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Children using mild expletives?

(101 Posts)
pjmama Fri 01-Jan-10 11:39:02

What's acceptable and what isn't?

My DH thinks it's fine for our 3yo to shout "oh knickers!" and "oh pooey!" and that sort of thing, because it's not really swearing. My point is that whilst it's not particularly offensive to us, parents of other children at pre-school may not be so amused with their DCs learning and repeating it. Also I suspect that the teachers would probably pick them up on it too, which is embarrassing and not very nice for them. DH thinks I'm just being stupid, but I don't think it sounds very nice.

Am I old fashioned and worrying too much, or is "oh dear" as far as it should go when you're 3?! (I'm fully aware that before too many more years, they'll probably be teaching me some new swear words anyway grin)

purpleduckUnderTheMistletoe Fri 01-Jan-10 11:45:01

Not sure about the "pooey" bit.

I think he will grow out of it. How about finding something that you are happy with and start using that? ie "oh flubberbubble" or whatever...

persephonesnape Fri 01-Jan-10 11:59:14

Bless you. Most of the three year olds around our way swear like sailors. I think 'knickers' and 'pooey' are a bit precious. I don't think I like 'pooey', because it's baby talk for 'shit!'. And knickers cover genitalia, so there's a link to all the sexual swear words. How about 'drat!' or rats?

In context, my DCs are now 14, 11 and 10 and are only allowed to swear in front of me if ron weasley uses it as a swear word. I was very careful for their first five years and my darling daughter came home from school on the 2nd day and asked for a 'glass of f**king milk'. There's only so much you can do.

Morloth Fri 01-Jan-10 12:10:43

DS has said "Oh crap" and "Bugger" at home a couple of times, we didn't tell him off because we both use them in his hearing.

It hasn't been mentioned to me at school and he is 5.5 years.

FrannyandZooey Fri 01-Jan-10 12:16:10

we taught (and modelled) "oh BOTHER". it sounds cute and is quite satisfying to say in a cross way. i would be unhappy about 'oh knickers', personally. i assume that's what your dh says himself, for your dc to repeat it? i would find that quite strange.

StealthPolarBear Fri 01-Jan-10 12:17:51

I noticed a bloody on the CBeebies panto and was quite surprised - does that not count as mild swearing (if not used in context obviously)

sunburntats Fri 01-Jan-10 12:18:40

see now Fart is a swear word in our house and i dont allow ds to say it. Only cos it was considered a swar word when i was growing it is. We say trump thank you very much!

I dont like it, i fully accept that ds will learn bad words, so far he doesnt know any swear words, we certainly DO not swear in front of him and avoid people who do swear (my mother effs n jefs like a navy lol)

In my house, its not acceptable.

sunburntats Fri 01-Jan-10 12:20:44

sorry, my point bieng, that different expletives mean different things to lots of folk.

Tons of people will come back and say that fart is perfectly acceptable and not a swear word, to me it is.

you may not get a black and white answer grin

mii Fri 01-Jan-10 12:21:00

DD and DS both say 'oh god' or 'flip'

mii Fri 01-Jan-10 12:21:36

we say fart, but I hate hate hate the use of 'bog'

LadyintheRadiator Fri 01-Jan-10 12:23:29

DS is only 2 and not saying much of anything but I would prefer 'bother' and like Franny I try to use it. I am awful in the car though and only have myself to blame if DS's next phrase is 'pissing lights' I wish I could have a soundproof screen as if in a limo.

Knicker and pooey wouldn't bother me as such but I don't like them either.

I say sugar a lot but it is in place of shit really isn't it so not sure it's a good choice.

galadriel77 Fri 01-Jan-10 12:28:25

Not really sure - I don't see those words as being swear words. But by letting a 3yr old use them as a substitute to a swear word then it will only be time before they are replaced with proper swear words.

I don't see any need for a 3 yr old to say oh knickers etc at all to be honest!

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Fri 01-Jan-10 12:30:28

we say Bum as a swear word, I used to swear alot before children,, so I switched to Bum and now the boys say it when they are frustrated etc.

we use trump not fart somehow fart is rude and trump is not.

wouldn't use pooey would use knickers.. not sure why... on either..

