I wasn't allowed to swear as I grew up. Even "hell" and "damn" were forbidden. I heard my mother and father each use the word "damn" only once while I was growing up.
Of course I cut loose when I went away to college (as did my sister, on a much smaller scale, as I recall).
When our children were growing up, I not only swore in front of them, I didn't care if they swore so long as they weren't being hurtful to others.
At times our children would take delight in inviting friends over just to prove they could swear at home.
I gather, from something my older son (David Ricardo Palmer) related to me later, that I didn't emphasize strongly enough that there were some words that it was fine to use at home, in front of us, but that might offend others. The result is that he rarely swears now.
I was reminded of these things from reading this article on FB about "5 Reasons I Don't Give an Eff about Swearing in Front of My Kids." The five reasons, roughly summarize are:
- I'm grown up so I get to do what I want to. This sounds bizarre and selfish, but I understand it.
- They are kids. They need to learn what's appropriate (and when) and what isn't. I think I maybe didn't do such a good job here.
- Let's get rid of kiddie words and euphemisms.
- Parenting is a series of WTF moments (not much of an excuse in my book).
- I have given up so much to be a parent, don't ask me to give up swearing (this sounds so valleuy-girlish, it upsets me)
Okay don't think much of this list. I try not to swear much in front of people who would rather I didn't. I don't swear at all in front of audiences during mystery dinner theatre shows, and I cut down on my swearing considerably in front of relatives whom I know do not appreciate it. And I try to avoid swearing in front of strangers until I think it might be acceptable.
But I do like to swear, and quite a bit. [see this about my swearing in the classroom] And so despite not agreeing with and not buying the reasons given in that article, I still sympathized with it. .... so long as parents have my extension of point #2 clear with their children.