"We were writing two-letter sounds in writing the other day. Like –Ch, -Sh, -Ph and –Ck. The worksheet had –U-C-K, and the children were instructed to write a letter in front of –UCK to make a word."
"Uh huh," I listened, smiling politely at my daughter's kindergarten teacher. I knew what was coming next, and so do you, dear reader.
The teacher went on. "So, your daughter said, 'You know if you put an 'F' in front...' and I quickly interjected and said, 'Wellllllll, we're not going to do that.'"
My reaction was elation. I write profanely for like, a living. I almost had tears running down my face.
"She writes just like her mama!"
"I know. I thought that, too!" said the teacher, laughing.
"OK, but for real, I'll teach her NOT to write swear words."
I know the "normal" reaction is to freak out that my five-year-old daughter was about to spell "F*CK" in kindergarten class. But I don't view swear words as taboo.
I'm not trying to be edgy or cool; I just love swearing. I've loved it since I studied it in my college linguistics class. (Yes, linguists study ALL aspects of language, including expletives.) Expletives fascinate me.
In a study called The Science of Swearing, psychology researchers found that swearing did little (if any) harm to children or people in general. In fact, they found that a word in itself, any word, isn't harmful. Harm is determined by HOW the word is used.
For example, if you're using expletives to verbally and emotionally attack your child — like calling your kid an assh*le — then YOU are, indeed, a f*cking dickhead, scum of the earth c*nt who shouldn't be a parent. However, if you stub your toe in front of your child and feel the reflex reaction (like so many of us do) to scream "FUUUUUCCCKKKK!!!" then congratulations! You're normal.
I swear in front of my kids. I don't forbid them to say swear words. I suggest that maybe they shouldn't swear at school or when talking to their friends. I tell them they should never use swear words to call people names. But by and large, swearing is a huge non-issue in our house. And I think my kids are better off for it.
Here are seven reasons moms who swear make the best moms:
1. They give it to their kids straight.
No tip-toeing around touchy subjects. No rose-colored explanations. No coddling conversations. No sugarcoated versions of stories. Can you imagine how many unintentional teen pregnancies could be prevented with straight sex talk at home? If you f*ck a boy or a girl, you could get STDs, which are bumpy, sometimes slimey, dischargey germs that make your vagina and penis stink and look f*cking bananas.
2. They're unabashedly and fantastically flamboyant.
When I love something — coffee, wine, artwork, bacon — I really f*cking love it. I celebrate life with swear words. What better thing to teach your kids than to be passionate about life and all of its wonderful gifts?
3. They're fine with being the b*tch.
I give no f*cks about being perceived a certain way. I don't give a damn about saying "No" to people. I couldn't care less if someone thinks I'm a c*nt for speaking up against hate, discrimination, and bigotry. I'm un-f*cking-apologetic about standing up for my daughters and their rights. It's called confidence, folks.
4. They don't take things too seriously.
I use profanities to help me properly and adequately display my emotions, be it happy or sad. There's nothing a few, well-placed “f*cks” can't cure. By swearing my way through tough situations, I'm less inclined to act out in other ways. Like violent ways. I think that's a big lesson for kids. They should be able to express their feelings in cathartic, productive ways. And if profanity helps them get there, so be it.
5. They defend their kids fearlessly.
Anyone who f*cks with their kids will be slashed into a million pieces with their sharp tongues. I dare you to be a dick to my kid. That's the kind of support our children need.
6. They're amazing storytellers.
There's a reason sweary mom bloggers are all the rage right now. They tell (and write) some of the most engaging, funny-as-hell stories. Teaching your child how to tell a good, engaging story is a gift that will help them write essays in high school English class. It will help them present an A+ project in history class. It will help them on job interviews.
7. They're very open-minded.
A mom that gives no f*cks about dropping said f*cks must be very open and non-judgy. They're not worried about being judged by the world; in fact, they're flicking off the world. Kids need to be taught to be tolerant, empathetic and non-judgmental. They also need to be taught that when someone is being a judgy dickhead to them, "F*ck off" is a completely valid and reasonable response.
So, can we ditch the Queen of England English, goody-two-shoes grammar and elitist language rules? I want to talk with my children, not at them. Swearing is a sign of respect (not disrespect) that I'd like to extend to them so they can extend it to someone else. If you don't like that, well ... f*ck off.