My Daughter Needs a Swear Jar.

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The other day, my four yr old daughter, in her true fashion, said this to me while I was driving, “Momma, can I say shit?”. Now she knows damn well she cannot say shit but she is smart enough to know if she forms it in a question, she may just get away with saying this fantastically naughty word.

This isn’t the first time she has tried this tactic because my sassy four year old loves to cuss. A habit she unfortunately inherited from her Momma. I’m better than I used to be but the occasional expletive always slips out when my “don’t miss a beat” daughter is around or I naively think she is not listening. I may be sending her to college or paying for her future therapy with a swear jar.

weapons of mass destruction.

weapons of mass destruction.

In that moment in the truck, during the middle of the day, I recognized the opportunity to teach my daughter a lesson in the power of words. In my true fashion, I instructed her to shout out every cuss word she knew. Ass, shit, hell, dammit–if she knew it I let her say it, and more than once. When she was all done and composed her laughter and disbelief at what just happened, I asked her how she felt. She replied, “Good!”. I believed her too because I felt good listening to her laugh like that. I told her that for the most part, that’s why adults say those words. However, they are considered “naughty” words, especially for kids, and she should try not to say them.

Then I asked her to say the words stupid, ugly, fat, dumb, hate and maybe a few more I’m forgetting. She said them at least twice each. I asked her how she felt. Her response was “Not good”. Exactly. I told her that those words are the real bad words because they hurt people. She is a very sensitive child by nature and like me, she connects way more with building people up then tearing them down.

I could see her big, brown eyes in the rearview mirror, digesting what I said to her. She asked me if she was allowed to say those words. I told her they are not cuss words but they are very hurtful so, no she couldn’t and shouldn’t say them. Part of me wanted to dig deeper and open up a previous conversation about bullying, but I didn’t. I knew the seed was planted.

From this, I took two things:

1.  I really hope my sassy little girl doesn’t decide to teach her friends the difference between cuss words and hurtful words. If this happens, I am apologizing to parents in advance. It was taught out of love, I promise.

2.  I just hope that other parents, in their own way, teach this lesson. Speaking from experience, words don’t leave bruises on your skin but instead scars on your heart and spirit. So please, pay less attentions to the f bombs and more to what you are saying when you think your kids aren’t listening.

Do you have remember a time when your child threw out a cuss word or two?  Did you discipline him/her, laugh or ignore it?  Anyone else feel that Hate is a much uglier word than Shit??

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32 thoughts on “My Daughter Needs a Swear Jar.

  1. Oh yes, my child definitely picked up on my colorful language when he was in preschool. Luckily, I just told him not to say those words and he stopped…until he got xBox live last year (he’s 17 now 🙂 ).

    • I totally get that kids “do as they see and not what they’re told” but man it is so tough to break this habit for me!! All well, at least I know my kids will never see me call someone a hateful name.

      Question for you…do you still get on to your child if he swears now at 17?

      • “at least I know my kids will never see me call someone a hateful name”—Exactly! Cursing can just happen as a reaction, this not so much.

        He knows not to curse at school or in public, it’s just part of the dynamic when he gets online and caught up with other teens to play games. I let it go since he doesn’t take it outside of the game (or at least, not where I have heard or have been told).

      • I totally get that. I don’t suppose I’ll ever want to hear pure filth come out of my kids’ mouths but slip ups or emphasis when necessary isn’t anything to get worked up in my opinion.

      • Yeah. And to be fair to him, it isn’t a constant stream when he is online, but definitely not words he uses in normal mother-son conversations. 🙂

  2. Fantastic! I taught my boys all of the juicy, bad words, too. Well, *taught* them if teaching involves hearing them in the car or after stubbed toes. They’re going to hear them, anyway, so they should learn why they cannot use them. The hurtful word lesson is beautiful. What a fucking sweet little girl you have!

    • Yes, she is very tender hearted and will call some one out with the quickness If they are being mean to someone else. I love that about her.

      Stubbed toes are a constant in this house and so are the naughty words that always follow!

  3. My daughter is 10 now and the only time I’ve ever heard her curse was when a dude walked right in front of my car and I had to hit the brakes. Before I could say anything, she says, “What a dickhead!” When I asked where she heard such a word, she said, “grandma says it.” Nice one, grandma.

    Otherwise, my 4 year old will drop a fuck or shit from time to time and we don’t even acknowledge it. As for the other words, I’ve never really thought about it. A kid can say they hate a certain toy, right? It’s not pc to call something retarded anymore, so can’t they say something is stupid? IDK. I don’t let them talk about other people like that though. I was shocked at how aggressive little kids can be (3 and 4 y/o’s) when I coached my son’s soccer team. Jesus, I must have scolded kids from both teams 200 times for inappropriate hitting or saying mean things. Where do they get that crap?

    • I really believe they get it from adults who don’t know the kids are listening, don’t care if they are or the adults are just assholes.

      I’m by no means the PC word police but I don’t tolerate things being said that could hurt someone else or the degrade self confidence. It’s my own shit really but my kids will have to deal with it. Lol.

      Um. I want to meet that grandma!

  4. I stopped swearing as a teenager when I was told that unintelligent people swear. It is a lazy persons way of talking. As I have gotten older I have learned this is true. It can be very entertaining to tell someone off in a nice way. It calms down the situation and you leave them puzzled wondering if you made their day or gave them an insult. Try explaining to her that it makes her sound ignorant and stupid when she swears. Tell her that she does not want to be lazy as an adult.

    • I have to laugh a bit because I’ve never heard swearing equated with being lazy or ignorant. I find it quite classy when cultivated correctly. And no I don’t think I’ll ever tell my daughter something she simply says makes her ignorant, stupid or lazy. Kind of defeats the message of this post don’t you think?

  5. wow what a deep thought process! Loved your post! Maybe if parents spent more time (if not as much)correcting their children for saying hurtful words than swear words, it would be a much kinder world out there. But of course, for that we as parents need to implement and believe all of it ourselves….

    • Oh how I wish it were a kinder world out there! I definitely agree that if we paid more attention to how we speak to one another it would be.

      Thanks for reading and I’m so glad you enjoyed this.

  6. I love the lesson you taught your daughter. I agree completely that stupid is a worse word than shit. Also, yeah, my son has said some swear words. He’s said “shit!” when he’s dropped toys but since he used it appropriately (he’s got speech and language issues), I let it go. Oh! The other night though, he got mad and said “Jesus Christ!” Thanks, husband. That one’s on him because I prefer the f word for my swears.

    • I think there are so many Moms in the closet about their love affair with the f word!! lol. I love that you let the “shit” slide because he “used it appropriately”. That’s hysterical. Yeah, my daughter has said, “JESUS!” out of frustration before. Unfortunately, I have to own that one too. The hubs prefers ridiculous “bad” words like “butthole”…in other words…my son just threw his entire dinner plate on the floor again and his daddy called him a butthole for it. The four yr old LOVES that one.

  7. I have never understood profanity. Honestly, what’s the difference between saying shit or crap? There is none. Why is one okay to say but not the other?

    As for hate, that is a strong word, but I think our children need to understand what it is and understand why it’s wrong.

  8. Pingback: My Daughter Needs A Swear Jar. | anonymousconfessionsofagirl

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