Poll: Is Swearing Tolerated in Your Home?

Does modern-day society say it's OK to swear? How do you handle this behavior at home?

From children’s books (Go the F--k to Sleep) to viral YouTube videos (S--t People in L.A. Say) to family-friendly TV shows (Modern Family), bleeped-out expletives seem to be all the buzz lately.

“[A curse word] immediately says this is cutting edge, this is aimed at young people,” TV personality Donny Deutsch said in a recent Today Show segment, shown above. 

Just two weeks ago, South Pas resident and founder of the No Cussing Club, McKay Hatch, to pull a Modern Family episode in which toddler Lily appears to use a bleeped cuss word.

When asking Patch readers via Facebook if they agreed with Hatch’s proactive inquiry, one resident said about the episode, “It reflects real life, so I'm cool with it.”

And he's right. It does happen in real life. It's common for young children to emulate what they see and hear.

Counseling Psychologist Mark Hutten writes on his blog: “Cussing is almost a developmentally normal behavior for kids during middle childhood and early adolescence. For these children, swearing is often a sign of being worldly (i.e., wise and unafraid to be a little ‘bad’).” 

Giving kids attention, such as laughing or asking them to repeat a dirty word, is enough to increase cursing behavior, he says.

Which brings us back to Modern Family.

What did the adults do when toddler Lily's curse word reverberated throughout the entire church? They laughed. A lot. 

Patch Asks: How do you react when your kids swear? At what age, if any, is it appropriate? Is pop culture conveying the message: It’s OK to curse?

Above are videos of the NBC segment, as well as a grandma reading a not-so-sweet book to her grandson. 

Br. Christopher Sale B.P.P. February 02, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I find cussing to be crude and vile behavior. But people don't seem to get it. They fail to see how ugly it makes them. And for the most part adults are no better. As a religious brother who wears a habit I was recently in a restaurant and 4 women in their 40, well dressed sat accross from me. Every other word was the four letter word. Common sense who say we need to tone it down seeing I'm a religious. However common sense is a thing of the past. Don't get me wrong. I'm not being a prude and I am far from a strange to these kind of words. I just believe people don't stop to think before they speak. What offended me the most is there were young children sitting close to these women. It a small wonder where children pick up they same bahavior. I suppose the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.I once worked at a Catholic church where a maintenance man used the four letter word constantly. One day I count how many times. It was over 140 times . When I told him he said he doesn't really realize he's saying it. Have some class. Gee!
Candy B Solomon February 02, 2012 at 05:46 PM
With the millions of words at our disposal, why do people (adults and kids) insist on using vulgar words to express themselves? Would you use those words when interviewing for a job? You make an impression by what you say and how you say it. Your words are a reflection of you and cursing/swearing degrades what others think about you. The general public needs to think before they speak. Kids imitate what they see and hear. If parents and other adults swear, kids will think it is OK for them to swear. Adults need to clean up their act and set a good example if we want our kids to speak in an acceptable way. Kids often copy what their friends do and use objectionable words for shock value. Are we living in a class-less society that accepts this kind of behavior? Garbage in...garbage out!
David Beadle February 02, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I couldn't disagree with the comments above more. Cussing is a legitimate use of words, and has been for centuries. But like any form of speech there are places to use them and places not to. City Council Meeting wouldn't be appropriate although not illegal, but hitting ones thumb with a hammer.... I do not like my children using cuss words, and on the very rare occasion they do I will ask them to stop and use a different world (calmly). They even keep me in check. I do not censor thought or speech in my home, but I will ask my children to explain themselves when they say something inappropriate. I allow my children (13 and 11) to watch more adult material in movies, (usually PG-13 and sometimes R). Excessive violence is completely acceptable and prolific in our culture, but if a filmmaker adds the 'F' word more than five times you get rated an R. The King's Speech is a good case in point (no violence), when King George VI swears in one therapy scene for catharsis (Rated R). Avatar, little swearing but lots of gore (PG-13). That's backwards and puritan. Modern family did us a service by bringing our attention to children and language. After all, are we not discussing it now? One more thing, I think advertising fast food to children and children eating fast food regularly is far more damaging to a child than the occasional swear word. Garbage in....garbage out!
Sam Burgess February 02, 2012 at 08:11 PM
I do not find swearing offensive. I find it boring--and people who use it boring people. I do, however, find it offensive when it is being used to denigrate or humiliate another. David, your fast food comment is an excellent comment.
Marvion February 04, 2012 at 07:56 AM
Hey, you forgot to let us know how you feel — please enter a comment.
Sam Burgess August 13, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Kristen, Does Patch have a policy on commercial companies (i.e.: louisvuitton) taking over a blog? Now this I find offensive.
Kristen Lepore (Editor) August 13, 2012 at 04:47 PM
@Sam: I've fixed the problem. Thanks.
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