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AIBU ... to want my DP to stop swearing in front of our babies?

(26 Posts)
benjalamummy Tue 18-Oct-11 19:54:26

My DP has always peppered his speech with f this and f that ... and so do I to some extent, and that's not a problem AT ALL.

BUT, I keep a lid on it in front of our babies. Everytime one of our twins get grouchy or fussy about something (which is several times a day obviously, they are only 11 months), he gets quite frustrated and he's swearing away at them, at me, generally.....

God that sounds so awful, he is in fact the most wonderful dad, spends loads of time with them etc...And he's not losing his temper, it's just the way he talks.

He just doesn't seem to be making an effort though .... when I spoke to him about it calmly, he said he would try but in the heat of the moment(S) he's still f-ing and blinding away. If I pick him up on it at the time, it's just worse.

At 11 months they seem to understand so much of what we say, and copy noises we make. Obviously at some point they'll be exposed to swearing but I don't want it to be from us. I think he needs to make a serious effort to stop - AIBU????

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 19:56:23

YANBU at all.

Ask him how he will feel if he gets called into to school because one of your twins has told the teacher to F Off.

Mercedes519 Tue 18-Oct-11 19:56:45

No. Apart from the fact that he does seem to have issues controlling his temper when babies cry (fact: they do) it's better to stop now - as it will take a load of time to get used to it. Then in a year's time when they do start copying you're already there.

But will he? Is there a way he can remind himself to stop?

CupOfBrownJoy Tue 18-Oct-11 19:57:55

introduce a swear box and put the proceeds into a college account for the kids.

ladyintheradiator Tue 18-Oct-11 19:59:19

YANBU. If he can control his language at work, or on the phone, or with his/your parents, or just generally when it's appropriate, he can do so at home, and isn't trying hard enough. Not convinced of the wonderful dad from your post, what is he saying, and why/when?

Bogeymanface Tue 18-Oct-11 20:01:51

he does seem to have issues controlling his temper when babies cry

She didnt say that he did, or that he got angry. I get a bit stressed sometimes when the wee one starts kicking off for no apparant reason and instead of saying "What IS the matter?!" whilst pacing, rocking, bum patting etc it sounds like he would say "what the fuck is the matter?" That doesnt mean he cant control his temper, but that swearing is so ingrained into his lanuage that he probably isnt even aware he is saying it.

Andrewofgg Tue 18-Oct-11 20:03:25

YANBU and he will have to work on it. DW and I both did!

A swear-box is a good ide!

KatAndKit Tue 18-Oct-11 20:04:56

YANBU children copy their parents and unless you want to be faced with two year olds innocently saying fuck this fuck that then he needs to stop. They will copy it and then he will be cross and tell them off, but they have no way of knowing that fuck is any worse than any other word they are learning.
And it will be mightily embarrassing for you when they repeat it in public or at nursery. As I said, toddlers won't know that it isn't appropriate language to use in certain situations. He does know, and he should tone it down.

nearlytherenow Tue 18-Oct-11 20:08:55

YANBU. I have similar issues. DH is the most fantastic dad, but does like to curse a bit (especially in the context of sport and driving). I don't even think he realises he's doing it. DS1 (3) has come out with a few choice phrases in his time, including (when we were driving round the local town recently), "are there no fucking spaces again, mummy?". It's not really funny (although i had to fight back the laughter) - I would be absolutely mortified if he came out with something like this at nursery. I have nagged DH for years about this to no effect, but the shock factor of hearing his words repeated back to him by a toddler does seem to have had an impact, and things are improving. Have another chat with him - I like the swear box idea too, we might start one if things slip here.

countessbabycham Tue 18-Oct-11 20:09:29

Is he in a job where he swears a lot at work?I think there is a real difference between people swearing in front of a child and people swearing AT a child.It's not an easy habit to break I expect but I think if you absolutely control your language it will help him.He MUST be able to do this eventually as can you imagine him going to a parents eve at school and swearing like that?

benjalamummy Tue 18-Oct-11 20:10:31

thanks all so far, Bogey, will ask him that.

ladyintheradiator, you are right, he does control his language in other situations where its appropriate. This doesn't happen when they are really upset, then he's really good with them (when they're are awake and crying and teething at 3am for example). It's more 'trivial' stuff - for example when they kick about when you are trying to dress them, he'll say 'Oh put your feet through the f-ing holes', or when they whine about having their faces wiped. Of course for them it's not trivial - it's like he only sees these things from an adult perspective, where getting dressed or washing your face are no big deal.

good to get some othe perspectives on this, thanks x

Meglet Tue 18-Oct-11 20:11:17

Yanbu. I swear a lot, but only when I'm on my own. Never, ever, ever around children. Not sure why I find it so easy to rein in really.

benjalamummy Tue 18-Oct-11 20:18:16

am so slow typing, lots more posts now!

KatAndKit, those are exactly the reasons I want him to stop

Those of you who say he hardly knows he is doing it are so right - it's not a temper issue. I'm pretty sure everyone gets frustrated with their little ones, it's just how it comes ou.

Like the swear box idea - he hates wasting money with a passion.

