At Issue: Is It Okay To Curse In Front Of Your Kids?

middle-144954_640Kids.  The minute we become parents our world goes topsy-turvy.  Things we may have held near and dear before our little ones arrived instantly seem trivial and a waste of time.  Many of us traded in the 2-door sedan for something with an impressive safety rating, swapped our Saturday nights at Green Day concerts with Sunday morning sing-a-longs and maybe even a few succumbed to wearing the dreaded mom-jeans (if you did, please stop reading this right now, take them off your body, get your kitchen scissors and cut them up.  Right. Now.).

The point is that we do change in many ways when we become parents but in just as many ways we don’t.

We don’t give up reading books that we love, eating our favourite foods or enjoying the same late-night comedies simply because we have to trek someone to hockey practice at 6 am or wash mountains of dirty laundry.

But are there exceptions?  For example, if before you became a parent you peppered your everyday language with expletives do you have put an end to that?  Full stop?

On June 3, 2013 Peter Scowen wrote an article for the Globe and Mail about potty-mouthed parents.  He cited Nicole C. Kear who wrote a post for Salon, an avid (and creative) curser long before becoming a mom.  Kear decided to put an end to her bad-language habit, wanting a more G-rated environment for her children as her little ones reached the ages of 8, 6 and “toddler”.

Naturally, Scowen found another blogger, from the parenting site The Stir, offering the opposite view point.  This writer suggested that swearing in front of your children is not only fine but also possibly good for them.  Five reasons are cited in support of uncensored foul-language vary but include the foremost principle that adults must never swear in front of other people’s children and that children are never, ever cursed at.

So what do you think?  On what side of the coin do you fall?  Do you need your own mouth washed out with soap or could you be a regular on the Disney channel?

This week the 4Mothers are giving their two cents on the issue and Kristi Ashcroft will be our weekly guest.

Kristi has a degree in Economics from Princeton University and work for eight years at a Wall Street firm in New York and London.  She and her husband settled in Toronto, and she is now a stay-at-home mom to three busy boys ages 3,5 and 7.

And as always, we want to know what you think.  Let us know by leaving us a comment or sending us a tweet (@4Mothers1Blog).  Want to know what you friends think?  Like us on Facebook and send them the link!

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3 thoughts on “At Issue: Is It Okay To Curse In Front Of Your Kids?

  1. I fail at this often. I would rather never using a curse word in front of the kids. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way.

    My parents were split on the issue as a child, though, and I was able to find the usefulness of both approaches. Once I reached a certain age(12+), my Mother allowed me to curse as long as I was not using it toward someone in a demeaning manner and as long as I understood any possible utility in using it (comedic effect, strength of tone, etc.). My Dad, on the other hand, had a zero tolerance policy. It was easier to interact on a more familiar level with my Mom because of these rules, but, in either case, the relationships I shared with each of my parents did not suffer as result.

    All I know is, I can’t have my kids cursing at their current ages (5,3,2) for (what I feel are) practical reasons. But, once they reach that 12/13 age range I will probably revisit this topic. I just wish I was better at controlling my words, especially when I lose my temper!

    • I agree with you that at some point I will need to revisit this issue with my boys. They are young, like yours, so for now it’s a no-no but at as they get older I am not so naive to think that they won’t be cursing out of my ear’s way. Thanks for stopping by and giving your two cents!

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