I never thought of myself as someone who uses a lot of profanity. Although, there was a period of time that I was surrounded by military men due to my ex-husbands active duty status for 4 years, I never seemed to carry on that same filthy way of speaking. It isn’t until your children start copying what you say, that you suddenly sound like a prison inmate or sailor on leave.
My son is 2 and seems to want to copy everything I say. At times this can be cute, especially when he attempts to say something that is not only beyond his vocabulary, but many adult’s vocabulary. I also have to admit to having the occasional urge to have him repeat something horribly offensive, because coming from his adorable voice, it sounds kind of sweet. “I hate the Jews” just doesn’t have that same horrific response coming from a sweet toddler. By the way, I actually love the Jews, just to clarify, thus making the sentence seem all the more offensive.
My daughter is only 1, so she can say “Hi” and “Thank you”, which I am over the moon about. Luckily, I have a bit more time with her, trying to adjust my ways. However, she thinks everything her brother does is hilarious and awesome, so you can see where this could lead to trouble.
What does one do in this situation? I am trying to keep my mouth clean, but there are always slips. The issue also seems as if the very fact that a curse word is a rarity, it makes it all the more desirable to say. I also allow my children to watch movies that aren’t really targeted for children. I don’t find this to be a major issue, mostly due to my own raising. I watched The Terminator when I was insanely young, and never had to urge to curse, or kill someone, or take on an Austrian accent.
It is obvious that we learn from our parents, which is why I worry. I also have no problem with my kids cursing around other kids, as long as there are no adults around. To me, cursing is not a sin, but just disrespectful. In fact, I can just see 5 years from now, some annoying neighbor kid saying “I heard Sebastian say a bad word!” to which I will respond, “Well, did he say it in front of an adult? If a tree falls in a forest…”
So what is everyone else’s opinions on children and cursing? It’s a strange life altering reality when you go from being an adult and having the freedom to say whatever you want, to becoming an adult that is someone’s parent too.