While most parents aren’t particularly happy when their little ones blurt out a swear word, especially when it happens in public, it’s really not the end of the world.
After all, they’re just words, and maybe your 3-year-old really meant to scream an expletive when they dropped their crayon while drawing. Not only is it no big deal, but one expert even believes that swearing kids are a good thing.
1. A UK PSYCHOLOGIST BELIEVES WE SHOULD ACTIVELY TEACH KIDS ABOUT SWEARING.
Not only does Dr. Emma Byrne think that swearing kids aren’t doing anything wrong, she thinks parents could see benefits by actively teaching kids about “bad” words. Wait, what?
2. IT’S NOT EXACTLY WHAT IT SEEMS.
During an appearance on UK morning show Good Morning Britain, Byrne said that she believes parents should teach their children swear words as well as their meanings in order to explain how those words can be hurtful and occasions on which they’re inappropriate. In other words, this is more about education than anything else.
3. IT’S BETTER KIDS LEARN FROM PARENTS THAN OTHER KIDS.
That’s Byrne’s thinking, anyway. “I want to equip parents to cope with that moment of shame and embarrassment of my kid swore in a place that was inappropriate,” she said. “Instead of saying ‘we are going to shut this conversation down,’ talking about why that is inappropriate.” That makes sense to me!
4. BYRNE IS QUICK TO ADD THAT IT’S POSSIBLE TO OFFEND PEOPLE WITHOUT SWEARING.
As she stated during the segment, it’s not just dropping f-bombs that could be hurtful to others. In fact, swearing isn’t “directly correlated with being awful to people. There are ways to be really vile without using a swear word,” Byrne insisted.
5. WORDS ARE POWERFUL.
That’s the bottom line here. Swear words are, at the end of the day, just words. And, if we want to raise kids that are empathetic and compassionate towards others, they should know what ALL of those words mean and how they affect other people so they can choose theirs carefully. “If we don’t talk about swearing with our kids and they learn swearing just from their classmates on the playground, they’re not going to have a sense of how swearing affects people’s feelings,” Byrne said.
6. NOT EVERYONE AGREES, OF COURSE.
Some parents are a little more uptight about swear words and don’t believe it’s appropriate to use bad language around their kids, and that’s their prerogative. However, by avoiding these words or demonizing them, parents are missing out on a serious learning opportunity and only making those words, when they do hear them, all the more alluring to their little ones.