Swearing In Front Of Our Children

This is a very hot subject at the moment. It even made it onto Good Morning Britain. Of course this is just my own personal opinion, because however parents want to raise their children is entirely there own choice. Which I am not judging.

So an Australian blogger said that it's ok to swear in front of children, and also said that it's ok if children swear in front of you. Well I for one think it's totally unacceptable. I simply don't think that in any context it is ok for any child to be swearing in front of family or people in general. It's quite simply offensive in whatever context it is used I believe.

In today's world there is no doubt that swearing is everywhere for children to hear: music, TV, social media etc. I'm not making out either that I haven't sworn in front of my children because I have, because I'm not perfect like a lot of us, but it is minimal and certainly doesn't happen often.

Our children are our images and in those early years our actions, what we also say, will shape quite often the rest of their lives.

So what do we want?

I want my children to be able to have a conversation without having to use an expletives to express what they're trying to convey to somebody else, and I think that's the correct path in life.

The English language is massive and I know there are numerous words that we are able to replace swear words with a more acceptable word.

As parents the question we must ask ourselves is are you comfortable with your children and I mean as young as seven or eight years old swearing in school, swearing at home or out in public? It is just simply wrong, and totally unacceptable.

One the biggest problems I see is by the age of five or six years old if they are swearing it becomes normal to them, and please don't tell me that telling them these are adult words and we can use them because we are grown up. Utter nonsense. In fact the more you swear in front of children, the more they will think it's ok.

I am not naive to think that most children before year 6 or possibly before then, will know all the swear words that exist because they will hear them in school, but that doesn't make it right to be using them at the drop of a hat.

I have also heard of children being excluded from school because of swearing, and people thinking that this is a step too far. If it was a one off then maybe that is a bit over the top, and maybe with the right punishment it can be nipped in the bud. but what if the child was swearing at teachers on a regular basis? They should definitely be excluded as it's very abusive to teachers and disrupts the class, stopping other children from learning. The parents of such children should be informed that it's unacceptable.

Nowadays we make such an effort to educate our children on sex, drugs and drink. So why are we not educating them to use the english language correctly.

So amazingly I wrote this post without a single swear word, and will I will also add, that after approximately 1,200 posts, there is not a single swear word on my blog, and that I am super proud of.

I'm not trying to be a goody two shoes with this post. I believe that we should teach our children a good sense of what's right or wrong and what is acceptable in society.

I would love to know if you agree or disagree with swearing in front of your children?

3 Little Buttons


28 thoughts on “Swearing In Front Of Our Children

  1. I think it it completely unnecessary to swear in front of children or adults. Of course I have done it but it’s always been in anger and I hated myself for it. There is never any need to do it and no good can come out of it so I think just why do it.

  2. I’m a bit of a swearer, but hardly ever do I swear in front of the kids (3.5 yr old twins). Sometimes the odd word does slip out by accident, but luckily they haven’t picked up on this.
    I agree, it’s horrible when you hear children swearing. It’s just so wrong. I don’t want my two to be children who swear.
    When I was growing up we never heard our parents swear, ever! And when we eventually learnt swear words in school we made damn sure not to ever use them in front of our parents. I still avoid swearing in front of them now. It’s just respect.
    I always say Children become what they see and hear. You’ve always got to be setting a good example. And freely swearing in any situation you feel like, is not good.

  3. I’m a big fan of swearing. I totally flipping love it, always have. My blog is full of all the naughtiest words.

    And yet, I do everything I can to avoid swearing in front of my child. If the occasional curse slips out (and they do, despite my best efforts – for example, is it possible to stub your toe without uttering an expletive?), I immediately apologise for it. We’ve also become those annoying parents who, when a friend of ours drops a curse bomb, we ‘ahem’ loudly and look meaningfully at our little girl. Most people apologise as well. One or two have got a bit huffy about our non-swearing tyranny, and have reasoned that all we’re doing is drawing attention to it. Well… yeah, point taken (although drawing attention to it is also the point).

    Swearing is inevitable. My daughter has already heard the words in the playground. My wife and I have discussed swearing with my daughter. She’s watching more films with minor swearing, and because as she matures her peers are keen to swear in order to look more grown-up, one thing we’re keen to do is teach her the meaning of the words (although not the most extreme ones), and the correct context in which to use them.

    Context is everything. Also, taking responsibility for what’s been said is also important. And teaching that these words are not acceptable in school, or with people you don’t know very well or to adults, is essential. And finally, these words and phrases can be used to hurt. Some kids aren’t taught this, because they copy their own parents foul mouths, and so they swear with impunity. Other kids are just told that swearing is forbidden with no explanation or context, and that just makes them want to do it more. Being honest and upfront about it has worked in our circumstance.

    It’s all about development of language. If you know that these words are extreme, and the use of them should be handled with responsibility, then I don’t see the problem in my child swearing in (and this is going to sound weird) appropriate circumstances. The only time my daughter has ever deliberately said an expletive in front of me was after a long day, she suddenly erupted with “My feet are bloody hurting!”. I was kind of proud that she a) used a minor swear word; and b) she used it in the correct context; and c) at a time where nobody would be offended. Language achievement unlocked!

