Unpopular opinion. I do curse in front of my ten and twelve-year-old kids. Yes, this God-fearing Executive Coach hurls expletives in a variety of circumstances from stubbing her pinky toe to bad drivers. Their dad does not approve and I’m pretty sure my own dad doesn’t either. So why don’t I stop? I certainly know when it would be socially acceptable to curse and when it would be highly inappropriate, I am not on the “highly inappropriate” end of the scale at home. I am moderately filtered. Modestly moderate.
No, I don’t curse in front of your children. So why do I in front of mine?
Ah, glad you asked! Well, I see cursing as a personal choice and I personally choose to use it. And I discovered cursing in the bathrooms at summer camp, whispering it and scribbling it into my 10-year-old diary. I don’t shy away from the same line of having an open dialogue with my children about divorce, their genitals, and death … cursing is no different. It is an “adult” topic that can be age-appropriately introduced. But when is a curse word ever age appropriate? Using it is not an option for my children.
I understand this whole concept of “teaching my children about profanity” seems so bizarre at first. However, if I do not have the conversation with them I know they will have to figure it out for themselves. And here we are!
So why do I curse in front of my children? Because they are going to hear it. It is inevitable. I don’t see a need for them to be shocked or made uncomfortable when they come across the usage. I want my girls to feel centered and solid, and not want to shrink in discomfort if a boy slings the word around them at their first sock hop dance. My hope is that they will be unfazed and disinterested in the tween usage of curse words they encounter because it does not have any power in their world. The world does not stop.
I want them to know what they are hearing. I also want them to make informed choices about how and when it is and isn’t appropriate to use profanity.
And I want them to understand it is inappropriate at work and to never curse in public at an employee at their place of business. Or in front of their elders, friends’ parents, etc…
Personally, cursing around immediate family is very different from using profanity in public or with a mixed company of people you do not know well. I want my children to be well-spoken, polite, and friendly … I also want them armed when dialogue goes in another direction and feel confident about how to handle it.