Now that Baby has started talking, it’s probably starting to become clear exactly how much of what you say they are picking up on and filing away for later – that is to say, pretty much all of it. Maybe even including a few things you wish they would be a little forgetful about?
While it’s annoying if Baby remembers your guilty pleasure song and tries to start a song-along with it in public, it’s any four-letter words you can’t say on the radio that they may have overheard that are more likely to cause the memorable embarrassing situations.
Plenty of parents choose to try to cut out curse words from their verbal diet for exactly that reason, while others take the stance that their children are going to come across these words at some point, and since it’s parents’ jobs to teach their children which words are appropriate for which situations, it’s better for them to come across them when their parents are around to talk about it and set boundaries.
Pros and cons of keeping curse words away from your toddler
Speaking in anger
One of the best arguments against swearing around children is that words that are taboo are often the ones that come out in extreme anger, and can carry really negative connotations which can have damaging effects on children. While there is a certain amount of truth to this idea, it has more to do with the intent behind the words than the words themselves – being around frequent, angry disagreements can be stressful for children, whether they’re expressed using swear words or just angry regular words. Still, the occasional curse around a child has a different impact than swear words directed at, or describing, a person, since, like in every other situation, Baby is taking their cues from you about how people should be treated, and the amount of respect and kindness they’re owed.
- Kristin L. Jay, Timothy B. Jay. “A Child’s Garden of Curses: A Gender, Historical, and Age-Related Evaluation of the Taboo Lexicon.” The American Journal of Psychology. Vol. 126, No. 4 (Winter 2013), pp. 459-475. Web. October 2 2014.