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Swearing in front of children

(111 Posts)
lucygran Tue 26-Jun-18 13:34:28

I couldn't believe my ears the other day when I heard my SIL shout obscenities at the football in front of my DGC.

I understand football is something that people feel passionate about, but I just can't fathom ever using such language in the presence of a child for fear that they will pick up such habits themselves.

I didn't say anything, but am I alone in being shocked at this?

annodomini Fri 29-Jun-18 22:55:10

Youngest sister, in primary school, was shocked at a boy sending round a rude note in class. 'Mum! He spelt bugger wrong!'

Marmight Fri 29-Jun-18 21:56:44

I had a car which was forever conking out. I must have sworn about the b****y car not starting while DD1 was sitting in the back. Oops. For her 2nd birthday my parents gave her a pedal car. She could only make it go backwards and couldn't get the hang of forwards at all. She became very cross and said to my Mum "Gaggy, this buddy car won't move". I was never allowed to forget it blush

pollyperkins Fri 29-Jun-18 16:10:04

My mlther years ago was with us all at a family wedding and we were discussing birthday presents. Someone said they would like a claw hammer. I asked (I was in my teens) 'what's a claw hammer' and my mother (who was quite proper) demonstrated how it works with two of her fingers. It looked as if she was swearing at us all. She never lived it down. We often asked 'Show us what a claw hammer is!' To peals of laughter!

Luckygirl Fri 29-Jun-18 16:00:42

I remember driving through Wales when small and we arrived at Abergavenny. I kept calling it Agerbavenny. Mum said "No, not gerba, it's bugger!"

Melanieeastanglia Fri 29-Jun-18 14:43:16

It depends on the level of swearing. I think four letter words and obscene remarks/phrases are completely wrong.

I tried very hard not to swear in front of my children when they were young but I can't say I succeeded 100%. I wouldn't have used four letter words.

pollyperkins Fri 29-Jun-18 13:56:55

Regarding fart, I grew up calling it a 'rude noise' (or rude smell)!! GC use the word trump, and giggle about the US president's name. At secondary school we use to call it blowing off. I don't think I ever heard the word fart (or most of the stronger swear words mentioned) until I was an adult.

When I was small I did once say the word bugger in front of my parents as a friend had told me it was rude and would get a reaction. They were right! Parents hit the roof and I never said it again!

Pat609 Fri 29-Jun-18 11:28:27

As stella1949 said young people today don't regard swearing in the same way we do. They hear it in the street, at school, tv. I think the important thing is to teach them not to use it themselves particularly in front of grown ups. My sil's language is quite bad but I have never heard my grandchildren swear I'm front of me.

CardiffJaguar Fri 29-Jun-18 08:55:42

Bad language is everywhere and it is impossible to prevent children hearing it.

What is worse is the attitude of people who use it. That aggression is both demeaning and irresponsible. It is the worst type of example for any child to follow.

Brunette10 Fri 29-Jun-18 08:47:08

Thank you Luckygirl!

Luckygirl Thu 28-Jun-18 10:42:48

Two of my GC use the word "squit", which in my book refers to loose stools. They use it in relation to stuff on the TV that is rubbish. I think it is very funny - I am sure that either Mum or Dad has groaned at them watching rubbish and called it squit. The rule at my house is that they can watch TV at specified times, but no squit, which mainly refers to Youtube videos of American children doing silly things. Apparently it is irresistible!

Luckygirl Thu 28-Jun-18 10:39:58

I am truly intrigued about some words being deemed "rude" and others not. Most are descriptive of genitalia - what is wrong with that? How have they come to be seen as rude?

And the idea that a child would be told that something is not a word for children to use is quite crazy to my mind! How come Mum and Dad can do it? Either it is deemed OK or it isn't.

"Pumpiedoodle" - that is a gem!!

Witzend Thu 28-Jun-18 10:12:47

Unfortunate, but you just have to make children understand that even if grown ups say these things sometimes, children must not.
I must have been 11 and new to senior school,when I heard a girl saying 'Balls!' (mild now, I know,). With no clue that it meant anything other than round things used in games, I came out with it at the family dinner table.

