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Swearing: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | October 5th, 2011 | Teen Perspective

These days, if you turn the radio on, you are bound to find a song laced with profanity. Swearing is just a fact of life in modern times. It always has been, but like many other things, we are loosening our grasp on what is “bad.” Children are learning swears younger and younger. This means that more and more effort has to be put in by parents to keep their child from cussing all the time.

Personally, I didn’t swear much as a young child. I didn’t hear swears much, and I pretty much only watched children’s television and PG rated movies until I was in middle school. By middle school, I probably only knew the the words hell and damn. Once I got into middle school, my vocabulary of swears exploded. When I graduated 8th grade, I knew the same words I know now. The way I use them has changed, though. At first when you learn swears, you do one of two things: you work them into conversation as much as possible or you don’t use them at all. Now that I’m older, swearing has become an environment based decision. When I’m with friends, swearing is a casual thing. When I’m at school or with family, I don’t swear or I keep it to a minimum. When I’m at sports, you may hear some record setting combinations of swears. This just me, and is not true for everyone.

When it comes to your child, swearing should be a matter of parental choice. I know families where there is no swearing around the parents, and the parents don’t swear. I know other families where there is some. I don’t know any families where there is a lot of swearing, though. In my opinion, it should be minimal in family settings, simply because there is no need for it. You shouldn’t have to use profanity to express how you feel. If anything, it stunts the use of good vocabulary. When you are with friends, it should be okay, because kids will want to use it somewhere and it’s casual.

Most importantly, explain what’s so bad about swearing to your child. If kids don’t understand what is wrong, they may continue to use the words. Kids need to understand what is wrong with something. Also, don’t punish them at first, they are just curious. Only punish the child if the language continues. Often, kids say something to their parents first to experiment with it.

Everyone treats swearing differently, so just treat swearing the way you think it should be in your household. Just make sure the child isn’t spitting swears off everywhere they go.

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