Say f*ck it, before we kick the bucket



{This post contains language that may offend some readers.}

The sun is shining, it’s above zero, and I feel like there may be an end to this Frozen-esque winter we’ve suffered. I woke up to two smiling kids’ faces and warm chocolate chip pancakes care of my hubs, and we’re all sitting around listening to happy music. It’s all idyllic up in hurr, yo.

And then it happened:

Say fuck it, before we kick the bucket…

And Ryan and I sort of looked at one another. Do we fast forward? Quickly run for the playlist and pretend it never happened?

The kids are now seven and four years old. They’ve never heard either of us swear, which is nothing short of a miracle given my language usage. I throw down swears like a priest throws blessings. It’s been a point of pride for me that I’ve kept it clean in front of the kids, while always answering their questions about words they hear elsewhere. (My favourite conversation was about the word, “bitch” with Story, and how many uses it can have. We haven’t broached the amazing ways “fuck” can be used… maybe in a few years.)

I cringe when cartoons call each other, “idiots”, and we don’t support name-calling or demeaning one another with words, but I’ve also been honest when Story came home and asked why all her friends thought the French word for seal was just sooooooo funny. She knows a lot of swear words, but has never heard us use them in context, and has never used them herself. For her, saying, “fart” is a walk on the wild side.

In addition, I’ve kept the music they hear radio-friendly. But I’m a big fan of a lot of music that contains, shall we say, less than kid-friendly lyrics, so it’s always a little nerve-wracking letting loose my playlist with the kids around. Today, we were listening to our joint family iTunes library when the Eminem song Berzerk came on, and what’s the difference between him using the word, “fuck” and Pink using it?

Is foul language really that big a deal? Is hearing it the gateway to using it? (My parents have never used the language I use, so do I swear to rebel against my upbringing?) I know my audience, and think that’s the key to swearing, and I’ve decided that nope, I’m not censoring my music for the kids anymore. There is certainly stuff we won’t listen to at all in our house, because of the content, but I think I’m all done covering up the swear words in some songs.

My kids know how babies are made. We talk about same-sex marriageΒ and why some people are bullies. We talk about why some things aren’t nice to do, and why it’s important to do those other things that are nice. We teach them good manners and etiquette, we talk frankly about scary world issues and violence, and the need for safety. We talk about all these big issues, but hide some “bad” words from them? I’m not saying I’ll unleash my vocabulary on them (certainly not at their young ages), but when it comes to my music library?

I say fuck it, let’s dance.

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16 thoughts on “Say f*ck it, before we kick the bucket

  1. AMEN! This is why i fucking love you πŸ™‚ I’ve tried holding back my swears but it just comes out as 2nd nature. Miss Zed still hasn’t parroted me yet so, there’s hope? The one thing I DO want to bar Kenzie from is the smut on TV. Thankfully, we have netflix so I have control over what she sees. What do you guys do with TV shows?

    1. We don’t have cable, so the shows they watch are limited to movies we choose or Netflix kids’ stuff. I actually find commercials generally more disturbing than show content, to be honest.

      I have no real opinion on the current shows on tv for Story’s age group because she doesn’t watch any of them. We’re all about Ninjago and My Little Pony here, nothing Disney Jr.

      1. They’re *terrible*. We don’t have cable, so the kids are exposed to very few commercials, and as such, they are always sort of confused by them. We spend a lot of time explaining that commercials are usually lies.

      2. I wholeheartedly agree with the commercials. We don’t watch a lot of cable (we have it for my MIL and so we can watch The Walking Dead real time) but we’ll PVR the odd Mythbusters or something. The commercials! Oh my stars… So damaging! I don’t censor the music, mostly. I do find myself skipping Katy Perry’s “Circle the Drain” with her emphasis on the words in the chorus “I’m not your FUCKING mother”. I have dropped a few bombs in front of my kids, but I’m pretty proud I’ve held tongue fairly well. πŸ™‚

      3. We have the same conversations. I hate being told what I want to buy. It’s infuriating. I liked PBS & Family when we had cable because ads were minimal.