After looking askance, my father's merely told me that it was not a word for me to use, 'particularly not in mixed company.' !

It was quite a while before I found out why not!

When we lived abroad our very small dd took a school bus from our compound to school, with a lot of older children who evidently didn't moderate their language.

At still only 4, on a visit to the UK, and in front of some very 'proper' relatives - not elderly maiden aunts but those of our age who had young children of their own, she came out with the F word!

Talk about the temperature plummeting to sub zero - they were so appalled, and our explanation that she must have picked it up on the school bus cut little ice - I swear our names were mud for a long time.

After having it explained that it was a very rude word and she must never say it again, she never did - at least not that I ever heard.
But the relatives' reaction always struck me as seriously OTT - they couldn't even begin to shrug it off once we'd explained, let alone laugh about it afterwards.

annodomini Thu 28-Jun-18 10:09:39

My Gc always used to say 'trump' instead of 'fart'. Seems entirely appropriate nowadays!

Iam64 Thu 28-Jun-18 09:36:12

Luckygirl and anno have it to a tee. Unless children grow up in neglectful families, with no boundaries, they know what's acceptable and what isn't. A child I know, aged 2 1/2 said recently "me said fucksake". Child grins, looks at mummy who turned away and ignored it. Several weeks later, the child has never repeated it, despite being one of those children who rarely stops talking.

Brunette10 Thu 28-Jun-18 09:32:19

Luckygirl, we use 'pumpiedoodle' however our grandson is only 2 so he finds it very amusingsmile

annodomini Thu 28-Jun-18 09:26:43

DS and DiL came to an agreement with 13-year-old DS that if he heard any of us grown-ups swearing he could repeat the world. This was working well until some careless person (no names...) came out with 'oh shit', whereupon my GS gleefully came out with the said expression. But really he is a very considerate boy who would think twice before coming out with 'school playground language' in front of his granny.

Luckygirl Thu 28-Jun-18 09:26:14

Expulsion of flatus?

Luckygirl Thu 28-Jun-18 09:25:54

What harm does it do children? If they know that it is a slip of the tongue under provocation, and that it is not for general use (which most do know), then where is the harm?

Of course swearing with negative intent towards someone is not acceptable.

And as for fart - I am intrigued to know what words others use for....well.....a fart.

Bridgeit Thu 28-Jun-18 09:21:26

Definitely not in front of children.

Bridgeit Thu 28-Jun-18 09:20:03

Luckygirl,I don’t like the word fart,but don’t mind fartypants, funny old world isn’t it, as for the now common use of the C,word I hate it ( perhaps because it’s female) where as I don’t mind so much the word Prick,( perhaps because it’s male) I’m not a feminist as such but definitely don’t like anything that sounds derogatory to or about a woman.

Brunette10 Thu 28-Jun-18 08:56:12

To be honest and I know I'm old fashioned I cannot stand people swearing at any time but in front of children I think is totally unacceptable. I cannot for the life of me understand the need to swear, maybe under your breath sometime yes but make it that way. I know its common now for people to swear any where at any time but it doesn't mean that it is acceptable.

Luckygirl Thu 28-Jun-18 08:12:16

AS for objecting to "fart" - it is simply normal parlance. All my GC use the word and have done since little. What else would you call it? - a botty burp? - groan.

absent Thu 28-Jun-18 07:00:20

I think it is best not to swear in front of children as no one really wants to hear a five-year-old say "What the fuck?". I was hugely careful not to swear in front of my daughter when she was little and it is quite amusing that all the au pairs we had still say "Golly". when they are talking English. Children, even young ones, will hear inappropriate words but you have the high ground if you can honestly say, "We don't use these words in our house".

strawberrinan Thu 28-Jun-18 06:54:52

I was in my mid to late teens when I first heard the “C” word. Sadly it’s quite commonplace in secondary schools now so to teenagers it’s lost all emphasis.

Depti71 Thu 28-Jun-18 03:06:14

There are new rules which prohibit any swearing from anybody spectators can be asked to physically leave the ground, parent or not . About time, I would like to see it banned in schools by teachers too ......