Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It Was One HOT Labor Day And Adults That Swear Around Kids

It was 106-degrees in my neighborhood on Saturday. Want to know what that feels like?
Close your eyes and imagine shrinking down really small (to like Gary Coleman’s height.) Now imagine standing in your oven (next to that Velveeta casserole.)

I’m very thankful for modern inventions like air conditioning (thank you Easter Bunny...)
I think I took around 14 naps over the weekend. Or at least I tried when my daughter wasn’t asking me “Sleep Daddy? Daddy go night-night? (tap-tap-tap on my head)”

My wife didn’t get to take very many naps since she began graduate school last week. Man, do they know how to give homework – she had a 10 page minimum paper to do and then had to figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop and then divide that by the national gross product of Brazil.

So to give the wife some study time on Monday, I took my daughter on a day-trip about an hour and a half away to my family’s labor day BBQ (it’s a good thing I was well-rested.) My daughter loves seeing my cousin’s kids; they’re all under the age of 7 and there’s like 60 of them (well, not really – only about 11 – but give them 2 or 3 years and I’m sure they'll hit 60…)
The only downside to my family’s get-togethers is that “the men” like to start arguing about why their “team” is better than everybody’s else’s after a few beers. And that usually leads to heated debates, lots of arguing, and a whole lot of swearing. This all happens when the kids are running around. But the guys don’t pay attention – you know because its football, and you better not say anything bad about their imaginary friends (disclosure – I’m not a sports guy, I wrote about it once here.)

Usually that language doesn't bother me, except around kids and at work. Adults should know better, but sadly some don't - I finally said “Hey Guys! The kids can hear you…. if my daughter starts swearing, I’m having her cuss you and your mama out first!”

They laughed, probably realizing who their audience was and calmed down. Then about 10 minutes later started yelling about the 59ers/Lakers/whatever game again. We left soon after.

What do you all of you do when people (friends, family, strangers) swear around your kids? Do you say something? Or maybe this doesn't bother you at all...


Stephanie said...

I've been a lurker for a while, but never commented. So I thought I'd do so today.

Our twin girls are a two months old, so we don't have to worry about them knowing what's being said. Though we did let our families know that we will not tolerate that type of language around the girls when they are old enough to understand and/or repeat. (There is a difference! LoL!)

My husband's uncle constantly has a six-pack flowing through his veins and he has already been banned from the activities that involve the twins because any time he gets into a discussion about anything, the f-bombs start flying. And when you ask him to tone it down, it just gets him more angry.

Darren said...

Swearing around kids bugs me too. Luckily, everyone we're usually with is pretty good about it. I have no problem telling someone to quit the f-ing swearing when it does happen though.

painted maypole said...

I loved your response - clear but tempered with humor. I might have to steal it. I usually say something lame like "little ears are nearby" with a head jerk towards the children.

minnie said...

swearing around kids doesn't bother me. i swear and i assume my kids will too. the trick will be to explain why people swear, when it's okay to and when it isn't okay to... and why.

a friend blogged about her 3 year old recently..

possibly i am depraved to think this is hilarious. but it seem like a good lesson for us all. what excatly is wrong with the world shit? it's a perfectly crommulent word.

Jenster said...

I don't ever remember having that problem when my kids were small. At least not from people we knew. I do remember saying something to people when we were out in public - like in a restaurant or so.

I think you handled it wonderfully!

Mrs. Chicky said...

Well, since it's my husband who is usually the one swearing I just withhold sex. He's cut down on the swearing quite a bit.

Dad Stuff said...

We usually don't have that problem with our friends. I guess the people who would talk like that don't stay friends long.
But I know you can pick your friends but not your family.

BTW-It take 3 licks.
Happy F-ing Labor Day.

carrie said...

I am very proactive.

I give them dirty looks (unless it's myself . . . but that hardly *cough* ever happens).

Whirlwind said...

I say something (if it's people I know). If not, I just move my kids away.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

I liked your comeback... and like you we don't dig the swearing around Declan. If it got bad I would say something, but luckily we usually don't have occasion to be bothered.

The thing is, it's really been ME who has had to watch her mouth since the little one has come along.

It's been a process. ;)

Whit said...

I probably cuss more in front of my kids than anyone else. When we're in large groups with lots of kids I'm really good about watching my language, but around the house I'm always saying something.

I understand that certain words don't sound nice coming out of a child's mouth, but at the same time I don't put a lot of stock in "bad" words. A word is a word is a word. What quantifies it is the meaning behind it.

Chapter II

Bartending in a restaurant I constantly had to tell loud, crude guests to shut it due to families near by. That situation is like your BBQ, and is just a matter of respecting those around you. Of course I had the luxury of being able to cut them off should they offend again.

Bananas said...

How did you know about my Velveeta casserole? THERE'S a word I haven't heard since childhood.

I'm on the fence about swearing. I don't enjoy when people do it in front of CJ, but I also think there are far worse things. BTW, my sister-in-law informed me that if her kids said "DARN IT!" like CJ, she's wash their mouths out with soap. I think that Darn is NOT a bad word... and they have to have SOMETHING to say, right? But what do I know?

Jackie said...

