Do You Swear in Front of Your Kids and Do Your Kids Are Allowed to Swear?

Updated on November 13, 2014
R.M. asks from Portland, OR
34 answers

if you swear, what do you say to your kids, when they are teached, that swearing is bad?

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answers from Boston on

My neighbor didn't want her kids to swear. One of them said, "But Mommy, you swear and so does Daddy." My friend replied, "Sweetie, Mommy has cooking words and Daddy has driving words. When you can do either of those things on a regular basis, then you may use those words."

That was the end of the debate.

15 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Yes, I swear in front of my kids. I am an adult.
No, they are not to swear in front of me. We just talked about swearing the other day actually.
Judge away!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Yes. No.

There are simply some things that adults are allowed to do, while children aren't. Life is not fair.

6 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

We own a construction company. I'm pretty sure my kids could out-swear a sailor.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We typically did not swear on front of our daughter. Of course, we occasionally had a slip up like everyone else does from time to time but it was addressed at the time.

I believe in TEACHING by modeling the behavior and grammar skills you prefer your child to have. So if you swear like a sailor in your home, it is likely that your children will swear as well. If you speak with poor grammar, your children will speak with poor grammar as well.

We never "teached" our daughter. I admit that we have always been somewhat of a grammar Nazi because there is nothing worse than listening to a person sincerely trying to communicate and because of his/her poor grammar skills, their message is completely lost.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I didn't when they were little. I hated hearing little ones say swear words. Cringe. I even reprimanded them for words like stupid, sucks, etc.

Now apparently my repressed inner thrash-mouth has surfaced and I swear something awful. I need to work on that.

My kids (17, 20, 22), rarely swear and to me they say, "Mom, language!"


11 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on


I don't make a habit of it, but yes, I'm human and will swear from time to time.
My son knows that I'm an adult and these are 'adult' words when used in the common areas/in public...

that said, he does know a few scintillating words and I do let him use them in his room when he's with me (not with friends)... he usually uses them when he's hurt or frustrated, much like most responsible adults do. Years ago I made a book for him to put his "potty pictures and naughty words" in; this is his to do with as he wishes and to express himself in ways which aren't appropriate for school or pleasant conversation. Ultimately, a word is a word, nothing more, and I'd rather teach him to be appropriate with it than to ban it outright. He's seven and is going to want to use those words sometimes-- it's my job to guide him in discretion and not to overreact by assigning them more power than need be given to them.

And swearing is never to be directed AT someone. Frankly, swearing does have its time and place, just like many things in life. I personally think calling someone is a name is worse than swearing. "Bad" is subjective and often oversimplifies things. "Swearing is something which makes people uncomfortable/people may not take you seriously/ those words can distract people from what you are trying to tell them"... so much more informative than just "that's bad".

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

My husband and I have been in the restaurant industry for over 12 years. Our kids know what the words are and the appropriate uses of them all. The key is teaching them how to use the words appropriately ;) Studies show that people who swear are more honest than those who do not. It's not a measure of intelligence or how much one has a grasp of the English language - I have an IQ over 130 and have a degree in Philosophy and I swear like a sailor.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I swear in front of my kids and I also allow my kids to swear. I do model the appropriate time and place to swear. They also hear swearing in movies, in music and from other kids. Swearing is part of our culture and my kids are not shielded from it, so they might as well know how to do it right. We don't swear at church, or at school, or in public, or at grandma (or at people in general). We can swear amongst our peers, or at terrible drivers (when they can't hear us), or when we are telling a story, or to describe something. I don't think swearing is great, but it is just words and I don't give swear words too much power. I don't mean to sound like we run around swearing all the time, I just don't make a big deal about it when someone swears unless the circumstances are totally inappropriate. I also say "pardon my language" when I do swear.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Sure I swear sometimes but I try not to make a habit of it. I've always taught my children that swearing makes you sound ignorant and trashy and that's why it's not a good habit. I never specifically forbid them from cursing but because most of the adults they are around don't do it very much it was never really an issue or a problem.
If you want pleasant, well spoken kids then model it yourself.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

My kid learned all her choice words from hearing me say them. I did not censor myself around her.
When she started repeating them, I gave her my rules for swearing. She had to know what the words meant and use them in a grammatically correct manner. She could use whatever words she wanted at home, but she had to understand that if she used them at school, at church, or when staying with her grandparents, she could get in trouble for it. So she learned to choose her times and places.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Is your daughter still a UTI?

I am sure I swore when they were younger but then never repeated them. Occasionally they would repeat what I had said in a situation word for word in the same situation. Never taught them swearing was bad, it just was never the usual discourse so they didn't use it. Now that they are teens they swear from time to time.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

No and no.
When our son was picking up words in preschool we got to a point where he would ask us if he could say a word so we could tell him if it was a bad word or not.
We taught him that swearing is not a good way to express himself.
People who swear are lazy with their language skills.
I can't see people who drop an F bomb with every third word they say go on to do great things.
We want our son to do great things - we expect it.
We do our best to make sure his language/expressions will not hinder him.

You might have the IQ of Einstein but if you swear like a sailor people will think you are less intelligent than you are.
And really - what sort of brilliant person CHOOSES to swear and thinks it won't have an impact on how seriously people will take them?
Of course our son hears it at school.
He makes us proud on many levels and part of that is knowing not to play stupid by using that language.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

We NEVER swore in front of our kids for many, many years, most of their young childhoods were swear-free, in fact. Guess what? They learned those words anyway. We've since relaxed a lot and now we all swear occasionally. My 17yr old son has Tourettes, so he swears quite a bit. In our house, in front of immediate family, the kids are allowed to swear. Quite frankly, I don't love it, but they're just words and I have other battles I'd rather fight. They know we'll love them no matter what comes out of their mouths. But they are NOT allowed to use disrespectful language around other adults or out in public or in texts that other parents might read. And they seem to be following that rule quite well. They're 12, 13 and 17, btw.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I might cuss if I've stubbed my toe, or someone pulls out in front of me in traffic, or something awful happens. But I rarely cuss in front of my children, nor do I allow them to cuss. We are preparing our kids for adulthood.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My son knows that their are certain times when adults will use profanity. I'm not any different. He also understands that children shouldn't nor need to use profanity. That right and privledge is for grownups. If used to much it loses its effectiveness.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Sure, I do. I don't mean to and I normally apologize for my bad choice afterwards.

