Children Swearing

Daniel Ream shares the following anecdote in the comments under my last post:

While I think there’s merit in raising independent children, these three have raised their kids as if they are tiny adults rather than children, with children’s immature emotional development and unique sensitivities. As a result, the children swear like sailors, and are familiar with a wide variety of deviant sexuality and violence, thanks to living around the corner from the Castro, watching whatever movies they want, and watching Daddies play video games.

I recently heard about a small Russian boy around 4 years old who is fond of running around the place shouting “blyad!” For those unfamiliar with Russian, this is like running about shouting “c*nt!” Unsurprisingly, his father doesn’t live with him and his mother.

Children usually learn to swear when young because they hear their parents do it, or school friends. Every kid I know will occasionally let slip a “naughty word” resulting in a bollocking from the parents, searching questions as to where it was learned, and solemn vows not to swear in front of the kids any more. This is perfectly normal.

What isn’t normal is for a kid to run around swearing. Letting slip a swear word indicates the kid has his ears open. Running around swearing indicates his parents don’t care, and if they don’t care about his language you can be absolutely sure they don’t care about other things, some of which are essential to his development. A child who routinely uses bad language, especially in front of adults, is not going to do very well in life.

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27 thoughts on “Children Swearing

  1. … shouting “blyad!”…this is like running about shouting “c*nt!”

    Less offensive than that, more like “f*ck,” akin to “putain!” in French and “kurwa!” in Polish. Still unacceptable, obviously, and -left uncorrected – speaking volumes about the parents and family.

    About 30-40 years ago, a subset of the late-Soviet intelligentsia started using dirty language as a kind of rebellion or a claim to aristocratic status (the aristocrats and the low classes don’t give a damn – it’s the middle class that values good manners). There have been side effects to this.

  2. Less offensive than that, more like “f*ck,”

    Yeah, I was toying with that. Decided to go for the more literal translation.

    About 30-40 years ago, a subset of the late-Soviet intelligentsia started using dirty language as a kind of rebellion or a claim to aristocratic status

    Interesting!

  3. Cor, me own post. <slicks back hair, adjusts tie> You’ll be expecting erudition next, I suppose.

    Would you like some more? Apparently the twins were playing House (being twin girls, don’t read too much into the fact that one of them had to “be the boy and wear boy’s clothes” – at least they comprehend that a family has one mommy and one daddy, so far) and part of this involved mommy getting pregnant and then having a C-section, complete with the other twin miming and saying “Cut, cut, cut”

    I made use of some profanity of my own when asking where exactly five-year-old girls were coming by the specific details of a C-section procedure. YouTube, apparently.

    Can you imagine how these kids will be when they’re teenagers or adults?!

    Once they hit puberty and discover boys, the Daddies will either suddenly realize just how vulnerable and ill-prepared they are and go full Red Forman, or else they’ll retreat further into denial as their daughters date progressively freakier and freakier losers in an attempt to get the parental discipline they crave. I’d say it’s about 50-50.

  4. Blyad’ means “whore,” technically speaking

    Ah, thanks. My Russian is getting rusty, not that I ever used that term much.

  5. “a subset of the late-Soviet intelligentsia”

    Good to see that the Russians are about to beat the Soviet era grain production records as well!

  6. It is sobering, and disappointing, when you see a father — as I did in a small town oop north — scream “You miserable little f*ckin’ bastard” at the three year old lad with him. Though that may be a little better than the mother who called her daughter, of about the same age, “a f*ckin’ snivellin’ c*nt” a few yards further on.

    As much as I want to England to survive the coming invasion(s) there are times I feel it best to let the invaders take the win because the quality of parenting here is not what it might be. However, I expect that in the babble of many languages I hear on the streets these days there may be equally viscious verbal attacks on the young of other races.

  7. Aha… explains young Corbynistas screaming, ‘Tory Scum.’ through their twisted, angry faces – parental neglect.

  8. Blimey Tim. You’re getting old.

    (you’re also right, but that’s just a sign that you’re getting old)

  9. @Bardon : almost as good as seeing Germany restore its 1913 grain production by 1937. Gotta feed all those invading armies somehow.

  10. My 3 year old daughter frustrated today not being able to get her straw in her milkshake muttered ‘fuck’, her mother will be having words with me when the kids go to bed tonight, my excuse that it was used in the right context will come to naught I imagine. Luckily for me we have been through this with the other 3 and it has been easily fixable.

  11. This be the verse…
    Not knowing any further details I’d suspect the child to have other developmental problems.

  12. Our cure was to give the kids a limited window to use the new words, a week should suffice, from which point use of such words is banned. Worked surprisingly well, at least until my eldest (nearly 15) recently started swearing as it is a peer group thing. It an inverse snob thing as he is at a very good London day school with (some) pupils having houses in Chelsea and business class jaunts abroad and the others merely a very stable albeit well off enough to afford to outrageous fees background. Yet the kids are all Corbin supporters and swear like the parents in Watcher’s annecdotes. Self improvement isn’t a concern when you don’t have to worry about eating and a roof over your head.

  13. As much as I want to England to survive the coming invasion(s) there are times I feel it best to let the invaders take the win because the quality of parenting here is not what it might be.

    I know how you feel.

  14. Blimey Tim. You’re getting old.

    I know! It just kind of crept up on me with no warning whatsoever!

  15. My 3 year old daughter frustrated today not being able to get her straw in her milkshake muttered ‘fuck’, her mother will be having words with me…

    Perhaps you should stop letting her watch LFC play?

  16. Worked surprisingly well, at least until my eldest (nearly 15) recently started swearing as it is a peer group thing.

    I think teenagers swearing isn’t so bad because, as you say, it’s a rebel/peer group thing. Toddlers and young children is another matter, though.

  17. slicks back hair, adjusts tie

    You wear *ties* in Canada?! Don’t they clash with the lumberjack shirts?

    or else they’ll retreat further into denial as their daughters date progressively freakier and freakier losers in an attempt to get the parental discipline they crave.

    File under: All Too Familiar

  18. Oh, memories… Sometimes parenting doesn’t work well. A neighbour of mine once told her son off for calling his little sister a twat, not understanding the word in all probability.

    The mother stormed at the five year old he wasn’t to use naughty words. Anyway, Grandma was coming later that day and Daniel should be careful what he said.

    Daniel was very careful, even when he spilled some of his drink at tea with Grandma. His mother rounded on him for being clumsy at the table.

    “Mummy,” howled the lad, burying his face in his hands. “I didn’t say the word fuck!”

  19. Perhaps you should stop letting her watch LFC play?

    Hardly appropriate Tim: Liverpool would kill to have as resolute a defence as that milkshake!

  20. You wear *ties* in Canada?! Don’t they clash with the lumberjack shirts?

    Oh, nonsense. The stripes go the other way.

  21. About 28 years ago, my 22-month-old son spent the day with a neighbour’s family while I had to go out. At supper-time, he was sitting in his high-chair when I brought his food: being a picky little devil (he still is, though ‘little’ is now inappropriate), he didn’t like it. He pushed it away and said loudly, “Fu’ off.” (He couldn’t manage the final phoneme.)

    I said, “Do you know what that means?”

    “No,” he said.

    “It means ‘Go away’, ” I said, and went into another room.

    After about two minutes, when he was crying hard, I returned. “Will you say that again?” I asked.

    “No,” he sobbed.

    And he never did, at least not in my hearing.

  22. Hardly appropriate Tim: Liverpool would kill to have as resolute a defence as that milkshake!

    Heh! Although they made short work of Arsenal this afternoon, I must say.

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