I caught a bit of the banter on Fox this am about a phrase Alec Baldwin used towards his 11 year old daughter. Rosie O’D has jumped in the fire and admitted to using curse words around her children.
I would guess that almost every parent has lost her/his temper with their child….even me. While I have rarely used swear words, I can testify to the fact that once you’ve said it, the child will remember, throw it in your face and you can never take it back.
I do not remember the specifics, but I do remember the shock when my son reminded me that I had said “it.” The tone of his voice communicated that my cuss word had been quite impressionable. I remember regretting that I had uttered the word. It seems rather mild now days when compared to the blitz of the F & B words. However, I wish I had not ever used it in his presence.
The biggest question I have in regards to swearing in the presence of children and teens is this: is one swearing in their presence, or swearing at their children? Does it have the same effect? While neither is good, I believe one lends to greater psychological damage. Swearing at one’s child is similar to name calling. Words do have power… they leave an impression, they give a message. And in these situations, the messages are negative and destructive to self esteem.
I was in my late twenties when someone first used the F word toward me. I was shocked and it was very upsetting. I still remember how it made me feel.
Is cussin’ that big of a deal or not? Why has it become such an acceptable way to communicate in our culture?
dr pers ©2007