Dropping the F Bomb

I do it. You do it. We all do it. My friend Kelly over at Southern Fried Children prides herself on doing it (although I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say it out loud in person).

I remember when I was my kid’s age and I said “shit” out loud for the first time. There was no one in the room with me and I STILL felt guilty for saying it. That feeling was shortly replaced by the feeling of complete pride in myself for having said it. But I would have NEVER said in front of my parents or written it down for their to be permanent proof.

But when my kids do it, I’m not so fond of it.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids don’t run around dropping the F-Bomb on a regular basis. Or at all that I’ve heard. I’ve heard rumors that they’ve said it and I’ve seen proof on the oldest’s phone and Facebook page.

Swearing has such a sexy allure for kids.

Here’s one of my favorite swearing stories that happened last year.

H#2 and H#3 went up the stairs and of course, since we were out of their line of vision, a scuffle immediately broke out.

Next thing I know, Cassie is screaming down the stairs:

“MOM!! Sydney called me an ASSHOLE!”
WHAT? What did she say??
She called me an ASSHOLE!
I did NOT call you an asshole.
Yes. YOU. DID!! You called me an ASSHOLE!Okay, Cassie.. we get it.. she called you an asshole now will you PLEASE stop saying it?!

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The first time I saw “unsavory” language on H#1’s phone I thought long and hard about how I wanted to react. I didn’t want to draw unnecessary alarm to it because that’s the exact WRONG way to handle it but I didn’t want to ignore it, either. I approached her and told her that I had seen the texts and wasn’t happy about the language. Of course, she immediately got defensive. So what now?

I explained to her that I understood that using cuss words was “fun” but that I didn’t want her use of them to define who she was. Do you really want people to think that the most intelligent thing that you can say is a four-letter word? What if one of your friend’s parents grabbed their phones and saw what you had texted? What do you think they would think of you? Do you think that maybe they’d label you and not want you to hang out with their kid?

I think she understood a little bit more that yes, it’s “fun” to say the words but that there can be more permanent consequences from doing so.

Our kids live in a world of “once on Google, always on Google” and that’s hard for them to comprehend. They think nothing of putting stuff out on the Interwebz with no thought what so ever of the future ramifications.

That’s our job as parents. Constantly monitoring. Constantly educating.

But we also have to remember that certain things like cussing, are just a rite of passage. We just have to be there to diffuse the bomb. F or not.

Are you raising a teen or a tween? Join the conversation over atΒ Ten to Twenty Parenting!


April 25, 2014 at 11:06 am

My son said “son of a bitch” at school on the playground… (golly I have NO IDEA where he got that from!) I told him I know he and his friends curse and that it’s kind of “cool” to curse. But I told him to be careful not to do it too much, and also to not be a dummy and do it in earshot of teachers or tattle-tales. That advice is probably not going to get me the award for World’s Best Mom, but it is realistic, and I think I should be given an honorable mention for that. πŸ˜‰
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Laura G
December 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm

My son dropped his first F-bomb at the age of 2 1/2 (I accept FULL responsibility – as I cuss like a sailor). He is now 9 and understands that there is a time and a place for slang and crude language and a time and place for proper English. This is because we choose to show consideration and respect to others.

Words are just words, and we can inflate or diffuse their power. I like to think my son has power over the word rather than the other way around.

February 10, 2012 at 7:37 am

I swear a lot. I mean, a lot. I have like, zero self control, it’s really bad. But you notice I don’t swear much on the internet. Only Crazy Eyeris does that!

February 9, 2012 at 8:39 pm

OK I even wrote a post on this (swearing) a while back. Not my best work. But it does give a nod to Samuel J. @Sofriedchildren http://faithinambiguity.blogspot.com/2011/11/this-one-is-for-other-closet-trailer.html

February 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Oh, also, My very favorite curse word is ‘cocksucker’. Just FYI.

February 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I totally appreciate the nod, LMAO. Believe it or not, I’m not a big cusser, except when in my head. And, conversely, when I write. I NEVER curse in front of my children, though I will admit to dropping a ‘bullshit’ or two to my oldest, for shock value, lol.

    February 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    @Sofriedchildren OMG! I used that one last night with my oldest. Why? Because she goofed off all afternoon and then at bedtime whips out a progress report with a big fat D on it AS she’s telling me she “forgot” to do her homework in said class. Yep.. I told her flat out that was BS.