    Now that she’s 8 years old, I’ve become a little more lax about some of the minor words, but the end result is that she will tell me off. The other day, she made it clear that my language was unacceptable for her precious ears. The word I had slipped out? “Flippin’ “.

    We’ve gone too far and we’re raising a monster.

  4. Nige, i couldn’t agree more. I am on the side of not wanting my son to swear. He is three. Some will say i am a hypocrite because i swear… but i consider myself a decent, moral grown up. If i want to say a word it wont be because i want to be cool, i’s because its being used in the right context at the right time and probably because i am angry. When Kai in 32 like me, if he is a decent, honest, well rounded man of course a swear won’t bother me. But hearing kids swear needlessly makes me think bad on the parents. I heard some kids at the park just yesterday all saying the F word in every sentence. They have NO IDEA what they are saying, but it sounds dreadful.

    Great post as always 🙂

  5. Swearing is a tough one. I definitely think there’s a time and a place for swearing in the adult world. I don’t think children should be swearing at any time or in any place at a young age.

    I think swearing is closely linked with respect. Respect for other people is something that I certainly want to encourage whilst raising my children.

    Good post Nigel, I think I’ll have to write one to get my entire thoughts out there 🙂

  6. I’m afraid I disagree. There’s no reason to go out of one’s way to swear in front of children, but this post presents not one single argument against swearing. Your argument could be summarised as “it’s just wrong”, which of course, is no argument at all.

    I would consider the extraordinary violence of many children’s TV programmes to be much worse. I would also consider subjecting them to religion to be much worse.

    That something isn’t a societal norm doesn’t make it wrong. Nearly everyone has had points on their licence and this is generally accepted and a subject of much merriment, but if anyone who thinks it’s funny to drive a 2 tonne machine at a dangerous speed turns round and tells me it’s “just wrong” to square, quite frankly I’d tell them to fuck off.

    And a propensity to swearing is not indicative of inferior intelligence or a lack of vocabulary. In fact, the opposite is true, and there’s plenty of research to support this. This is just the first result on google on the subject:

    If a school that forces religious observance were to suspend my child for swearing, all hell would break loose.

    1. Thanks for your comment I am not trying to give an argument against children swearing. It’s just my point of view and how I want my children to be.

  7. I have to admit to being a big swearer, it is something that i am constantly saying i will work on and I def swear infront of (NOT AT) my kids. My opinion is that these are adult words, thus my children are not aloud to repeat them. I do not swear in front of other peoples kids and do not like it when others swear infront of mine. I am the parents, so I make the decision regarding what they are exposed to and I filter what they are aloud to do as children and what they are not allowed to do…I think people get too wrapped up in the monkey see monkey do thing, they are kids and I am an adult, our behaviors and what we are allowed to do, see and say are all different.

  8. I am proud to say that after 14 years of working as a child minder, the worst thing I said in front of the children was for Gods sack when a car pulled on in front of me, saying that it can be amusing when a young child swears, the secret is not to react to it

  9. When my two were young, I would do my best never to swear in front of them. I think it’s really important children learn and develop a good vocabulary and they have. Both girls are extremely bright and academic (I can take no credit for this), but I know for a fact they do both use the odd swear word and so I tend not to watch my language quite as much. However, they both know better than to use expletives when talking to teachers, etc. It’s definitely linked with respect and knowing when not to use it, not to over use it and not to use it because frankly you’re too darned lazy to think of a better word.

  10. I’m in total agreement with you. However, I have sworn on my blog, but always when expressing inner monologue. But it’s still there, I suppose! I have sworn in front of the kids (mild swear words only) and always apologised to them for doing so.
    Great post, Nige.

  11. ‘They are just words, mum!” Says my teen son. I agree with him but what I always say is that can you not think of a different one to describe how you are feeling?
    As a teacher, I never swear at work obviously and rarely at home. When the children were younger I was very anti swearing as I wanted my kids to learn that there are other words that they can use to describe things and that swear words were not taken kindly at school/library/at their nans….. now they are older I’m more relaxed but I still don’t want to hear certain words in my house. It’s a personal choice. I am very against words or actions that are racist, mysogynist or hateful so some words are banned in this house. Great post though and interesting comments too. #dreamteam

  12. Living in a country where there is no censorship my kids hear swearing everywhere. For me the key is communication. They know what language is appropriate where and don’t actually swear. #DreamTeam

  13. I have a big potty mouth and LOVE swearing, the C-world is a no-no unless im raging (and that not often). My in-laws are also potty mouths and we’ve once heard Ben saying “fucker” so we’re all reigning it in as he’s catching on so quickly!
    I am trying to not swear infront of him but it comes out so easy!! I definitely hate the idea of my child swearing at a young age!!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week

  14. ok.