QOD Fri 01-Jan-10 12:32:41

My friends children say "oh nuts" which I think is really rude cos really they are saying "balls/bollocks" etc
She is right dead posh too

poinsettydawg Fri 01-Jan-10 12:35:15

I don't like children to use expletives (mild or otherwise) until they are old enough to understand the full range of meanings and acceptable contexts.

poinsettydawg Fri 01-Jan-10 12:36:03

3 yr olds don't understand all that so I would disapporve of a 3 yr old saying knickers etc.

pranma Fri 01-Jan-10 13:32:51

I told mine that to say 'skiffing' or 'skiff off'was really really rude and swearing.They used it to each other and told their friends.By the time ds was 11 and dd 7 the whole neighbourhood child tribe was saying it!!When the asked what it meant I said it was too rude to tell them until they were older.Then secondary school intervened.....

MollieO Fri 01-Jan-10 13:37:41

We say pop rather than fart.

Ds says 'oh goodness' rather than 'oh god' and 'botheration' Anything else is not tolerated regardless of the occasional swearing by me blush.

MitchyInge Fri 01-Jan-10 13:40:03

swearing is my 10yo's great pleasure and pride at the moment, she is collecting profanities like other children collect small plastic figurines

it is ok, within reason, for her to use these words around me and with her like-minded friends but she is old enough to appreciate that it will negatively colour some people's opinion of her and/or cause offence, trouble or upset in some situations

LisaD1 Fri 01-Jan-10 13:49:18

My 9 year old doesn't say anything along any of these lines, never had a bad word out of her. However my 2 year old LOVES to say "oh God or For Gods Sake" including when we're in the church run toddler group!!

We have worked really hard and she's just started to replace it with "oh dear" and "for ghoodness sake" which sounds better!

I have no idea where she picked up the God's sake bit from, as it's not something I would say (or DH).

The joy of kids!!

Aeschylus Fri 01-Jan-10 13:51:53

I think it is the meaning that makes something a swear word and therefore should be avoided by a child of 3 anyway. Some words are obviously more socially acceptable than others though but the intent to swear is there regardless of the word used.

When I worked in a day nursery there was a little boy who used to call people 'sausage head'. It sounded quite funny and at home was seen as quite a joke but he started calling other children (aged 3/4) sausage head and one child got really upset at being called it so the child did it even more just to make him cry - in this way I think he turned it into a swear word and used it to be offensive --- why do we nee to teach children to use these words - they will pick them up on their own but at the end of the day they are being rude even if not actually swearing!

On the other hand, if they are starting to swear on their own, I see no problem giving an acceptable alternative.

I don't think I even said the word 'bum' to my mum until I was about 14 - it was always bottom -- unfortunately what is acceptable to one isn't to another!

Rosebud05 Fri 01-Jan-10 22:46:29

I think the swearing question is an interesting one due to individual and cultural differences, contexts etc. I often say 'oh God' but (as an atheist) avoid doing so around friends who I know are Christian or Bidhist, for example. Although I don't particularly want my 2.9 year old dd swearing for some time, I do think there is a big difference between swearing in the abstract and swearing AT someone. 'Sausage head' isn't particularly rude, but calling someone names - any names - is, for example. Exclaiming 'sausages' isn't particularly troubling, for me, though I appreciate that it may be for some.

Rosebud05 Fri 01-Jan-10 22:47:41

Budhist, not Bidhist, actually.

Georgimama Fri 01-Jan-10 22:51:21

I really, really, hate DS saying "oh God". He has caught it from a fellow mindee (I never swear in front of him and certainly never say that). Not impressed and have made it known. He's not even three.

Stephief Fri 01-Jan-10 22:56:19

My kids dont swear, I cant stand it. Dont get me wrong, they know swear words, but they also know I would wash their mouths out with soap and water if they ever used them in front of me.

My ds is 7 and he has started asking about the meaning of swear words, so he is allowed to say them in question, but not as a swear (and I tell him what they mean-suddenly he doesnt want to say them anymore!)

Ds is currently convinced that 'blooming' is a swear word-I have told him it isnt but if he said 'blooming hell' it wasnt very nice, but if he said 'that flower is blooming' that is fine. Its all about context to me. If my three year old said knickers or pooey, I would expect her to be telling me she had messed herself, nothing else! Its just not nice.

And we call farts 'parps'.

But thats just my opinion.

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