No, my kids are not allowed to curse.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If I let a bad word slip, I usually apologize and tell my dd that when she's a grown up she can talk however she wants, but until then, no cuss words.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Sometimes a 'sh**' slips out, especially when driving and if something scary almost happens. My 9 year old daughter then reprimands me and says I shouldn't use those words, especially around them. I always apologize and explain that I was startled. I haven't heard her or her brother swear.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I try NOT to swear in front of my kids. It happens. Mine are older now. What they hear in school pales in comparison to what they hear coming out of my mouth...

We encourage them to use their brain to think of other words. Typically though? I use words like Tartar Sauce - yep - Spongebob Squarepants...Motor all depends upon what peaked my attention and got me riled up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Very rarely when they were little unless something slipped. My kids (now 18 & 16) still do not swear in front of me. They will call me out on my language however.

Using God's name in vain is not acceptable to me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

NO I didn't and I have a terrible potty mouth. The word $hit doesn't sound cute coming out of the mouth of a 2 yr old especially when she says it in front of her grandparents. My kids weren't allowed to swear around the house once they were teens.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

No and no. I tell them that swearing means someone can't find other words to express themselves and that they should use or expand their vocabulary to say what they want to communicate.

When I am inclined to exclaim I will say 'shiver me timbers,' 'shivers,' or 'far out brussel sprout,'. But I do try to find other words to properly express myself. My oldest is nine and is constantly surprising me with his verbal flexibility and maturity. Something must be working! Words that make me cringe to hear them say are, 'stupid,' 'shut up,' and 'Idiot.' They're so unkind.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I cuss around my children but never at them. They know that they are allowed to say those words when they are adults if they choose. The only time I heard my kids swear were once or twice when they were toddlers and all i had to say was those are mommy and daddy words.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I have a potty mouth. I work on it but I say bad words. The kids just don't.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

My husband will let one slip occasionally to which he apologizes afterward. I have told the kids that these are bad words which we call "Daddy words", and they are never to use them. (And if they do, it will result in "Mommy consequences".) :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

I cuss more than I should. I just tell my daughter that they are grown up words. I am trying to tone down my language though, so I tell her that if she hears me say a grow up word she should tell me. So to her it's a game of catching me, and she is very strict about not saying them. :) She also has a list of words and phrases that she chose out herself for times when most people cuss... Like, "Awww, coconuts" (thank you Jake...) "Dizzy Goose!" "Skittles," And (my favorite) "Stinky Monkey!"

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I swear like a sailor but since I've had kids I try to curb it... Some days I do better than others. I tell my kids what my mom told me as a kid... You can curse when you bring a paycheck home. 😄

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

when the boys were small we worked really hard to curb our sailor tongues. kids naturally mimic. it's too much to be foulmouthed around littles and expect them to understand that they can't be, and few things are as offensive as foulmouthed little kids.
we got more casual when they were teenagers and able to understand nuance. and by then, of course, they were smart enough to pick the right times and the right audiences. no F bombs in front of grandparents, little kids or generally out in public. if they practiced among their friends, or appropriately (and sparingly) at home, that was fine.
i love words. i abhor the cheapening of missile epithets by our coarse society. when you eff off, it should have impact and force, but the Really Bad Words are so much a part of our common vernacular that all of their power has been siphoned off. and then what is there to do but come up with even nastier ones?
i think MF is one of the most heinous swears ever created, but look how common it is. no one even thinks about it. i too am guilty of that, to my shame.
ETA- i LOVE sherry from montgomery's coping technique!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I rarely rarely swear. my kids have learned to cuss from others.. dad.. sitters grandpa,, neighbors.. but still I am the number one influence and I do not swear .

I try to model the behavior that I want them to follow... I would feel like a liar if I was telling them to not swear when I was cussing all the time.

at one point.. my daughter told me .. she knew all the bad words.. .. FAT UGLY AND STUPID.. I agreed those were bad words and not to say them..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

I try to exercise some restraint, but I do swear in front of my kids sometimes. They are just words, I don't get too worked up about them if my kids or anyone else says them.
I teach my kids that some people get very offended by swearing, especially swearing by kids, and that if they choose to use those words out in the world there may be consequences; they will have to accept the consequences, so they should choose carefully.

We have never had a problem.



answers from Washington DC on

My wife and I both try to keep our swearing away from little ears. However, the girls have heard us use strong language and we have had conversations that every word has it's time and place. We allow our daughters (2 and 4) to use what ever words we want at home but I have told them as soon as they walk out the front door they use there best manners and language.

We had an incident about a month ago where my daughter called a boy in class stupid. She missed out on a fun activity and we explained the meaning of the word and why her usage was inappropriate.

The rule of thumb we like to use is if the worse thing our daughter does is swear; we have done a fine job. They are just words after all.



answers from Kansas City on

I do swear on occasion, I tell my daughter that those are mommy words and not *daughter's name* words. She knows the difference.



answers from Las Vegas on

I did in front of my older daughter while she was growing up. I worked near the shop and with all men, I had a bad mouth.

To this day, she does not swear in front of me.

We do not swear in front of our second child and if we do, she is not very happy with us.

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