    So I don’t set out to swear up a blue streak in front of my kids…that said I am a swearer. My language has always been colorful People love it or hate it and I am ok with either. THe girls know it is something that I am forever working on and they oten give me helpful reminders to tone it down should I drop something heavy on my toe or burn something in the kitchen and let those words of mine fly. Because they have been exposed to them and we have talked about them they know it isn not the finest component of my stunning personality and they know not to say them.

    I swear on my blog all of the time. I am fairly confident littles are not reading my posts and if they are- then that is on their parents I suppose.


  15. I try not to swear in front of our children because I do not want them to repeat the words.
    If my children are going to use words then I want them to understand them and understand the consequences of saying them. I want them to know that there are alternative words that can be used and make a choice. I don’t think it is nice to hear swearing, especially from children.

    I do swear, mostly at work, but I try not to as I find swearing makes me feel more angry and angrier for longer. When I do swear it is normally the lighter of the swear words as I hate hearing the stronger ones being said from anyone. #TriumphantTales

  16. It’s an admirable aim. Swear words have become so much of our language that it’s funny to think back to the early days of no swearing. One to ponder. Thanks for the prompt to think about it #dreamteam

  17. I totally agree! Swearing is disgusting. When I was at school (in a very deprived area), it seemed like every other word was a swear-word – it was just part of everyday vocabulary. One of the big things I noticed when I went to university is that the amount of swearing dropped hugely – maybe because it’s a more professional environment?

    Working in a school, I hear kids as young as 5 swearing. It is school policy to tell them off for it (because, ultimately, it’s our job to prepare them for the professional world) but I always feel sorry for kids who are told off for it at this age because it MUST come from the parents, otherwise how would they know those words?? I think most of the time, the children don’t realise that they are being naughty or rude – they are just trying to be “grown up” and imitating the grown ups in their life. #triumphanttales

  18. I hear it in the infant playground and it makes my skin crawl. I tend not to intervene on most things, coward that I am, but I can’t help myself when I hear them swear.

    Then again, I love watching my boys relationship with swearing. Like their excitement and intrigue when they think they’ve found a swear word in a song that’s been dubbed. Think it’s all part of the fun of discovering the English language.

  19. Totally agree! I’m not saying the odd word hasn’t slipped out but on the whole I don’t swear in front of my children, and they don’t swear either. Also, I’m Welsh, so if I can control my tongue then anyone can haha! #DreamTeam

  20. Although I tend to sweat quite a lot in my blog I never really swear in front of the kids. I think it’s because I’m a bit of a prude that I find the correctly placed swear words in other people’s blog posts hilarious.
    We live in NZ where I swear( uhhnm) I think swearing is part of their curriculum… when my daughter turned 13 she said to me “now I’m a teenager, can I use the C word?” I nearly fell through the bloody floor until she explained to me she meant “crap”!!
    I still said no because it sounded awful coming from her mouth! (Told you I was a prude…)
    Love all the comments!

  21. Oh, like you were in our dinner time conversation this past week. We have a jar for things that have not been ‘correctable’ through normal asks. My little, she is nearly 7 and talks like a baby. Now, when she does, she adds a quarter to the jar. When the Mrs. or I swear or say something naughty, we put a quarter in… Life is a journey and we all always have room to improve. Note, since we started, Little is the only one who has added quarters (3). The remaining of us behave thus far! Thanks, Nige! #dreamteam

  22. Right, I am a huge swearer as you will probably know Nige, given that you follow me on Twitter! However, that doesn’t negate from the fact that I wouldn’t like my son to swear. I try my hardest to not swear in front of him, especially as he’s at an age where he’s like a parrot and repeats everything. There’s been the odd time where he’s said a word he shouldn’t but I just ignore it, not wanting to draw attention to the fact.
    I don’t think swearing is a lack of vocab, I like to think I have a decent and varied vocabulary but sometimes a good swear up will help me to compound a point I’m trying to make by showing how angry or passionate I am about something. Perhaps that’s wrong but that’s just me!!
    Interesting and thought provoking post as always Nige!
    Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging

  23. I agree and during day light hours and in front of other peoples children i don’t swear, but i get fed up of having to curtail who i am and how i react in certain situations, ie when kids should be in bed and they’re not and i’m told how i can and can’t behave in front of other peoples kids in public. I often have to remind some people that when my kids were small i’d remind family and friends about their language and they’d tell me to toughen up, now they have kids of their own and mine are grown up i’m expected to live by their rules, suffice to say, don’t bring your kids round mine then #pocolo

  24. I agree and during day light hours and in front of other peoples children i don’t swear, but i get fed up of having to curtail who i am and how i react in certain situations, ie when kids should be in bed and they’re not and i’m told how i can and can’t behave in front of other peoples kids in public. I often have to remind some people that when my kids were small i’d remind family and friends about their language and they’d tell me to toughen up, now they have kids of their own and mine are grown up i’m expected to live by their rules, suffice to say, don’t bring your kids round mine then #triumphanttales

  25. I think it’s such an interesting one – I try not to swear and set that example for the kids. But my other half is Irish and when we visit his family, swearing is almost part of the vocabulary! That sounds bad but my nephews are so used to hearing it, almost as if it doesn’t have the same connotations as it does in the UK. Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam

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