Children using expletives

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
Children using expletives
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 9:16pm

What's exceptable?

I have teenagers - 16, 15, and 12 (technically a tween, I guess).  I do not allow them to swear in front of me.  This includes all the PG-13 + ones, plus sucks and pissed.  There may be more.

I'm under no delusions about what they say behind my back.

On the other hand, my 8 year old and up use crap, and somehow that doesn't bother me - depending on context, of course.

I hear kids all the time saying "that sucks" in front of adults, their parents, whomever.  To me it's a crude expression and I don't want my kids in the habit.

My theory is, if they can clean up their language in front of me, they won't be as likely to "slip" in an embarrassing situation - a job setting, school, in front of someone who would find it disrespectful.

Do you think kids are too loose with their language these days?  Or is it not a big deal?  Are there words that bother you more than others?  What age is acceptable or what situations are acceptable to use foul language?

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 4:57pm

The main thing is to learn how to swear in context to the situation.  learning the proper use of language is a skill.  It can serve very well to impart emotion that is understood by the other party.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2006
Fri, 10-05-2012 - 3:55pm

Ok, so, I have to admit it....I am a terrible pottymouth. I swear like a sailor some days. I've never had a problem with my kids swearing. (Of course, one is non-verbal) but my seven year old, except for a few toddler slips where he was repeating me, has never said anything. He knows better, and knows he'd get in trouble. I don't care how he talks when he's a grown up, but as a kid, he'd at least better not do it in front of me.

Double standard? Bad example? Yeah, probably. My parents swore alot and I'm sure that's where I got it from. My brother, before he died, swore alot too. It is what it is, a bad habit. It's not attractive, by any means. But I have much bigger issues to worry about, you know?


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 10:57pm

I've never made a big deal about my kids' language unless it was directed at me or was in a clearly inappropriate company - their grandparents, around younger kids, in a "work" setting (which could be anything from volunteer work to after school clubs).  However, I have a sign prominently displayed in my kitchen that says "Profanity is the feeble attempt of a weak mind to express itself intelligently" - and I've given my kids the message loud and clear that profanity makes one sound dumb.  "You have to resort to foul mouthness to get your point across?? You're smarter than that." That pretty much kept things under wraps most of the time.  I think if parents make a big deal of being offended by foul language, the kids have in some way gotten the reward of pulling mom's chain, but if parents keep things low key the thrill of it wears off much more quickly.