasionally.” —Shana
“I curse in front of both of my kids and they both have repeated some of the stuff that Tucker and I sometimes say. However, they’re also well aware of what is acceptable and what isn’t. Also, Cara, who is five, has asked me why she shouldn’t say certain things and I’ve told her to she can say whatever she wants but to know people don’t think too highly of a little kid that curses. She turned that back around on me and said adults probably feel the same about me. Touché, girl child.” —Amy
“I think it’s a question of authenticity versus what is ‘correct’. I curse in front of my kids. My oldest never said a curse word, that we heard, until she was a senior in high school. My younger kids know that that language is not allowed because they are too young (and it will get them in trouble in school). FYI- My daughter can curse like a sailor now. Instead of being shocked I am impressed with her usage.” —Lee
“My husband works construction: he curses so much he doesn’t even notice he’s doing it (dropped the F bomb at Easter dinner last year while talking to his grandmother and didn’t even notice; denied it later). Able to see the difference between us, my kids kind of see it as a bad habit he can’t kick, just like smoking. I’ve told them cursing is something people do when they’re not creative enough to come up with proper descriptors. Telling my kids they’re not creative is like the worst insult in our house.” —Robin
“We call them ‘adult words’ in my house and explain it like its driving a car, drinking, fighting in a war, or voting…it’s for adults, not children. —Leah
“Do I even need to answer this one? I speak in front of my daughter the way I always speak. :)” —Cecily
FROM THE MOMS WHO TRY NOT TO OR FIND ALTERNATE WORDS TO USE
“I have a potty mouth but I really make an effort not to curse in front of my kids. All day long I am trying to teach them self-control, so I have to model it, too. It’s a challenge, though!” —Kristen
“I have quite the potty mouth AWAY from my kids. I have found alternative forms of potty words. Fudgesicle for the “F” word. Ding dongs for the “A” word plural. I say a lot of shut the front door. The best is when my oldest was 4 he asked me on the way to school if all cars were ding dongs. Apparently I would do a lot of yelling that at cars. He also told me another time that fudgesicle was a bad word. Again, maybe I used it a bit too much.” —Candice
“I do cuss in front of my daughter. I’ve tried replacing but, when I’m extremely upset, the real word slips out. As I have a very very low patience level? Yeah, that happens a lot. My daughter will get SO mad at me and yell at me to stop saying it. I’ve tried! lol” —Jacqui
“I try not to, and when I do it in front of my children I explain myself and how it wasn’t the best decision, but I was very angry (or whatever). I tell them they cannot use those words in public, but if they want to try saying it they can try it alone in their room. My kids are 3 and 5.” —Ginger
“I will curse in front of my kids, but I reserve it for when I’m really, really mad. It holds the most impact that way.” —Robin
FROM THE MOMS WHO DO NOT CURSE IN FRONT OF THEIR CHILDREN
“As much as I curse at other times, I will not curse in front of my kids. I try to never model inappropriate behavior in front of them, and I think kids saying bad words is inappropriate. I also do not want them to be in the habit of saying rude things before they’ve fully developed a sense of self-control. While adults may know there’s a time and a place for that, young kids can’t be expected to understand that or control themselves even if they do.” —Amy
“I don’t curse in front of anyone, and especially not my kids. I was raised in a house where ‘crap’ was a swear word, and I admit for a long time the ‘s word’ in our house was stupid. I hate swearing. It makes me feel all dark inside.” —Lolli
“I stopped cursing when I was pregnant with Alicia. I was 22 and I knew it would take me a long time to work on it. By the time I had her I was curse-free! I didn’t use words like stupid, or oh God. I did the same with my daughter Sammi. But now that she’s 13 and it’s been 25 years, I find myself slipping more in front of Sammi. No hard core words. I also steered my husband into not cursing as every other word out of his mouth was the “F” word. My reasoning is that I didn’t want either child to resort to using bad words when they were angry.” —Connie
“I do not curse in front of my kids. I try to be as wholesome as I can. Some days, this is harder than others. I try. They know the words. Even my 4 year old knows them. I tell them they are not allowed to say them because many find it disrespectful and we do not want to offend anyone. In all things, we want to love and consider being respectful of everyone’s personal beliefs. One way to do that is to eliminate the words from our vocabulary.” —Elizabeth
“I don’t curse in front of my kids. Occasionally one slips by but only in extreme cases. My younger kids think ‘stupid’ and ‘hate’ are curse words, my oldest was educated by my mom about all the curse words when he was 13.” —Kelly
“I don’t curse in general, (it’s very rare that you’d hear any words like that from me) but it’s just the way I’ve always been. My oldest hears the word ‘hate’ and knows for us that’s a bad word. I think it’s more about teaching our children to use respectful words rather than specific swears. Often times non-swear words can still contain the same tone and similar meaning IMO.” —Jennifer
“I don’t swear in front of my kids, but I almost never swear at all. Aside from my crazy parents and grandparents, I won’t even allow my kids to be within earshot of swearing. I would prefer they not learn inappropriate behavior any earlier than is necessary. As parents, my husband and I emphasize kindness and respect (for yourself and for others), so swearing is really outside of our kids’ world.” —Tara
DO YOU CURSE IN FRONT OF YOUR KIDS?
Read more from Stacie on her blog: The Divine Miss Mommy.