Growing up, the worst word I ever heard my mom say was “rat-biscuits.” When I was eight my mom cried when my older brother and I wouldn’t stop uttering made-up possibly-sex-related words, enjoying saying them for the sheer scandoulousness of it. She cried, we stopped. Later on I was exposed to real swearing; some words made it into my vocabulary and some did not.
When I had kids, everything changed. Like crying, the swearing I did was a part of me that I wasn’t sure I wanted to share with my kids. I’m by no means a sailor or truck driver (unfortunate characterizations, to be sure, but you get the idea) when it comes to swearing, nor am I a total prude, but knowing that my behavior provides a model for my kids put a spotlight on it. Do you swear in front of your kids? And when? And what qualifies as swearing?
Read the rest of this entry