After reading this article by Kate Levkoff, on Scary Mommy, I originally thought, "Yassssss!! Hell to the yeah!" It was funny, it made me giggle and it made me feel like my most imperfect moments are shared by other Mommy's out there. It had a comedic undertone to it and isn't the purpose of comedy to take uncomfortable situations that most people can relate to and make us laugh at it? Right away, I thought, I have to write about this on my blog and share it with everyone. As I started to write a comment on her article, congratulating her on hitting it on the nail, I was shocked at all of the other comments I saw posted.
The first comment I saw, read:
"The English language has so many better ways to express oneself than by resorting to foul language. Here’s a thought; instead of swearing, I encourage you to use more descriptive words, or a more classy phrase … something that more precisely conveys your thoughts and emotions. Get yourself a thesaurus … use the language like it was meant to be used. The use of English in this country–rather its misuse–is horrible. Read a classic novel written in the 19th century (David Copperfield for example), and you’ll begin to understand that despite 200 years of progress in many things, we have actually regressed in our ability to convey our thoughts, emotions, and ideas verbally. Your children will learn as you do, and have a better command of the language, which should provide them with a vital tool of success … the spoken and written word. I wish you all the best." -GrandfatherUm, did I miss something? Like I said, I thought it was funny. I mean, doesn't everyone curse? I think everyone I know curses. Right down to my very best friend who is a church going, God fearing woman. My friends who speak English as a second language curse. And honestly, I don't think any of us Tiger Moms in Training will lose any stripes for swearing. I don't think it makes anyone look or sound stupid. I will admit, there is a time and a place to do it, but damn, I didn't realize so many folks out there were so straight up against it and judged so harshly. And as for Grandfather's comment, what, are we supposed to speak like we're living in a 19th century classic novel?
At first I though that maybe it was just this guy, but as I continued to scroll down, the judgments and the criticisms seemed to go on forever. So, I thought, let me read this article again. And so I did. Yup, it was still funny. I didn't get the impression that the writer used cuss words because she lacked knowledge of the English language. Or because she wanted to send her kids off the school with a less than appropriate way of expressing themselves.
Look, I've been around some of my husbands friends and seen when they get together, every other word can be a little bit on the vulgar side. And I have asked them politely, when my kids are around to abstain from using too much profanity. However, a cuss word here and there to make a point or even an accidental slip does not make anyone a heathen.
I aim to do the right thing by my kids and I am continually trying to find ways to better myself as a parent. Is cursing really that big of a deal? Is it truly wrong to curse in front of your kids and does it make you look like a bad parent? If you are doing it in the privacy of your own home, does it matter? Perhaps, cursing may be overused which can desensitize our kids from understanding the true meaning of why adults curse and why it's not OK for them to do it. I wanted to have a better understanding for myself so that I could explain to my twelve year old, why it's not OK for him to curse. So I decided to do a little research as to what the hell cursing really is all about.
Where do curse words come from?
In my mind, words are words. But why are some bad and some good? Profanity can also be referred to as dirty words, which in a sense, they truly are words describing dirty things. Such as the origin as F*ck, which apparently is difficult to trace in the English language because it was so taboo, but it was used to describe the act of, let's say, love making. The word Sh*t, was used to describe, excrement's of animals.
I get how using these words around children can be a bit vulgar for there ears. But then why aren't words like poop considered as bad as saying crap or even Sh*t? They are all describing the same thing, right?
Here's what I found on what some curse words mean:
The Origin Of Swear Words
The Historical Origin Of 6 Swear Words
Curse Words, Etymology, And The History Of English
What's the big deal with cursing?
My twelve year old asked recently if he would be allowed to curse around us? I told him, NO WAY. Why? My reasons are because, first of all, he needs to know the correct way to speak first. He's still building his vocabulary and curse words can be easy fillers. I have friends who allow their kids to curse and it honestly doesn't bother me, but not my kid. Our rule is to learn to speak correctly first, especially in adults presence.
At the end of the day I don't believe cursing is that big of a deal. But is it a sin? Does it make you look bad? Do people judge you by it? Obviously curing is a no, no at work, school, or anywhere you want people to respect you and take you seriously. But around friends, family, and, let's dare to say, your children, it can't possibly be that bad.
Some believe that cursing is over rated and that yes, it is a sin. Like in, To Curse: Harmful Effects Of Cursing and Is It A Sin To Cuss/ Swear/ Curse?, they give so many reasons as to why we shouldn't. If you are cursing in anger, it may make you feel good but the other person bad. Others are on a mission to prove that cursing is actually healthy and good for you, like in Science F*cking Confirms It: Why Cursing Is Good For The Soul. It's not always about yelling or hurting someone else's feelings but maybe you just need to get some aggression out instead of holding on to it. Also, in some cases it connects us and helps us to form a common bond.
Is it OK to curse in front of your kids?
What got me started on this subject to begin with, cursing in front of children, why or why not? I know some people who treat it like it's the plague. I know some, who treat it like it's a part of the English language so therefore it's just another word to be spoken. However, what are we really teaching our kids when we do swear in front of them?
I've read why people won't stop cursing around their kids and why parents should stop. And basically, if you don't want your kids to curse, lead by example, don't curse. There is a time and a place to curse and also, there's a way to use profanity without sounding as though you lack knowledge of the English language. Also, what is interesting is that I have read that centuries ago, people who were trying to join aristocrats did not curse because they wanted to seem like they belonged, however, aristocrats cursed as much as they liked because they were never in question of their status quo.
Below are some articles I read on what people think about cursing around their kids.
What Happens When Parents Use Profanity Around Their Kids?
Why I Won't Stop Swearing In Front Of My Children
5 Reasons It's OK To Swear In Front Of Your Kids
Here are some other interesting things I found on the Internet about cursing.
Nine Things You Probably Didn't Know About Swear Words
What the &%$@?
My husband says, they're just words and damn it, he's right, they are just words. Sure, there's a better and more dignified way to express yourself and it's our job to teach our children that. I do my best saying things like, "oh Fudge!", or "Mother Fudger", or the best one, "Sugar Honey Iced Tea". I grew up with my Mom saying that and I used to think it was the cutest thing ever. It wasn't until I was an adult that I finally realized that spelled "SHIT".
Trust me, we are still that sweet family filled with wholesome goodness. We just like to use our words in a colorful way, sometimes. This doesn't mean that it is OK for our little ones to curse. We don't want our little ones walking around saying ugly words, there's nothing cute about a cursing toddler. We also do try out best to teach the right way before resorting to allowing naughty words slipping out.
In my opinion, I don't feel comfortable with cursing at my children in anger. The child could interpret that in a hurtful way and it can come off a bit abusive. I think there are other ways to communicate with kids. But as for cursing around my kids are even in conversation allowing cuss words to slip out, I don't think it's the end of the world. I find that people who do not curse, come off as judgmental of others who do. Also, it creates boundaries and does not let people get loose and be who they really are and speak candidly. So for all those people who left comments that were so critical of the author, lighten the F*ck up!