Mommy Monday: Is Profanity Truly A Bad Thing?
Every Mother goes through this argument in their minds. If you were raised around profanity and you know when and when not to use it, you automatically assume your child will figure it out as well. If you were raised without profanity then you automatically assume it's wrong and there's no reason it should be used. This debate has been a big one in our household for many reasons!
When I was a child of the 80's, I heard profanity from people in the family and not. But it wasn't used as common vocabulary as it is these days. I use profanity when frustrated, in moments of road rage, etc. My husband uses it as common verbiage in sentences and conversations. We were both raised differently and this topic comes up quite a bit. He will use profanity quite often around our daughter and I will try to get him to shush. But he was raised around it where neither parent censored themselves. He grew up just learning when and when not to use it and he believes our daughter will be the same way. I feel the same way but only on specific words or phrases, and yet I wonder if it is bad around her altogether?
When going to the grocery store, you hear parents telling kids to "Sit the *expletive* down!", "Shut the *expletive* up!" and more. These children quickly use that language even at a young age, and then proceed to take it to school with them. This will cause children that are sheltered from profanity to hear it any way which is actually what happened with me. So is it wrong for the parents to use profanity, when the children are just going to hear it from people their own age later? What words would you consider "wrong" and which ones would be "okay"?
I try not to let my daughter hear me say "Jesus Christ!" or "Jesus, Mary, & Joseph!". One thing I'll say when startled is "Jesus Christ on a Cross!" and I have to stop myself from using these. Why, you ask? Well my daughter goes to a Presbyterian Preschool and although our household is not Christian, we don't want her pulling a phrase like this out in front of her teachers or classmates. It would be very rude, and they could take offense and I wouldn't blame them! But those phrases are what I taught myself to use instead of profanity when scared, shocked, or frustrated. So, what now? My husband uses all profanity around her often and when I ask him to stop, he reminds me she knows what words are good and are bad. She tells us to "not to use that word" when she hears us say a bad one. Then sometimes, she does repeat things and we have to remind her they're wrong.
I think at this point, children are going to hear profanity anywhere they go. You can't trust other parents not to use it in public, and you can't trust other children not to use it at school. To shelter your child from it is just going to cause confusion when they get older and make it more awkward for them in school. I do believe my husband is right that we can teach our children when it is okay and not okay to use profanity. We censor ourselves around family (well unless we're alone with my Dad, haha) and yet at home we don't do it. We would teach our daughter to censor herself at school and with family but at home it would be alright.
How do you feel about this?
Elizabeth is a work at home Mother of a sweet and beautiful daughter. She is a wife of seven years and a blogger for some time now. When she isn't spending time with her "Livvybug" she is looking for new review opportunities and writing or singing along to classic rock and pop music!