Cursing at childrenCare to place a friendly wager? I bet my neighbor can cuss circles around any one of your neighbors. In fact, my money’s on her to out-swear any late night comedian or Philly sports fan (‘cause them folks can cuss). Even a sailor would lose street cred. She’s a beast. But mostly, it ain’t adults on the receiving end of her foulmouthed tirades. It’s her kids. All five of ‘em, from a high school senior down to a 3-year-old baby. The 17-year-old gets it the worst.

Yesterday, he was standing outside without permission. And when she caught him, she cocked back and fired off slow at first: “What the @#&$ are you doing out of the house?!” Four-letter words came fast and furious after that, so much so that a cable guy nearby must’ve said something to check her. Yeah, he got laid out, too.

But I applaud you, cable guy. Is anything more trifling than when parents spit curses at their own children? 

People who can’t communicate their thoughts, humor, or sentiments without overusing four- and five-letter words are pretty much a drag to talk to, anyway. It’s funny to punctuate a statement here and there with a naughty word or toss one into a convo to really add some zing to a point they’re trying to make.

But when I, as the listener, have to navigate the minefield of somebody’s potty mouth every time we chat, I’m more likely to get distracted by the barrage of bad words than I am to actually pay attention to what they’re saying. It’s like talking to a running playback of an Andrew Dice Clay nightclub bit.

And even though that can be a bummer, it’s downright disgusting for a mother to disrespect her own children with a shower of swears.

We all get frustrated. We all get excitable. We all want to loop our arms around our kids’ shoulders and hip toss them to the ground WWE-style when they break curfew or don’t take the putrid trash out for the umpteenth Monday in a row (or maybe that’s just me). But it’s a sad state of affairs if a mother can’t make her own child catch her drift without showering them with raunchy language.

Moms who can’t go on their whole “I’m the adult, bow down and laud my authority” power trip without slapping Little Johnny with a made-for-Cinemax verbal arse whooping seem to forget that kids deserve respect just like adults do. And last time I checked, pelting them with F-bombs and B-words in the normal course of doing the goofy things that all kids are programmed to do is downright disrespectful.

Then we wonder why we’ve got legions of teenagers running wild and talking any ol’ kind of way out here on the streets. It’s because their parents talk to them any ol’ kind of way at home.

I can’t even imagine formulating the kinds of sentences my neighbor does to fuss out her kids if I had an axe to grind against a grown person, let alone a child. I mean after all, you aren’t saying anything really special. After a few years growing up in America, we all have access to the same vocabulary to curse her scrawny, no-couth-having tail right back.

Folks act like cussing is exclusive, like anybody with cable or a 50 Cent album can’t break out the same terms and implement them in the same way. And if that’s how you choose to talk to you friends, your neighbors, the mailman, the mechanic, the waitress at the restaurant — you’re really playing with fire unless you like your meatloaf flavored with loogies — that’s your prerogative.

But when you’re correcting your kids, it should come out of love. And if you’re verbally thrashing them like they’re garbage, I have a hard time seeing the love in that one.

We all know kids — especially teens — make you want to cuss, but does using expletives help you get your point across a little better? Or does hearing other parents cussing at their kids, teens on down, make your skin crawl?

 

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