Monday, June 3, 2013

I Swear

A lot.

In front of my teenagers.

I figure it’s good for them.

I don’t see the point of pretending that swear words don’t exist or in getting discombobulated when my kids hear (or use) one.

And I really don’t get the people who “almost swear.” When they exclaim, “Oh, sugar,” you know they mean “Oh, shit” and they know you know. I mean, really, what’s the point?

These approaches just make you look like an idiot. Your kids know, as all kids do, that swear words exist and that they have power.

So, I swear and my kids swear and we watch entertainment, most notably stand-up comedy, where swear words are used in all their glory. Stand-up comics are, in general, smart, articulate and quick-witted, astute observers and wonderful story-tellers. Why wouldn’t I want my kids to be exposed to them?

Yes, sometimes, I need to explain the jokes, sometimes we need to talk about them, sometimes I need to define the swear words and point out how and why and to whom the comics are using them.

And yes, I let my kids swear and allow them to hear me swear ... because my goal is to teach them how to and, by extension, how not to swear.

In my house, while it’s fine to say “fuck,” it is absolutely not OK to hurl slurs, which I define as any word used to attack a person’s very being, derogatory references to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender (like the word “bitch,” which some people inexplicably think is OK), but also to someone's looks, their smarts, their value as people.

I’ve taught my kids that it is far worse to tell someone "You're stupid” than it is to say “Shit!” when you stub your toe.

Because, really, it is.

1 comment:

  1. Swears to language are like spices to cooking....overdo, and you spoil the sauce.