I’m not a big swear-er. I never have been, and I doubt I ever will be. That isn’t to say that I don’t swear on occasion, as I do. But with my prediliction against swearing, you can imagine that it’s that much more effective when I do swear.
Personally, I’m just not a fan of swearing in general. I’m sometimes a bit old-fashioned, and it just sounds vulgar to me when it’s thrown in gratuitously. I can remember being in the sixth grade riding the Mouse (roller coaster) at Valleyfair and for the first time saying — quietly and to myself — Oh my God as I rode up and down and around the curves and hills. I felt like I was being so bad then, but I did it anyway. You can imagine how much of a problem child I was for my mother.
With this minimal background in swearing, I didn’t want my children to grow up swearing. When pregnant with Mister Man, we agreed to not swear in front of any children we may have and that to get in the habit, we should start immediately. It was much easier for me than it was for him, but we both did it.
Since Mister Man was born, there have been some slipups on Daddy’s part, but luckily nothing frequent or that has stuck.
Interjections, on the other hand, are another matter. Personally, I think it sounds wrong and ugly for a preschooler to say things like “Oh my God” or “What the?…” (without the last bit at least) or “Gosh darn it” or even “For Pete’s sake.” Little kids don’t need to learn saying like this, especially not at two or three. At least in my mind.
My husband and parents are of another mind altogether (we’ll leave out my in-laws who swear in front of my children). They believe it’s perfectly normal and that everyone needs interjections to get their point across.
We’ve come to a stalemate. I contend that Little Miss (at three) saying, For the love of God, will you please stop singing really isn’t appropriate. I’m the only one in my camp. For now, the wee ones bend to my will and avoid saying things like this after being corrected once by me. The rest of the family, however, continues to expose them to language like this.
I know it’s only a matter of time before I hear one of them shouting Holy [email protected] p – or something worse – and I’m not looking forward to it. Am I totally out in left field on this one? I just want the wee ones to stay innocent and enjoy childhood. Apparently, that’s too much to ask.