Parenting Styles: Swearing Like a Sailor
Before I had kids, I had a mouth like a sailor. I embarrassed frat guys with my swear words and expletives, and I dropped the F-bomb with alarming regularity.
When my babies came, I figured I'd start tapering my bad language, so that by the time they were old enough to start learning to talk
—and repeat everything I said—I'd be prim and proper. OK, maybe not prim, but at least proper enough not to mortify the other mommies at playgroup
By some stroke of luck, my kids never became repeaters. Somehow they managed to learn how to communicate without mimicking my every word. So the need to cut back on the cursing never really presented itself. So I never bothered. And now I won't apologize for it.
If you come into my home on any given day, you'll find me yelling "Damn it" when I drop a plate or wondering who the hell left the milk on the counter. I also say s**t regularly, though these days, I typically reserve the F-word for bigger deals, like the time I dripped melted sugar down my shirt while making lollipops with the kids. (Ouch.)
Despite disapproving looks—from my mother, my father-in-law, strangers on the street—we somehow managed to make it through toddlerhood without the kids calling grandma the B word and through preschool without any foulmouthed incidents.
These days, my kids are big, funny, smart as whips and completely vulgarity-free (at least to my knowledge). But I'm not naïve. They're almost in middle school, and I know full well they'll soon be swearing with their friends on the playground. Hell, by high school, they'll probably be able to give me a run for my money. But that would have happened with or without my influence. Hopefully, I've raised them to be smart enough to know when to curse and when not to curse. Of course, as far as I'm concerned, any time's a good time!