Need to talk to himn again and make a few more points given here - thanks

welliesandpyjamas Tue 18-Oct-11 20:32:02

I have a DH who peppers his language with swearing. A longstanding habit, added to by working environments, like another poster mentioned. There are limits however, and he will try his very best not to swear in front of certain relatives. He will swear in normal conversation or in anger with me/friends/some colleagues/some peers, etc but he won't swear as he talks with the kids. They do however hear it sometimes. But here's the interesting thing... DS1, who is 8, is not a 'mimic' child and although he has heard swearing (a bit more than is comfortable for most) all his life, he has never sworn and school has never told us about any swearing. I also have talked with him about it a few times and he has a strong awareness of what are Bad Words Not To Be Repeated. DS2, who is 2 yrs old, however, is one of those little parrots that you get, and we know that the swearing has to go completely because as sure as eggs are eggs, he will be the one that copies it, and probably in the worst place at the worst time grin ...you know, in a silent room, in front of elderly relatives, at a sad event or something!

So at 11 months you can't foresee whether one or both or neither of your twins will be the mimic types so I'd say that YANBU to want to curb the swearing. There are few things uglier than a swearing toddler sad

screamingbohemian Tue 18-Oct-11 20:32:42

Hmm. I actually find it more disturbing that he swears over trivial things. I mean, you can understand in a really stressful moment, losing your cool and swearing. But telling an 11 month old to put their legs in the f-ing holes? That just sounds really wrong. Too aggressive. He really needs to stop before they can pick up on that.

MurderBloodstabsandgore Tue 18-Oct-11 20:36:36

screaming some people just swear a lot. It is not aggressive, just punctuation!

OP you need to get him to stop before they start talking, it's just not right to expose children to that kind of language. You don't want your kids on supernanny calling you a cunt shock

boohoobabywho Tue 18-Oct-11 20:40:31

I used to swear like a fishwife and can still get really foul mouthed when i'm in the 'right' company, however we decided taht we didnt want my dd talking as i do, but as her dad does.

A while ago i was in the car with MIL sitting in the front seat DD in the back seat and niece next to her, when a bloke stepped out in front of the car. I slammed on and missed him by about an inch.

Neice said 'i cant believe he didnt look before he stepped out'
I said 'its worse than that, he did look but he stepped out anyway'
my dd (4 at the time) said ' we have a word for people like that dont we mummy'

OMG!!!! MIL used to be a schoolteacher - V old school...

MIL said 'whats that word'
(please please please ground open up and swallow me blush )

DD says ' Yes its a divvy!'

for those of you who arnt in the know, divvy is a coloquism of simpleton , in the town where i (and MIL) were born!

PHEW!

Never been so happy that i gave up swearing!

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Tue 18-Oct-11 20:49:34

I didn't realise just how bad my language was until no4 son, on his first day at nursery, aged 3, dropped something, cocked his hands on his hips, rolled his little eyes and said loudly and in a very carrying, clear voice "Oh for fuck SAKE" blush it was literally a rude awakening... children do hear and do remember, and do repeat what we say!

Ask him how he will feel when his babies come up to him and say "dada, fucking play with me" or "dada, read me a fucking story" And when you're out in the park, and your toddlers yell "Dada - look at the fucking duck!"

When they use this language - and they will, because he is making it normal. Children learn language by listening and they copy it and the language that they first here is how they will speak - when they are effing and blinding happily while they play with their toys - your partner must remain silent, because it will be his fault. He cannot tell them off about it, can he?

If he can avoid using bad language in ANY situation, any one situation in his life, he can avoid it in others.

If he cares enough.

redexpat Tue 18-Oct-11 22:04:17

yanbu. DHs first word was scheise because his mum said it all the time thinking hey it's german, it doesn't count! She's never said it since. grin

MrBloomsNursery Tue 18-Oct-11 22:12:24

YANBU. TBH, if he is a good man like you say, and wants to be a good father he will try to kerb the swearing quite quickly. My DH was almost the same before we had our DD, but after a few stern words and reminders he's stopped swearing, and just aswell, because our DD is a little copy cat!!

PeelThemWithTheirMetalKnives Tue 18-Oct-11 22:12:48

DH used to do this and said it didn't matter when I picked him up on it. He did stop eventually though thanks to my persistent nagging reasoned arguments. I think it was just a case of him getting out of the (bad) habit.

HansieMom Tue 18-Oct-11 22:13:12

If he doesn't realize he is doing it, then a penalty jar would be terrific. Especially as he is tight. How much are you going to go for?

QueenoftheVerse Tue 18-Oct-11 23:41:42

Honestly OP, I could have written your post. DP isn't agressive but he swears like a trooper. He's in a trade (if that helps) so his working environment is very...um....puncually sweary hmm

My DS has already picked up a couple of words I wouldn't like him saying (not swear words but not that polite either).

I have put a swear box on the table in the living room and it seems to have worked a treat (at the moment). My DP is tight with money (like yours) so he values that, and it works!

Stick with your convictions, it'll be worth it in the long run!

MilyP Tue 18-Oct-11 23:47:41

YANBU. I need to stop too though! DD is 12 weeks old and I still swear. She is too small to understand now, but won't be long so I really need to work on it. Trouble is sometimes 'poo' just doesn't cut it for describing nappy contents - they are massive shits!

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