As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed a few months back I saw a video of a young boy – probably about 4-5 years old – shouting obscenities of the worst kind. Unfortunately sentences like this don’t shock like they used to, but hearing a child say it appalled me. The video went viral, there were laughs, concerns and threats, but for the most part people were disgusted with the parents of the kid.
Here’s where it got interesting. One of the replies to the video stated:
“I’d never stop my son from swearing”. This guy’s kid was 4 years old.
I did a double take. A child swearing is so alien and should be absolutely discouraged, right? Hearing a child drop the f-bomb makes me wince, but if it’s said in context (so not just a blatant copying of a word) then it’s so much worse. Isn’t that how we all think or am I being a prude here?
A while back, my daughter was making up words – names for her guinea pig in fact. She was throwing them out there, “batty, gletty, pelly, shitty”. I laughed, it was funny in its innocence. If she’d casually said “Daddy that’s a shitty thing to do” then I can’t see me even cracking a smile. I thought about it for a while and wondered when exactly it would be acceptable for her to swear, I decided loosely that it would most likely be in her teenage years and that the first time I had no place to protest would sting a little.
I’m well aware that there will be differing views on this, but I’m curious on your thoughts. At what age is it acceptable, or perhaps unavoidable, for your child to swear?