How Much "Language" Do You Use Around Your Teen?

Updated on March 07, 2017
S.R. asks from Scottsdale, AZ
16 answers

Bad mom confession....once my kid turned 13, my language went downhill (I never cussed when she was young, because she would repeat it!). Just curious if anyone else cusses in front of their kid. I never cuss in public, but there's something rather cathartic about using the wrong word at the right time. Am I the only one who does this? I know all the kids use these words - especially when not around adults.

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answers from Beaumont on

I have tried to be even more careful as they've gotten older, not less. Not to say I'm perfect but I try HARD to be a good example.

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answers from Phoenix on

I picked up a bad habit of cussing like a sailor when I worked with a bunch of women in a high stress department. It became a VERY bad habit. Then I started looking at people when they were cussing and frankly, it just wasn't attractive. So I tried to break the habit.

My kids are 17 and 14 and may have heard me say something once or twice and I'm not happy about it. They will point out when they hear someone cussing that they sound "so dumb" so I try to remind them that people may think of them like that if they start to do it. My 14 yo is online playing games and he has picked up some words that slip out sometimes but I just try to remind him it's just another bad habit you don't want.

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answers from Springfield on

I try really hard not to (but I'm not perfect). It's not that my kids don't hear the words or know that I use them sometimes. I'm trying to teach them socially acceptable behavior.

I realize kids and teens are going to do certain things when adults aren't around. I think it's important that they really do know how to behave when adults are around.

How you speak and the words you choose to use, or not use, will influence how others see you. If you use swear words, it is very common for others to think less of you. Often, use that type of language causes one to be viewed as uneducated or trashy.

I'd rather my kids not give others reasons to think less of them.

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answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,

My DS is 15. I am well aware that he has a full vocabulary as most kids of that age and stage do. However, hearing cuss words, even replacements like frickin, in his voice just doesn't sit well with me. Therefore, I don't allow him to cuss around me. It only seems right to me if I put this restriction on him, that I should abide by it as well. I am quite the cusser but he doesn't need to view me in that light. My husband is not a cusser so that's never been a problem.

hoping this contributes. :-) S.

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answers from Norfolk on

Swearing/cursing is just lazy language.
I know it and so does my kid.
Of course we all hear worse - but we're better than that.

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answers from Portland on

I don't want to promote it so no, I don't tend to.

When I do let one fly, my teens tend to think oh .. now I can too. I'm not comfortable with that.

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answers from Portland on

I'm pretty relaxed about this, honestly. My son is nearly 10 and he is allowed to use 'those words' at home at times... the rule in our house is that we don't swear AT each other or use those words to call names, etc. Words that are only 'names' (c-word, b*tch, etc.) aren't really allowed because, again, you don't use them to call names. I curb myself in that regard around my son. My son can say what he wants in his room with me or alone. Swear words generally don't upset me. My husband doesn't care for it so much, so my son refrains from doing it around him. I figure that, since Kiddo is able to differentiate when it's allowed and when it's not, I'll let him use the language he wants within those limits. If he wants to swear at a math problem, for example, that's okay... and instead of getting stuck on language, I'm going to focus on backing up our work and finding a way for him to understand how to solve the problem.

At home, I swear rather often, especially when I'm listening to the news. I'm also very able to express myself in other ways and be appropriate with my family's feelings and in public. It's sort of like wearing your grubby clothes and going bra-less.... fine at home, but you don't go out like that as a general rule. ;)

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answers from Boston on

I have a terrible potty mouth but I didn't swear around my kids. When they were teens they knew all the words but since I didn't allow them to swear around me I had to abide by the same rules.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

My kid learned all her choice words from me. I didn't try to stop her from using them. I did insist that if she was going to use them, that she know what they meant, and strongly suggested that she mind her audience. She could lob f-bombs at home, but doing so at school could be a problem.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I have never used swear words, and so I doubt I'll start now.

That said, I know someone who grew up in a place where dropping the F-bomb is frequently used as all parts of speech - noun, verb, adjective, etc. He has always spoken that way, around kids or not. His oldest child is a teen and does not speak that way. I think she accepts it as a quirk of her dad's, and she doesn't imitate it.

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answers from New York on

Sometimes nothing works except that F word. I've always tried to keep myself curbed in front of the kids (husband is very critical of cussing) I usually catch myself and just turn it into a weird word that means gibberish, like Frick & Frack but the intent IS still there & known so it's kinda funny b/c it defeats the purpose in a way. I'm clear to the kids that when they've grown, voted &/or paid a bill they can use whatever language they choose, like a life privilege, lol! I'm not worried, they have 1 parent who serves as the perfect example & yep 1 parent w/a potty mouth, teaches diversity. Hahah

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answers from Boston on

I do tend to swear. My son has been exposed to swear words probably since he was born.

Coming to marry into a very large Italian family in New England it is hard to not pick it up myself. I never swore even as a teen. I lived in the South, so for us, we just used different words- that, and my mom would totally get on my case if I did..

So, my son has heard pretty much every four letter word( minus the C word-which I hate) but chooses to not repeat them. He is tells me other words to use when I do! Lol.. he is 13 now.

I at times swear in public, if someone cuts me off or is rude.. although it's not like I'm yelling it. Lol.

To me, it's just being human. Sometimes their just isn't a better word that expresses how you feel.

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answers from New York on

I've dropped an f-bomb or two around my kids. They know it's words adults can say that they can't. You're not the worst mom ever--lol!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

It's human to swear. It's honest. I personally don't tend to like people who act like they don't swear or who hide it, because it seems fake to me. I have cursed in front of my kids since they were born. Sure, they repeat them. But how am I ever going to stop them from growing up and cursing anyway? And why would I want to? After all, I do it. So why would I teach them that it is "bad" but i's somehow OK for me to do it, in secret? That makes no sense to me and teaches them to lie ...which I'd argue is a much bigger issue. So, I say go for it. As I said, my kids do swear here and there. But they get the concept of "context". Meaning, they don't swear at school or in other places where it's not appropriate. Because I don't either. Kids do what is modeled for them, not what they are told. Just like they will do if you hide the swearing. They'll still be cursing. But in secret and behind your back. And then they'll think they can't be themselves with you. And they'll think you're a hypocrite. Because they'll know you do it too.

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answers from Seattle on

Yup. I cuss in public (not on a regular basis! Just sometimes a good "bad" word is necessary) and in front of my kids (mostly when I am driving).
I try not to in front of my daughter since she is 6, but sometimes it slips. I just say those are adult words and when she's an adult she can say them.
Neither one of my older two kids (11 and 14) have ever cussed in front of me. I am sure they do with their friends. I guess it really doesn't bother me that much.

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Kids are 12 and 14 now. When they were younger, I tried to never let them hear me swear and was pretty successful. Now.......I don't swear in conversations WITH them, but I'm sure they over hear me and my husband talk or talking with other people etc, my conversations are more relaxed and sometimes includes bad words. I don't swear AT people, I just swear in conversation if that makes sense. But they don't hear me say people are stupid, or retarded, or that I hate something. I don't say those things cause they are cruel. My kids know my opinions on that. It's not just 'bad' words and 'good' words, it's also about how you use them. And I definitely don't let them swear around me! lol

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