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Heidi Klum recently told People that she and her husband, Seal, don’t curse in front of their kids. “When we’re around the children, we really make a point in our family to not curse or say potty words,” Klum said. “My husband and I try our best to make sure our kids are proper and have good manners. They’re already saying things that they shouldn’t be saying at their age.”
Coincidentally, reality TV mom Bethenny Frankel says the same thing. She recently tweeted: "thinking of having a curse jar tonight. then I'm aware of how inappropriate I am. 1st step to recovery. I never curse in front of bryn though."
I've got to wonder how the celebs do it. Swearing has been part of my vocabulary since my pre-baby days. It's become a habit to use a swear word to really drive home my point. It makes me feel so much better to let the profanity fly. And I can't seem to stop doing it in front of my kid. In fact, just last week after dropping my 2-year-old's sippy cup on the floor and swearing under my breath, I heard that foul word repeated right back at me -- in his sweet little voice. How can I keep that from happening again?!
Cheryl Wu, MD, a pediatrician at LaGuardia Place Pediatric in New York City, offers this tip: “Use a substitute word, words that children hear all the time, so they don't stick out, or even if they repeat it, people would not think twice. Words like "poopie!" (instead of sh*t), "milk!" (instead of f@*k), "lunch!" (when that woman cuts you off in traffic).” And if you slip and your little one repeats the word, simply ignore it. “If they're younger than 2, explaining to them that using a bad word is a no-no most likely won't get you anywhere,” says Wu.
Got older kids? Pat Wyman, author of several parenting books, including Learning vs. Testing: Strategies That Bridge the Gap, suggests setting up an old-fashioned swear jar. “If kids are of allowance age, create a way to add a small dollar amount to their regular allowance each time the parent curses," says Wyman. "This works great for the kids, too -- they can give the parents a part of their allowance if they curse too, which sets up a nice role model situation for both parents and kids and keeps everyone accountable.” If your kids don't have an allowance, create a fund that you'd donate to charity. "Have your husband, friend or older sibling help keep you accountable -- the pressure mounts when you tell others you are doing this,” says Wyman.
She also encourages parents to remind themselves of the repercussions of swearing: Your child will emulate you and curse too. Now, that's motivation!
How do you keep from swearing in front of your kids? Chime in below!