Is it ever OK to swear in front of your kids?

While many parents would be quick to say, “Of course not!”, it seems a rising number of parents would not only disagree, but would be shouting off their own explicative right now.

A recent Los Angeles Times article Op-Ed Go Ahead, Curse In Front Of Your Kids supports the idea that swearing in front of your children is in fact acceptable.

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The author, Benjamin Bergen, is quick to clarify that “I’m not talking about swearing at kids; verbal abuse is known to be psychologically damaging”. What he does propose is some sort of a compromise between completely going off on your kids and completely censoring yourself from every swearing.

"My life is my life and I can do with it as I please"

But doesn’t this simply support the self-centered notion of ‘my life is my life and I can do with it as I please’?

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Another article on ScaryMommy.com Swearing in Front of Your Kids shares a similar stance as Bergen. In fact, point #5 in Kate Levkoff’s article on “5 Reasons I Don’t Give an EFF about Swearing in Front of My Kids” simply states “Because I have given up so much s*!* already”.

Doesn’t it go without saying that becoming a parent involves sacrifices? And does guarding the words that come out of our mouth even count as a sacrifice?

My high school English teacher taught me that people swear when they don’t have the vocabulary to come up with the proper word to represent their emotions. And it appears he’s not alone in that thinking. Matt Lauer, co-anchor of The Today Show on NBC feels the same way and says as much in this video:

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While some experts may say it’s OK to curse in front of your kids, Lauer comments that cursing can be a symptom of a lazy vocabulary and his Today Show co-anchors point out there can in fact be undesirable consequences to unrestrained cursing.

No-one ever promised parenting would be easy, but the choices we make in the best interest of our kids typically benefit not just them, but the entire family. Instead of focusing on what we shouldn’t be saying, let’s put the focus on what we ultimately want to come out of our own kids’ mouths and model exactly that.



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