It's interesting the response that word gets. I'm a mother. I'm a grandmother. I don't cuss around the children. But I have known people who do. I mean people who have a healthy view of things and who explain to their children that they don't get to say those things, any more than they get to have a glass of wine with dinner. It's all very natural. And those children don't wind up running around inappropriately swearing.
But it can be a bit of a problem around little ones. They cannot comprehend that one word is okay to say and another is not. They see their parents passionately express something and they pick up on that because it is passionate. They learn very easily when those words apply. And the reaction they get.
So, here's a story about my granddaughter. She is two and a half. And around the word fuck a lot. She knows exactly how to use it, too. Her daddy (my son) was changing her diaper one day and he was getting frustrated looking around for the baby wipes, which seemed to have disappeared. He said out loud, "Now where are those wipes?" She said, "Where are the fuckin wipes, daddy?" She KNEW he had left out that word! Another time, she wanted her mommy to participate in her game of naming shapes. She was holding up a triangle and saying over and over, "Look mama, a triangle! Look, a triangle!" Mama was tired of that game, having been playing it all day long, so she was no longer responsive to it. Then darling BrynLeigh said, "Look Mama! A fuckin triangle!" (That's my baby!)
At any rate, I've lost the need for feeling repulsed at a word. Every word depends on the tone and the meaning behind the sayer. A person can be entirely demeaning to you without saying a single cuss word. Yet, a friend could say to you, "Are you out of your fucking mind?" or even call you a "motherfucker" and not mean a bit of offense. (And what's wrong with a mother fucker, I might add?)
I once had a conversation with a man who wanted to live alone, and not have a roommate any longer. I asked why and he said he felt uncomfortable bringing women home. I understood. Or so I thought. He went on to explain that he thought it was an inappropriate thing to do in the awareness of others. What the fuck? I said, "So... you mean you think it's like... a sin or something to bring her home and you don't want him to know that you are a sinner?" He said, "Something like that." Then he added that his children are around a mother who brings men home all the time and they call their mother a whore. He felt oh so much more righteous because he takes his fucking to a hotel where he can do it in secret and in the dark. He prefers the message to his children that he is doing something wrong but at least has the decency to conceal it! Now, true, a woman should NOT bring a bunch of men into her home of children. This is bad on many levels. So I'm not advocating that. I'm speaking of hypocrisy here. The kids know he's a hypocrite. They are grown children. When I asked him what he would do if one of them wanted to bring someone home, he said, "I would advise them to do it in a hotel room, like I do." I said, "I tell you what. I have grown kids and I don't teach them that fucking is wrong. Because it's NOT! I mean, I do it! Am I to teach them that I go about doing wrong things?"
I think the thing that is wrong is that we indulge in the "sinful" things and think we're hiding it from them. We are not hiding it. We are just teaching them that it needs to be hidden.
My children absolutely adore and respect me. They wouldn't say a harsh word to me if their lives depended on it. And they don't care about what I do and say. Because what matters to them is that I'm happy.
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