October 18, 2011

Naughty Words


When you become a parent you start to censor yourself in front of your children.

Or at least you try.

Instead of saying fuck, I usually say frig or freakin' (not that I've ever been a big F-bomb droopper).  Instead of shit I say shoot or crap, and instead of damn I say dang or darn - mostly.  I try really hard not to say Goddammit or Jesus Christ.  Actually, pretty sure I never say, "Jesus Christ!"

Many parents don't even like to say vagina or penis, and use the words bottom or bum instead of butt or ass.

I still say butt and ass.

Mark says it all.  He is not good at being G rated when kids are around.  When Camryn was little he told her they were "Daddy words".  The next time I said a curse word, my daughter proceeded to scold me with, "That's a Daddy word, Mommy!"  I clarified that they're "grown-up words".


I've been thinking about this lately.  Why do we think certain words are inappropriate for children, not only for them to hear, but also for them to say?

The words themselves aren't "bad" per se.  They may have unsavory definitions.  But why else do we worry about these words making their way into our kids' vocabulary?

For me, swear words or "naughty" words just don't sound right coming out of a child's mouth.  Kids are too cute and innocent to say such things.  I even cringe when I hear a child actor swear in a movie.  I always wonder how their parents feel about letting their child do that.

Also, kids shouldn't feel so stressed, frustrated or angered that they need to blow off steam by blurting out explitives.

AND, kids don't actually understand the meanings behind these words.  We shouldn't speak of things we don't understand.

The words I won't let my kids say EVER:


The words I prefer they not say, and I tell them so:

Shut up

Mark doesn't like them to say "what the -" because he thinks the next word will be either fuck or hell.  But they either just stop at "what the", or say "what the heck", so it doesn't really bother me.

I also prefer that they not describe people by their appearance, such as fat, skinny, pretty, ugly, black, white...

We freely use the word "dork", however.  Because, well, we're a bunch of dorks!

These are pretty intricate verbal rules, aren't they?  It's no wonder many little kids mess up and say a bad word every now and then.  It's especially great when they say them at the absolute wrong time, like in front of Grandma or at church!

I think most parents tend to agree with these "word rules".  Do you?
What is your opinion on this?


  1. It gets really interesting when they start realizing hell is a place, ass is an animal and so is bitch. Once this is discovered the fun of explaining the difference begins. I prefer my kids not to use the word hate. Our oldest son does say "crap" and I am okay with it as long as it isn't excessive. Once he got it out of his system he rarely uses it. My younger two went through this phase where they would get mad and say "You're a bad word" Although I found it cute this was umm...obviously not cool, we put an end to that one FAST! This is my fault though, I am NOT good at censoring myself, now that the kids are getting older they are understanding they can't say them until they are older. So yes, I agree with your list...I got a little carried away with my comment! :)

  2. I totally agree! Hearing kids swear just makes me cringe for some reason.

  3. Ah you see, in our household "dork" is totally a term of endearment! Strange, I suppose but true.

  4. We weren't allowed to say any of these words growing up, lol! It's hard to censor yourself, especially after hearing it so much for so long from other adults (and sometimes myself--oops!).

  5. Haha... Your husband swears so much! BUT, it seems like all the kids just don't hear it from him. I say one bad word after cutting my finger and my kids are laughing... Your hubby can say douchebag 20 times and they hear nothing. I think he has a force field around him!

    I let my 11yo say crap. I rarely swear, but we are not the type of parent to freak out over it. I think that just makes them want to do it more.

  6. I don't like swearing in general, so I definitely prefer the substitute words. My son came out with "Jeepers crow!" the other day, so I guess it's good that we do that. We're also big on "Zip it!" and "Oh, coconuts!" (thanks Jake and the Pirates!). ;)

  7. Yes! We say lots of curse words. (Hubby was a sailor... it's built in.) Son, who is 13, started using "crap" when he's playing xbox online. Hubs says "Crap is the gateway curse word." I know he is right! As Patrick tells Spongebob... they are spicy sentence enhancers.

    We, also use dork very affectionately. Also prohibited is "what the..." and "frick" - because they may as well be saying it.

    I am really, honestly surprised I don't hear the kids slippin' - because it just seems second nature. I think there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to parenting - so it's important they don't drop f-bombs, but I know it's a heavy part of our family culture as well as music, so I'm sort of prepared for it. (Kids are 13/10)

  8. I paid dearly for slipping once and saying shit in front of my son. In my defense I dropped something that needed a lot of cleaning, in his defense to this day he only uses it in a very correct context.
    You know which one makes me cringe: retard. Why would anyone use that word? It is so mean. It is like going around and saying Bleading ulcer! Who uses medical conditions to insult someone?!