Is it Okay to Swear in Front of Children? It Turns Out Cuss-Haters are Full of SHIT

Katie Mae Butler

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by soap to your potty mouth. 

Even I, a super obedient child terrified by my mommy’s disciplinary wrath, must stand and be counted with this. I can count on one hand the number of times I cursed aloud as a child, but do I remember such occasions and their consequences? VIVIDLY. 

Truth be told, the fact that curse words should not be used by children is not really in dispute. They aren’t developmentally appropriate, and some argue they put a damper on language development in a time children should be building descriptive language of their own. But what about mommies and daddies? Should we be cursing? wHaT aBoUt ThE cHiLdReN?

Well, out of curiosity, I did some research today…and it says curse word haters might be full of shit. According to widely recognized publications like Time Magazine, Health, Psychology Today, and even National Geographic, cursing is actually VERY GOOD FOR US. There are many reasons why we, as parents, should welcome the occasional stream of cuss words.

It’s good for self-expression.

Admit it, there’s not a ton of benefits to being an adult. We’ve got work, electric bills, sleeping only when our children allow it, and on top of all this we still gotta strive to keep hydrated and exercise. Very little in our lives is about us as individuals anymore, and sometimes that’s okay. Science shows that occasionally coloring our speech with swear words, or punctuating a point with cursing, shows us as individuals and makes us appear more interesting. Anything that shows me to be more than a human Kleenex is great in my book. I earned my right to curse, and I’ve got the bills to prove it.


It provides pain relief.

Have you ever taken a toddler’s GIGANTIC noggin to the nose? I have, repeatedly…and it HURTS. Good news for my fellow (literal) brow-beaten parents: letting loose a few swear words has been found to release adrenaline, which activates our fight-or-flight response and helps us work through that pain. Mind you this is less effective if you chain swear on the regular, but it can work in extreme situation cursers. And are you feeling a bit cranky at that child who just bonked your face? Further good news because…


It’s a means for non-violent revenge.

When our babies cause us pain, most of the time it’s not on purpose. Does that mean it doesn’t hurt? Of course not. Do we still want vengeance for our bleeding nose? YOU KNOW IT. Cursing is a safe outlet for anger that could lead to regrettable (and often understandable) counter-strikes. Cuss it out, Mommy or Daddy. Cuss it out. Then shake it off.


It’s a means for social bonding.

There are countless different ways to parent. Personally, moms and dads that cuss tend to be my people. We are human, and birthing or playing part in raising a tiny human hasn’t completely destroyed our desire for individuality. Getting away from the babies and letting those potty words flow tends to make us feel more relatable, and helps us form real connections with fellow stewards of other tiny humans. Which brings me to my last strong point for cursing parents…


It’s a great source of humor!

Admit it, cussing can be funny. A well-timed f-bomb or s-word lightens the mood, and can make stressful and frustrating adult situations less so. I know I never laugh harder than when it is at myself and my own hijinks. There’s no one I laugh harder with than my best mama friends, and let’s just say those conversations are NOT RATED G!! We can forge strong bonds with our adult language, and if you ask me, we earned that right to use it. 


Of course the disclaimer should be included: is this language acceptable for all audiences? My answer is absolutely not. You’ll never hear it in my classroom, and the conversation of what is appropriate will vary from family to family. I just urge you to consider this: what is right and appropriate for one family may not be the same for yours, AND THAT IS OKAY. If you are a parent who wishes to censor yourself until your child is of age, I admire you and congratulate you on your dedication. But my parent pals and I? We will be over here, swearing our damn asses off. You may want to steer clear until you’re ready to join us. 

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