  2. I switched off the swearing for years when mine was younger. Now I think he truly believes his name is ‘what the fuck Alex’, since that seems to come out of my mouth a hundred times a day. He’s 13 now and happy day! We can again listen to un-edited Eminem in the car!

  3. It’s funny isn’t it? Kids can see a million acts of violence in movies or on TV, but a single F-bomb will have parents all up in arms. (Don’t *even* get me started on how everyone freaks out about nudity or sex.)

    I say when you are dancing and making a joyful sound (singing, rapping, what have you!) the dancing and joy are what we need to focus on. πŸ˜€ The kids know not to whip out those words with their grandparents and teachers and they know that you don’t always need to pepper your conversations with “bad” words. If they were great to say all the time, we would.

    My Things? They decided it was okay to sing Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” as long as we *knew* we were singing about a beaver dam when the line “Open up your plans, and damn your free!” comes up. They take after their Daddy-O! πŸ˜‰

    1. Hahaha, I love that. Beaver dam, obviously.

      Yes, I am FAR more concerned about them being exposed (and desensitized to) violence than I am about sexuality, nudity or language.

      Ahh, this parenting gig is never dull, right? πŸ™‚

      1. Never dull, always interesting, Thank goodness!

        The best thing, we find, is to teach really cool vocabulary words to go along with the whole “cuss word” thing, too. Anyone can toss around “hate”, but “loathe” now there’s a fun word! πŸ˜€ So, it all just falls inline with being uncommon.

        Soon it’ll be Shakespearean slang! HAH!

  4. I try not to swear purposely in front of my kids, but it slips, I have a huge potty mouth! I’ve had them copy me here and there and just explain to them that it’s a word that grown-ups use, and isn’t really nice. So far that seems to work! I never sensor my music either, never have! I can’t handle kids music! It’s actually kind of funny because we’ve been listening to a lot of Macklemore and the other day the kids were singing Thriftshop… instead of saying ‘This is Fucking Awesome’, they sing ‘This is PUMPKIN Awesome’! lol! They are just words. As long as they aren’t using them, and especially as long as they aren’t using them in a mean or bullying way, I’m not worried. They are going to hear it at school and in their surroundings. They just need to have an understanding of it.

    1. Absolutely!

      And now I’m totally going to say, “Pumpkin awesome” during Thrift Shop, every time.

  5. I was a trucking sailor in a previous life. I make a conscious effort not to swear in front of other peoples children, but mine?

    She’s heard me swear her whole life, not constantly but it’s part of my vocabulary. Amazingly, she has never sworn. Ever. She also has never used the word “discombobulated” and I use that often too. She has no idea what it means or why she would use it so she doesn’t.

    Making it not something that sticks out has made it not important to her. It works for us.

  6. I don’t worry much about swearing with the kids around. I’ve let it slip, but we talk about it and have discussions about what is appropriate – when, where, and in front of whom. Q knows they are “grown up” words and he doesn’t have a problem with that.

    As for music, we don’t censor much, but mostly listen to radio, anyway. There is some music we shield them from, especially use of the n-word. That is not a word that we want to normalize.

    When I was Story’s age, I knew the lyrics to “Patricia the Stripper” by Chris de Burgh by heart, and I turned out ok(ish), so what-the-fuck-ever.

  7. So, I grew up in a house with two very creative men. My grandfather especially could string together curses that would burn your ears while you secretly looked on in awe. MY father wasn’t far behind. There are lots of words out there that are way worse than fuck. Words that belittle and insult are not allowed, and we don’t use them. Ever. But I gave up trying not to swear in front of M. We talk about appropriate use of language, and he’s not interested in using the grown-up words he hears me use, mostly while driving. For the record, I didn’t swear as a kid either, in spite of the examples around me. I understood they weren’t socially acceptable words for a kid, or for public consumption. Though there’s a funny story about my 2yo brother “going to turn down the goddamn fermostat. It’s too fuckin hot!” Ha! He got a soaped mouth for that one, and he learned πŸ™‚

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