I'm really wishwashy when it comes to swearing. I don't tend to do it in front of my kids because I think it's hypocritical to say "you shouldn't say that, that's not nice" and then do it myself. But, I do think there's a lot worse things than swearing --my kids will get in big trouble for telling someone to shut up or calling someone stupid, etc. If they swear (yes, they have when imitating someone-- yes, usually me) I try not to make a big deal out of it; just tell them that's not a very nice word and Mommy shouldn't have said it and then move on.
We're lucky, too, in that we don't usually have that problem with family and friends. If it got really bad I'd probably say something though. I love your response!! :-)

JayMonster said...

I have little tolerance for swearing, or talking about death/dying, or any other non-age-appropriate conversations around my daughter.

Will she learn about these things eventually anyway? Of course. That doesn't mean she needs to be polluted with them now!

Will I say something? Usually. With what I deem inappropriate conversation, I will usually just try and steer it in another direction, but if that fails, then yes I will say something.

creative-type dad said...

Bananas -- Wow! That's going too far with Darn-it. I know some people who tell their kids Fart is a bad word. I think that's pretty funny.

Whit -- Interesting. Sounds to me more of a courtesy issue when people do that in public. Or selfish and not thinking about those around them.

carrie -- I find that looks don't do anything.

Dad Stuff -- Yes! 3. Now multiply that by the GDP of Guam and divide that by the number of hairs on a dog...

Mrs. Chicky -- You're one evil woman...!

minnie -- There's a lot wrong with it. I hope not many parents share that view.
I think there are rare occasions when one swears in context (I'm no saint) but used on a normal basis...

Blog Antagonist said...

I usually give myself a time out, but if that doesn't work, then I make myself write "I will not swear at the kids" 50 times. 100 if I use the F word.

wayabetty said...

I'd hand them a bar of soap and tell them to wash their potty mouths. I don't know what the *!@#*! they're thinking of!

The Holmes said...

My wife and I had to work on this when our son started talking. It wasn't really an easy transition since we both love to weave bits of profanity into our everyday conversation. It's one of our shared joys really. But now that our son has reached that parrot stage, we just had to clamp down. Most of our parent friends seem to be pretty good about keeping a lid on it, but our no-kid friends are understandably clueless until you say something about it, at which point they smack their hands over their mouths in shock.

I'm not a sports guy either. Glad to know there's somebody else out there.

dennis said...

Man, people swearing around the kids? I don't usually hear that kind of language, but then I am usually too busy telling people why the NFL would be much better if they drafted more players from the Ohio State University and that the Browns would be solid superbowl contenders if only the Reds would not fade in August and why can't Roddick ever beat Federer and that Big 10 network cannot be good! It has to be somehow tied with Art Modell's desire to crush the fans' spirit in Cleveland.

Denguy said...

106 degrees!!! My god, how did you survive? All water would have boiled and ... oh, wait--you're talking Fahrenheit degrees aren't you. Never mind.

I've taught my kids that swear words are not bad words per se, just impolite and disrespectful to others.

Ben & Bennie said...

Just to get the kids used to it I started swearing at them in the womb. Now it's no big deal. In fact they think it's really uncool to drop f-bombs since Dad does it.

See? Reverse psychology!

Oh and have a great farging corksucking weekend, you icehole! (tip of the hat to Johnny Dangerously).

Jonathon Morgan said...

It's funny -- I actually never thought I'd mind if people swore around my kid, until I had one. Out of the few times it's happened, I've

a) ignored it ('cause Edan didn't hear anyway),

b) threatened violence (but that guy was bein' agressive and flown way off the handle) and

c) walked over to the foul-mouthed group, apologized for interrupting, and explained that my kid was nearby, so would they mind not shouting the f-bomb at full volume. People aren't crazy, they understand that swearing in front of kids is bad karma, so they were cool.

Or maybe they can tell I'm one of them, 'cause I swear like a sailor on grown-up time. It's like I have cursing street cred.

Jenifer said...

Well in my job one of the byproducts is a potty mouth. And I will admit I cuss like a sailor. And I will admit that I catch myself doing it in front of my kids occasionally. I know I shouldn't.... and I try not to, but sometimes I slip :)

It bothers me if people swear excessively around my kids, but the occasional one I admit goes unnoticed... (BAD MOMMY)

this is probably whay my daughter told my Mom "You know fu*k is a bad word Grammy!"

SHIT!... I mean SHOOT!

Redneck Mommy said...

Well since I've been known to have a loose tongue and let a few swears slip by, we've had to teach our kids WHY people swear and that it isn't appropriate to do it in front of others. No matter how many times Grampa say's he's going to put a boot up your ass, you fucker, you just can't say that in polite society.

As a parent, I tend to just straight out ask people to watch their language in front of my kids. Unless it's teenagers swearing in front of my kids.

Then I take a page from my dad's book and tell them to watch their fucking mouths before I put a boot up their arse.

Works every time.

creative-type dad said...

Redneck Mommy -- I'm totally using that line on teenagers. And it also gives me an excuse to wear boots.

Jenifer -- That's funny! How did Grammy react?

Ben & Bennie -- Ah yes, I remember that movie well...!

dennis -- Dude, you totally lost me...

The Holmes -- I think we're 2 of 67 men in this country.

shula said...

I confess, it's not really an issue for me.

Because NOBODY swears around their kids more than I do.

Gave up on that one years ago.

When she chooses, the kid's got a mouth to make a sailor blush.


Dad said...

I'm not a sports fan myself and I just give those folks a glare. It tends to do the trick.

To be honest my family has never been a swearing family so it is not much of an issue. It is usually friends who slip up.