OPINION: Why swearing near kids is a big no-no

Journalist Kathy Sundstrom.
Journalist Kathy Sundstrom. Warren Lynam

FROLLICKING fudgesickles, can people please stop using swear words as part of their vernacular in front of children?

It really grates my potato chip when I hear swear words used on radio, television or in general conversation.

It's not that I'm shocked. Please, little shocks me any more.

It's also not about my moral convictions as that would make me a right royal hypocrite.

It's just that if we use the "F-bomb” in normal conversation involving children, it is going to have the power of a Nerf bullet.

Have you noticed how words our mummy and daddy taught us not to say have lost their shock value?

Take the word for female dog. I can't print it as then I will be defeating the purpose of what I'm saying.

But you know what I mean.

A radio station has had a campaign running for several weeks with the jingle I'm "female dogging” for a kitchen.

I hate it.

I don't let my children use that word and how am I supposed to explain to them its wrong if they hear it used in a radio advert?

More than that, I loved my female dog, Tessa.

And if "female dog” becomes an innocuous word instead of a word with impact to describe a nasty woman, it is an insult to the venerable status of my female dog.

Or not. I just don't like it. I think its tacky and distasteful.

We shouldn't encourage our children to swear because part of the joy of growing up is gaining the power to use these words and for them to have their intended impact.

On the very rare occasion that I do swear in front of my children (please don't ask them to verify this) they immediately know mummy is really mad.

It silences them and it shocks them, as it should. Swearing in conversations with peers is one thing, but can't some rituals remain sacred for adulthood?

Anyway, we should encourage our children to embrace the joy of language and power of English before their imagination becomes limited to four letter words.

Topics:  my say opinion parenting swearing

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