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To feel uncomfortable with kids swearing?

(15 Posts)
AllTheFluffyAnimals Wed 05-Aug-15 23:57:52

My v close friend and I usually have very similar child rearing methods/opinions. However, somethibg has popped up and I'm not sure whether iabu to want to discuss it.

My dc are 8 and 5, hers are 7 and 6. Her 7yo has started swearing. It started off as my friend being amused and embarrassed, which is what I would be. She said mother fuck er casually in conversation after hearing a friend at school say it. Friend told her calmly that it isn't a nice word but didn't make a big deal of it, which is exactly what I would do and have done.

Since then though, my friend has started casually using words like arse around all the children, including mine. Her kids both use mild ish swear words casually in conversation.

I'm not of the impression that kids never swear. I am sure my 8yo knows swear words because she points them out when they are written somewhere and giggles (with reaction of a slightly amused but calm 'that's not really a word for children or being polite' from me) and my 5yo is still under the impression that 'sexy', 'bum', 'poo' and 'sit' (a mis reading of shit as seen on a badge) are really cheeky rude words.

I feel like I'm being stuck up, but to me swear words have a purpose - they signify extreme emotion and/or informal adult conversation. For children it should be a kind of secret cheeky thing and an outburst for when they are really really annoyed and want to hit out verbally. I only swear in front of my parents if we are in a large group in the pub or wherever, and I am an adult who is really close to them.

I'm really really not a pride. I just think that swearing isn't just words. Words are never just words.

Aibu and should I say something?

YANBU. I hate hearing kids swear. I actually dislike hearing adults swear, if it's in general conversation (as opposed to when they've just dropped their phone / sliced their hand open, whatever). Most people do swear though, it seems just to be a fact of life.

YABU a bit odd to think poo is a rude word, though. What do your kids call it?

Sorry, meant to say. Do you think that saying something would help? I probably wouldn't. Your friend must surely know that her kids are swearing, ergo it doesn't bother her. She's unlikely to change her behaviour. You're more likely to upset her by making her feel judged, regardless of your true intentions.

AllTheFluffyAnimals Thu 06-Aug-15 00:07:52

I don't think it's a rude word. I just think it's cute that Dd2 thinks it is :-D She uses it in context fine, but if for example she drops something or is angry she will shout 'poo!' And then look at me as if she has been really naughty :-D

She sometimes runs up to me just to say 'sit' and then runs away cackling.

She's an odd child.

WorraLiberty Thu 06-Aug-15 00:08:19

I feel the same as you about kids swearing.

I'm 46 and still wouldn't swear in front of my 83yr old Dad. He's never sworn in front of me either, but my brothers tell me he swears in male company...bless him grin

However, I don't think you have the right to say anything to your friend about using the word 'arse' in front of your kids.

Why would you even want to? You've said your kids are clued up about not using these words, so what would you hope to achieve?

AllTheFluffyAnimals Thu 06-Aug-15 00:10:20

It's more that I'm worried that mine will start copying. I'm sure that Dd2 isn't mature enough and once she hears kids swearing she will do it at school or whatever. She's very impulsive and is very young for her age. She can also be very naughty so I don't want to give her any more ammunition.

AllTheFluffyAnimals Thu 06-Aug-15 00:13:26

Dd2 was messing about the other day and her friend asked her what the bloody he'll she was doing. In itself it's just what kids do, but it feels like friend is encouraging it.

My dad swore in front of us but we would never have dared to swear in front of him until we were adults.

I'm sounding like a prude, aren't I?

WorraLiberty Thu 06-Aug-15 00:16:32

I'm sorry but that'll be your job as a parent to deal with your kids swearing.

You really can't expect the people around you to change, so you can put the swearing talk off for longer.

If she was saying cunt, fuck or bollocks then I would agree but not 'arse'.

And if your little one is running up to you, saying 'sit' and then running away cackling, I think you need to get firm with her now.

In her mind she's saying a naughty word and testing your reaction.

WorraLiberty Thu 06-Aug-15 00:18:14

No, you're not sounding like a prude at all.

I just do really think that you need to concentrate on dealing with your kids if/when they say words that you find unacceptable.

Other people's unacceptable will always be different to yours, so there's no point in trying to control them if that makes sense?

MrsBigginsPieShop Thu 06-Aug-15 00:27:40

I'm 32 and still wouldn't dare swear in front of my parents! We aren't a particularly 'sweary' family anyway, but I don't like children swearing, or even using slang or 'coarse' language. I am old before my time though!
Bum, boobs and Poo were unuttered in my childhood home!

sykadelic Thu 06-Aug-15 03:16:44

Contrary to Worra I think you should mention something to your friend.

Unless you tell her that you're not okay with certain things (religion, politics, death, swearing etc etc) then she won't know. So a simple "we're working on not swearing at the moment" and that you'd appreciate her saying "naughty word" or whatever your reprimand is if she hears it and you're not there, should suffice.

Ultimately though, you can't fix everyone so teaching a general "don't swear" with your own kids should be okay (no matter how cute it sounds).

FWIW the rules at my house were: "do not swear in front of your parents, children or the elderly". Even now I'm in my 30s I don't use "the F word" as it's far too crass and I know plenty of other descriptive words to use in its place. I DO say "shit" and "goddamn it" farrrrr too much though and I'm trying to work on it.

cariadlet Thu 06-Aug-15 06:33:53

Since having dd I've really toned my language down.

I've always adapted my language to where I am and who I am with eg have never said the f word in front of my parents and would never say it in front of dp's parents.

When dd was little she would tell me off for saying "bloody" or "shit", because she thought they were swear words, so I haven't even said those in front of her for years.
I used to use mild words like those quite a lot, but think even words like that sound horrible when used by children so don't use them so that dd doesn't have an excuse for saying them herself.

dd is now 11, has heard just about every swear word going at school, and I know she sometimes swears when she is with her friends. But we monitor each other pretty closely at home.

dd has grassed my mum up for calling bad drivers a "female dog" - another one of our no-no words.

AllTheFluffyAnimals Thu 06-Aug-15 11:20:00

Bloody and shit are swear words, aren't they?

Oswin Thu 06-Aug-15 11:36:18

Dd age five,nearly six knows most swear words. She doesn't say them. Occasionally she will whisper a new word that she's heard at the park or school. I've always impressed upon her that she mustn't swear especially in front of grown ups. I had to, where we live there are people who argue outside our bedroom windows calling each other "fucking dirty crackhead cunt" soooo I had to get it into her head early that she must be careful what she says.

sykadelic Thu 06-Aug-15 12:50:44

Yes, bloody and shit are swear words unless describing blood or fecal matter.

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