I used to babysit this little girl. Not only did I swear in front of her, but I've also never forbade her from cursing herself. I think she was about 7 when she decided to start swearing like a sailor. Without any explanation at all, she knew perfectly well that it was not appropriate language for public or around those who would be offended by it.
She knew from an early age not only how to curse, but when and where it was appropriate. I know many adults who still haven't learned that lesson. Frankly, I've always found those who are offended by cursing to be shallow and desperately in need of something better with which to occupy their mind.
Cursing can sound harsh. I remember cursing as a child and it was pretty much "acting out" so the cursing was a symptom of what was going on with me at the moment. This could've been something as insignificant as a few to many ribbon candies. Sometimes it was to impress older kids, and the fact that my parents used them when they were really upset with myself or my brothers I also thought of them as "power words". These "power words" were a part of the last straw which inevitably led up to my parents getting me to do what they had asked in the first place.
I do curse but I it's basically when I allow myself to be lazy and unimaginative. The context is a huge thing for me. I ask myself "Can I comprehensively explain this context to a child (of whatever age)?" and what does it mean if I do. The context of the F-bomb can be the difference between a somewhat derogatory word for sex or it may mean "broken" or "messed up". example: "That car is fucked." There is also the more vague slavic definition meaning "to beat pierce or stab". I am comfortable explaining the context some of these but in the context of sex not so much. I would hate for them to form the habit of using that term that some people see as degrading the act of sex. Depending on the age and the particular child they may just understand this though.
I try not to do anything in front of kids that I can't explain comprehensively and provide some guidance for the use. I don't encourage them but most of the time cursing isn't all that offensive to me and I think most people know when one is trying to be offensive as oppose to just being unimaginative or adding emphasis to a statement. Some people will be offended no matter what and will try to puritanically shame you over use of cursing. I'm not one of those people.
My opinion is it is always better to encourage a variety of vocabulary. It sounds less ignorant, less harsh and has more all around use in life. This -I think -in part comes from example. (rhetorical) Would you rather your kids hear you say "I just raked the garden, now it's all fucked up again!" or " I just raked the garden, now I'll need to defoliate again." (Defoliate: Remove leaves from (a tree, plant, or area of land), for agricultural purposes or as a military tactic.) Words are great.
There is one word that I'd rather define and another that I would rather not. I don't think it's particularly wrong to curse in front of kids but I think there are a lot of great, clever alternatives. I'd prefer to refer to a person as "uncomplicated" rather than "simple" or "simpleton". I think the only they that concerns me in what you posted here is that eventually children want to know "Why?". Why not curse around family?, why just at home?, Why not at school? etc. Hopefully you have some answers on hand if this should come up.
Yes, and my son (14) curses on occasion as well. He is smart enough to know without being told that there are times and places where cursing is not appropriate and sticks to that. At home, if you drop the "f-bomb" hey, shit happens right?
I say express yourself and FUCK the idiots.
Do you love your child?
Does your child know that you love him?
If the answer is Yes to both, then phuck what others say or think...love for the win.
The way I look at it is that words are just words. They only have the meaning you give them. If my use of the word "fuck" or "shit" offends you, well sorry, but that's your deal. I honestly think people should just stop looking at swears as bad words. I don't see any reason to view them as bad.
I do not have children, but I do mind my language around my nephews. I am more careful at work as well. Other than than I curse like a drunken sailor. Even a post graduate education could not cure me. Especially cus if I know you are a good xtian.
Nope. I like alternatives. For example, in front of my nieces and nephews I say "Jimminy Christmas". It's kind of funny, because there's an irony there. Everyone knows what word you could have used. Everyone knows that the children, in 20 years, will likely be swearing to some extent. But there's also something to be said about the attempt. I think it shows character. To me, it's a matter of letting kids know that most the things adults use curse words for are actually sort of goofy, and not nearly as serious as we think, much less so much so that they require damning to hell and getting fucked and comparing to shit. Because, I mean... kids. Right?
I'll never forget approaching a room where my mother and older brother were talking. I must have been 14 years old, and he, 16. Evidently she was giving him some sexual behaviour advice but the first clear words I head were his, saying, "Well, it's not the face you fuck". I thought, oh shit, he's in trouble now. And I heard her shocked voice say, "Denis!".
Then she said, "Don't you mean you don't look at the mantlepiece while you poke the fire?"
Classic moment, managed superbly :)