Swearing is not supposed to happen among the kid crowd, but we all know it does. I have mixed feelings about kids swearing. On some level I think swears are just words and the bigger a child’s vocabulary is the better. Of course, the other side of that coin is your kid swearing at school, at church, in front of a bunch of nuns, in front of the grandparents, or when other kids might be listening. Anyway, Tiny-Small has been swearing. Not a lot, but enough to get my attention.
We recently had this conversation about it in the car:
Me: Those words you are using are adult words. They aren’t really for kids.
Tiny-Small: You mean damnit and friggen aren’t for kids?
Me: Yeah, they are for adults to use, but not for kids.
Tiny-Small: Dad says damnit and friggen.
Me: I know. Maybe you could remind him not to say those words when he forgets.
Tiny-Small: Yeah, but I say damnit and friggen sometimes.
Me: I know, but if you say them around other adults they won’t like it because those aren’t words for kids. You might even get in trouble.
Tiny-Small: What if I say them like this instead <whispers> Damnit. Friggen.
Me: Well, I think someone might still hear you.
Tiny-Small: Dad shouldn’t say damnit or friggen. I’ll tell him not too.
Me: Maybe you shouldn’t say them anymore either.
Tiny-Small: OK. I’m not suppose to lie either, but sometimes dad tells lies.
But, that’s another blog post for another day….
The whole swearing thing is kind of odd. I mean, when I was a kid I’d get my mouth washed out with soap for uttering an adult word. So, I am going against everything I’ve been taught about using “bad” words and letting this slide a bit. Words are words. Are they really “bad” words? Not to mention, isn’t it a bit hypocritical to use them and expect your child not to? Why do we expect kids to have more self-control and better behavior than their parents do, right? Just smile and nod. I am pretty sure most of you disagree with me, but we can still be friends, right? Just smile and nod again…seriously. I know I have this bad parenting thing down. It’s what I excel at! I’m clinging to my strengths here, you guys. If this post doesn’t do anything but make you feel like a superior parent, well I am pretty sure that’s enough of a reason to keep me around.
Sometimes, I’m just glad she is using swear words correctly. I know I am reaching here. Pretending to feel pride in my daughter’s potty mouth ways, but still she IS using those words correctly and experimenting with them. Much like she is tossing out words like “distracted” and “unfortunate” right now. I am pretty proud of the fact that she’s not afraid to try out new words to make sure she understands how to use them…even if they make all of the other adults on the planet cringe and give me the evil eye…I totally see you looking at me with your evil eye right now by the way.
Not to mention, at least she’ll be a somewhat normal kid because of her dad’s swearing. If she had only me teaching her the modern lingo she’d be a weird kid. Whenever she farts I say, “Oh, you have gas!” So now Tiny-Small says, “I gassed” instead of “I farted.” I’m pretty sure her little friends are just going to think she’s an odd child, especially when she chases them around the room screaming, “Hahahaha…I just gassed on you!” Which she has done to me…it’s not pretty, but it is funny because who says that?? Only my child because that’s how we roll…a little off kilter. She’s getting her eccentric label a little early on for this family. I may have to start buying her tweed suits with elbow patches and making sure she never combs her hair again. Well, that last part would be easy because she never wants to comb her hair again anyway…ever.
What’s your take on childhood swearing? I’m pretty sure I wrote about this before. My ideas on swearing and childhood and picking my battles have changed in just a few short months. Who knew parenting would make me such a wishy-washy, decision-making, rule bending, words are just words, I give up on this woman? Certainly not me. I thought I was going to be better than this. That thought both warms my heart and sets me into fits of laughter…sometimes at the same time. Oh the joys of pre-parent dreaming are so fondly remembered. The smack down of reality still has me reeling 4 years later.