Swearing, who gives a shit?
Well apparently 66% of people that voted on this very subject the other day.
This has had me swaying back and forth like I’m at a Westlife concert. OK, so you’re thinking ‘WHAT, 66% of people think swearing is bad?!’
What if I now asked you about swearing in front of your kids?
Gets your mind ticking over doesn’t it. Your immediate reaction is to tell me of course it’s wrong to swear in front of your children… But why?
This seems to be a hot topic at the moment so I thought I’d jump on the band-wagon to try and boost my blogging status in amongst the powerhouses already talking about this topic. I mean, I wanted to have my say :/
For the first time in my blogging history, instead of just bashing my keyboard and waiting to see what happens, I’ve actually read and listened to a few things regarding this topic and found them fascinating. My good friend Nigel at DIY Daddy Blog wrote Swearing In Front Of Our Children where he explains his point of view that ‘I for one think it’s totally unacceptable’. Go read Nigel’s post for the full perspective on his point of view, don’t use this one sentence to form a response. Nigel makes some very good points and I’d suggest has a similar opinion to the vast majority of society.
To continue with the trend of name dropping my celebrity blogging mates, Harriet a.k.a Toby & Roo wrote a very different point of view on her Instagram – Let’s talk about the F-Bomb. Harriet says ‘I’d rather my kid said shit than hit’. Again, go read the full post before making your mind up based on one extract. Harriet also appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss this topic, we watched it and made a couple of comments in our daily vlog Swearing In Front Of Your Kids.
I should say, I’m in no way pitting these two people against each other, only the points of view. I follow both Nigel and Harriet’s content and seeing such different points of view sparked my mind into action and questioned my own perspective on swearing in front of children.
As mentioned earlier, 66% of people that took part in an online poll said that swearing in front of children is not acceptable. However, I wonder what the result would be if the question was ‘Have you’ as opposed to ‘Should you’. I’d imagine there would have been a very different response. Does this make the case of ‘no you shouldn’t‘ weaker if you then go and do it?
That’s where I’d slip up.
My natural instinct would be that swearing in front of my kids is wrong. However I then have to question myself as to why I have done it, a lot. Then taking a minute to think further about this, I’m a big believer in questioning EVERYTHING! I always tell my kids to question things. Just because something has always been, doesn’t mean it always will be, times change.
So when, where and how did the word SHIT become offensive? Also, the word has now evolved over time to have several meanings, not all offensive. The same goes for many other ‘offensive’ words. Is it the words that are offensive or the manner in which they are spoken? Swearing in front of and at your children are also very different things. You’re walking up the stairs and stub your toe, ‘Ah shit’. Is that really offensive? On the other hand, there are many other words that aren’t classed as swearing that you could use in this instance instead of shit.
This subject really has me questioning things.
So, is vagina a swear word? If not can children use this in public? What about penis? Let’s set a realistic scene… I’m at the park with Corben, he’s 4. Something in his curious, wondrous mind compels him to tell another child and/or parent he has a willy and mummy has a fluff. (I just made that up on the spot under pressure to make my point!) A little boy saying ‘willy’ and ‘fluff’ is quite funny, cute and would most likely have other present parents laughing. What if he decided to tell them he has a penis and Mummy has a vagina, what reaction would he and mainly I get then? An eye-brow raise minimum.
Another key element is age. Should swear words be held off until children are old enough to at least understand the concept of how and when they change from being another word to offensive? Is there an argument that they will hear them from a young age at school or other places that they converse with other children anyway, so it might be better to teach them the words and how they could/should be used more responsibly ie: Not in an offensive manner?
I’ll be honest, a part of me wrote this so I could figure out exactly where I stand on this but, in truth I don’t stand anywhere. There are too many variables to consider for me to decide whether I’m in camp ‘Fuck it, it’s fine’ or camp ‘It’s unacfuckingceptable’. <Sorry, I’ve written that now it’s staying in.
How offensive are certain words. What makes SHIT less offensive than C**T? See I daren’t even write that properly, but why?!
I think I do lean more towards the thought that words are just that, words. It’s how you use them that determines their power. For instance, if I call Donetta a dickhead during an argument, she’ll not even hear it. If I called her ugly that would sting, not only her feelings but my actual face after being slapped silly! (This has never happened by the way, not since… 😀 ) I could make everyday acceptable words hurt much more than swear words ever could. Although I guess that’s another subject isn’t it? That’s more about being plain horrid to another person which isn’t acceptable using any type of words.
Swearing and respect is the last point I’d like to make on this. I think they are closely linked. For instance, I respect that although I may swear in front of my child from time to time, this doesn’t mean the parent on the bus with their child does. You have to respect that. Also, my Nanna does not like swearing, her reasons don’t matter because I just need to respect that in her presence it’s not acceptable to her.
My take on this then is that, I can’t say it’s not acceptable to swear in front of your children, because I’ve done it and will do it again. I also don’t think it’s always OK to do it and for children to use such language either. I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t think the odd swear word at home will do any harm and I do think as a parent I have a responsibility to arm my children with as much knowledge of outside influences as I can, so they can in turn make better decisions on how to acknowledge and use this type of language.
I’m not actually sure any of this has made sense, I’ve kind of slung around a load of thoughts in no particular order hoping you will take something away from this that’s beneficial. If not, F-OFF! 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts, apologies to anyone that finds swearing offensive my usual posts aren’t quite as riddled, but the clue was in the title…
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