The Art of Teaching Kids to Curse the Right Way

Julie Ryan Evans

washing mouth out with soapA recent study about kids and cursing shows that 86 percent of parents think that kids today curse more than kids did during their own childhoods. In fact, 54 percent say their own children have cursed in front of them. Sh#@!?

So far, beyond basic bathroom humor, my children -- ages 2 and 7 -- haven't uttered any curse words yet. I'm sure it's just a matter of time, as I think all children experiment with the power of the words. So I'm expecting it, and not even really dreading it, I just want to make sure my children learn how to curse the right way.

I'm sure some would say there's no need for filthy language ever, but when used correctly, it can be pretty powerful. I have no use for it littering conversations gratuitously -- that just sounds trashy -- but a well-placed curse word for emphasis can be brilliant.

I've seen them used well by teachers, comedians, and business execs. While they may offend a chaste few, they almost always get attention IF they're done correctly. Besides, studies have shown cursing can help ease pain -- thus my workout playlist that's chock-full of the explicit stuff.

I was raised in a strict household and still feel the need to whip my head around and see who's nearby before I let an eff bomb fly, but I've always admired those who use them so naturally and so well. Sometimes, they're just the right words.

While I don't want my children to be all "eff this" and "eff that," I'm not terrified of slipping and using one in front of them like I was upon first having children. I think making certain words these big, bad things just makes them more tantalizing.

With my toddler daughter I'll still attempt to keep my tongue tame as she's too young to understand, and I don't need her randomly belting out a string of choice words in preschool. But around my son, I want to start peppering them in, then talking about them, how some are worse than others, what they mean, and how some should never be uttered, instead of letting him hear them all on the playground.

How do you handle cursing and your kids?

Image via WATERBOYsh/Flickr

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