Here's one mum's take on their use... what's your thoughts?
There’s something about swear words and cursing out loud. Especially in my little world. I can’t escape them. They are everywhere.
This very morning I had sat down with my obligatory mug of tea in front of the laptop to write this piece about swear words and kids etc. I decided to take a quick peep at my Instagram account and one of my friends had posted an illustration from an edition of ‘Frankie Magazine’. There it was emblazoned in a beautiful shot, of and by my fellow mum “Maybe Swearing will Help”. Finally! Someone has said it loud. Not an actual swear but someone has said out loud what swearing does for us. It’s not all bad.
For years I have been making a conscious effort to stop swearing especially with little people around me 24-7, and even more especially when other people’s little people are around. While I take responsibility for what comes out of my own mouth, I feel I need to explain the background to my own, once too colourful, language. I firmly believe it is a more masculine thing to do, and while I was growing up, I was, what was known as then, a ladette. My main friends were Irish lads, we went out, went to rallies, walks, road trips, parties and pubs together. Great times and great laughs were had. Being a girl, I quickly adapted to the colourful language and became one of the lads.
It is so much easier to swear than to think of a more eloquent way to get your point across at times. Perhaps sometimes, depending on the context, this is actually acceptable? I mean, my husband doesn’t get too offended if we converse about things when no one else is around, and there are swear words dotted into the mix instead of punctuations. It’s sort of therapeutic no? You’re really angry when you are discussing something and you swear more, at least I do, it’s almost how the anger manifests itself and leaves me, and I feel better and after all isn’t it ‘better out than in’!
I’m not sure if it is slightly more socially acceptable for men to swear, but in my head it is. Men swearing sounds better than women to me, they have more ownership over swear words. I think it helps with communication, and on observation I think it helps some people who struggle socially to make small talk, to fill in the blanks, fluff the gaps and aids thinking time?
Indeed when emotions are high, swearing can also be less useful to a discussion, in that it takes over completely and we are sometimes left with very little of the English language to decipher what is being discussed, or diffused, as the case may be. So I guess, swearing while it can have its benefits can be taken to the opposite extreme and manifests more aggressively. But as the other saying goes ‘everything in moderation’.
Kept in check, I think swearing is ok. There are certain words, I know I don’t need to list out here, that are really best avoided, and there a LOT of swear words kids do not need to hear and certainly contexts to be avoided when they are around. Controversial as this may be, I sometimes think its ok for my kids to use the odd swear here and there, if it’s a ‘responsible’ almost conscious use of a swear word. I believe it is ok to show them responsible use of the odd, not so bad swear, lead by example and all of that. I can see the comments flooding in now, but you may be jumping to conclusions so hold fire. I’m not talking about the abusive, aggressive swear words in a heated conversation or the swear words used to express themselves in conversation, I mean the little swears that we all use on a day to day basis. If one of my kids has the unfortunate luck to catch a finger in a door, or bang their head off something, they absolutely have my support to swear to alleviate the pain (smiley face).
I can’t teach them not to do this when this is something that makes me feel better myself. It would be hypocritical. I will probably continue to swear out really loud if I stub my toe off the leg of a table on a cold winter’s morning!! What else is someone to do in that situation? This surely, necessitates and allows for swearing. Is it not protocol that you stub, drop, roll and SWEAR to the high heavens until the pain subsides? You see its’ really only a very loud, slightly angry prayer to the powers that be for the pain to stop, and maybe a smidgen of a small curse on the offending table leg. What harm is that? Once it’s directed at objects and not people I think we will be ok!