3 Important Things To Tell Kids About Cursing

What was your initial reaction when you first heard your kid curse? Did you?:

a. Rock yourself back and forth while sucking your thumb in that little dark corner of your house
b. Vomit and cry at the same time
c. Do a mean act of self-combustion
d. Kick your kid on his leg ever so lightly then scream "This...is...Sparta!" Complete with engorged neck veins, red eyes, and drool.
e. All of the above

I didn't do any of those. Why? Because I never hear my boys curse. Not yet, at least. I have a strong feeling that they do it behind my back though. I'm just hoping that it's not addressed to me.

Since the beginning of time, I've been resigned to the fact that cursing is normal. Deny it all you like, but the hard truth is that your little hunny bunny will say a quick curse or two someday soon whether you like it or not.

They hear it everywhere. Even those television shows that we parents used to think are extremely safe for kids to watch blurt out subtle curses every now and again. Case in point - Cartoon Network. They have all sorts of euphemisms for profanities.

There are numerous reasons on why we dot it. For us adults, cursing is a form of anger management. It's our way of releasing some steam. Driving on a fine sunny day singing to Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World and then suddenly gets cut by a maniac, one can't help but go on supersonic profanity mode. If I don't do that, I'd ram my car into the psycho's. I don't want that to happen, and neither does my car insurance company.

Kids are basically the same. They do it to express their anger. Most of them just want to see how it feels like to say it, and how adults would react if they do. It's different for teenagers though. Majority of them cuss because they think that it's a sure sign of coolness.

As adults, we are quick to say "that's bad!" or "you're bad" to kids when we hear such vulgarities. What we fail to realize is that inside the kid's mind he/she's thinking "well, you're bad too 'coz I heard it from you". If you  follow this with because-I-can-and-you-can't-period statement, bid your moral ascendancy goodbye. 

I know a couple of strait laced, highly prissy people who would rather get rectal cancer than curse. They are the few, the holy, and the faultless? Anyway, God bless them. They can be up for canonization in about 45 years; less if they can get a strong connection inside.

Not everyone's built that way, of course. I'm not (FYI: I very rarely curse in front of my and if I slip, I slap myself and apologize). Since I'm not born with a glowing halo, I teach my kids some much needed pointers about cursing.

1/  Call of Nature: Just like I stated above, cursing is a natural thing. If you keep repeating and forcing your child not to swear without an appropriate explanation, chances are, they will do it over and over again. It is human nature. We desire most those that we can not do or have. 

2/  Age Appropriate: "When can I curse?", my eldest son asked. I told my son that he can curse when he has achieved the stature of Kim Ung Yonga or has won a Nobel Prize. That's not what I told him of course! I first explained to him why it's an abomination for kids to cuss. It is highly inappropriate for kids to swear because we adults see kids with so much innocence and by being such, we can not fathom the idea that they are tainted with peccancy. For us parents, hearing our children curse is more of a feeling of failure and shame.

For argument's sake, I told my son that the society as a whole is a little bit more tolerant of cussing when a person's in the early adulthood stage (21-35 y/o). Personally, I think that there's really no right age. It's more about the W's of cursing than anything else.

3/  The W's of Cursing: Since I'm aware that cursing is inevitable (but avoidable), I taught my kids the W's of cursing.

Why - valid reason for cursing
When - the right place, time, and age to say it
Who - the deserving receiver 

Explanation is key. I carefully and patiently explained all the things that I can cover about cursing to my kids even before they asked me what s*#t means. I strongly think that it helped feed their curiosity and lessen their fascination about swearing. This is probably why they don't uetter such words.

We parents can only do so much. We can explain and instill enough values to our children and just hope for the best.

If you think that swearing is not an option, remember this: when you accidentally slam the drawer door on your finger, saying "ouch" will never be enough......for me atleast.





PHOTO CREDIT: shopturtlepie.wordpress.com

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