February 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I love this post! Cussing is such a big deal in my house not because of the shock of it, but because my DH and I come from such different backgrounds that what is off limits to me, is completely acceptable to him. Try explaining to your kids when you each have different thresholds! And, to top it off – growing up Catholic – it was something I could do an be rebellious without getting kicked out of the family – consequently – I can cuss like a sailor! Once, when I was about 8, on a dare from a neighborhood kid, I screamed G-D It so loud my Dad came outside of the house, and flew thru 4 yards to reach me and paddle the S**T out of my behind! Scared me so bad, I pleaded with him not to touch me and he calmed down enough to find out if I even new what I had said. I was smart and got out of that one, but I was waaaayyy more careful for the next 8 years! The memory has made me laugh today! Thank you @4Hensandrooster !

    February 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    @StaceySeguin Stacey – that’s one of the funniest stories I’ve heard this week. I can totally picture that happening and sounds like something my dad would have done, too. thanks for sharing your memory πŸ™‚

February 9, 2012 at 9:52 am

I have a horrible cursing habit. Most times, I try to curb it by inserting random words into the spots that are otherwise colorful: “Oh French fries! I forgot to thaw out the chicken!”

With my oldest, we got lucky and she sees cursing as the biggest sin one can commit. She won’t even spell it out if she needs to rat someone (her sister) out. The middle child of course, is my trouble maker. She has a penchant for dropping not the f-bomb but the mf-bomb – which comes out more like MUCKA F-bomb.

So the Mucka F-bomb made us laugh with shock the first time we heard it, and though it rarely comes out these days, she still thinks it’s funny and we cringe with embarrassment.

There is nothing worse than hearing a little one curse. I hate that I know in my heart that she picked up her bad habit from me. Ugh!

    February 9, 2012 at 10:21 am

    @jenpalis MUCKA!! That’s hilarious!! It’s funny when they’re little because they use it out of context for the most part… when they’re older, you KNOW they know the “right” way to use it and they it’s just trash talk. I have to refrain from using it in context with my oldest since I know she gets it and sometimes it would get my point across. But, I don’t.. πŸ˜‰

      February 9, 2012 at 10:27 am

      @4Hensandrooster @jenpalis And… I failed to mention that Mucka is most often dropped when she’s tattling on me.

      GRANNY: Where’s your tent, Boo?

      BOO: In da garage. Mommy say “I hate this tent sometimes! Da Mucka F-a is going in da garage!”

      Yep… direct quotes… πŸ™‚

        February 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm

        @jenpalis The little boogers know how to drop a dime on us, don’t they?? Were you around when Boo threw you under the bus? πŸ˜‰

        February 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

        @4Hensandrooster @jenpalis Oh hell, I was at work and Granny called me on SPEAKERPHONE! You carry them in your womb for 6,000 months, and they tattle on you to their grandma – the downfall to motherhood!

February 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

My parents’ approach with me and mine with my kids has been something like “These are words which are appropriate in some situations. The situations never include school or the presence of authority figures. You are smart. Use judgement. ” It’s funny because I honestly don’t edit my language too much now that my youngest is old enough to follow the rule that he may not say that because it will have very negative consequences for him, but he never, ever swears. So, I think what happened at our house is the allure just got taken right out. (This makes us sound like a bunch of foul-mouthed freaks, but really we are very nice people, and our children never get in trouble for swearing, nor do they swear with any frequency.) I enjoyed your post, Kristen. πŸ™‚

    February 9, 2012 at 10:23 am

    @tarakadams Thanks, Tara πŸ™‚ Yeah.. if you take the magic and shock factor away, it’s just normal and they suddenly lose interest. Like you, we don’t run around the house cussing like sailors but we’ve always taken the approach to not make a big deal of it.

February 9, 2012 at 8:47 am

When I was a teenager – I was allowed to cuss, but the F bomb was totally off limits. Once, while my mother and I were driving my car – I hit a deer. I totaled my car and dropped the bomb in the process. (I actually dropped it WHILE I was hitting the deer.) My mom got out of the car unharmed and started yelling at me for dropping the word!?! I’m so with you. We don’t cuss around our kids, but I secretly cuss like a sailor in my head. It makes me feel like a grownup in our house. πŸ™‚


    February 9, 2012 at 8:57 am

    @ALSFM Hey!! Your comment came thru this time! I’m not going that far.. a cussword or two (or ten) has dropped around here but I really try to practice what I teach. Hysterical that your mom was more upset that you dropped the f-bomb than killed bambi and your car. That would be my mom, too πŸ˜‰

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