If you’re a semi-regular reader you might conclude that I swear – alot. So does Hubby – even more than me. Hubby is Scottish (yes, he grew up there) and can make Gordon Ramsey sound like Mary Poppins. Hubby uses swear words the way most people use punctuation points (sh*t!)
So we are a family of swearers – if you don’t believe me check out Little Miss Adorable, OT, Speech, Language and MORE Swear Words. (Yes, I have a three part series of her swearing.)
Little Miss Adorable, our two year old, swears like a trucker. Since being home on maternity leave with me she has mastered all the big words, and is now working her way through colourful expressions. Four year-old Mr. Sensitive is prone to ‘bloody hell’ and ‘what the heck?’ In fact, the only one who doesn’t swear in our family is the baby, Dunk-Dunk, and that’s probably because he can’t talk yet. Just wait.
I need to say that we do not swear at people (usually). We do swear at things. I believe there is a difference. We do not use words to attack people, just like we do not use hands, feet or toys to hurt people. If I swear because some object is interfering with my life plans, I do not hurt the objects’ feelings.
Our family has a very laid back attitude toward swearing, and words of all kinds are tolerated so long as they do not hurt someone’s feelings.
We’ve never really told the kids that some words are swear words. I realized I needed to do this one day when Mr. Sensitive (then, just a toddler) came home from daycare crying. I asked him why he was upset.
“Because I said a bad word!” and he burst into tears. Poor guy had no idea he did anything wrong.
I said there are some words people don’t like, and sh*t was one of them. You can imagine the questions. But we got through it.
I was worried about Mr. Sensitive starting kindergarten this year, at a CATHOLIC school, no less. No worries – he learned a whole bunch of new, kindergarten swear words – poo-poo head and stupid head were used to hurt people’s feelings, so they were out. (Mr. Sensitive had his feelings crushed by someone calling him stupid-head.)
Mr. Sensitive came home every night in awe at the power of ‘Bad Words.’ He would whisper to me, “Do you know Bad Words? So-and-So says Bad Words. What are Bad Words?”
We did not really explain that Bad Words are what he hears his father say.
By the second week of school Mr. Sensitive was coming home and telling Hubby to stop saying bad words. Luckily, there were no phone calls about Mr. Sensitive saying bad words.
Bring on Mr. Sensitive’s kindergarten birthday party. I am acutely aware of our family’s swearing and how other parents really don’t want their kids learning that sort of thing – especially if their four year-old has learned it from my two year-old. (Oh, cr@p, sorry about that)
As the party was starting and parents stood around awkwardly, all I heard from our kindergarten guests, was chirps of “What the Heck?”
Looks like Mr. Sensitive taught them well.