Swearing in front of your children IS acceptable – according to more than half of parents.
The astonishing findings emerged in a new survey of 2,000 parents of children aged 0-16. The results show 52 per cent are happy to use bad language in the presence of their children and more than one in five parents with young children said they believed it’s okay to swear in front of little ones as they’re ‘too young to understand’ what’s being said. It also emerged one third will continue to use expletives even if children know what they mean – as long as children know they aren’t allowed to repeat them themselves.
The study was conducted by ChannelMum.com whose founder Siobhan Freegard commented: “The topic of swearing in front of children is definitely something of a taboo among many parents. Before kids learn to talk, parents often feel they can continue speaking the same way they always have. But it’s not long before children are picking up bits of language from their parents – and by age two are very adept at parroting words back they’ve heard mum or dad use.”
The research also found nearly two thirds of respondents have sworn in front of their children, or even someone else’s. One in five believe swearing is harmless, and simply a part of everyday language – and 15 per cent believe kids are likely to hear swear words in the playground at school anyway. There is also some grey area over what exactly constitutes a swear word – with four in five parents believing some words are far worse than others. Despite parents being happy to swear in front of their children, 64 per cent admit to being ‘worried’ about the language their child uses.
Siobhan added: “We all know the stresses of parenting can secretly make you want to swear sometimes, so many parents use ‘Swear Swops’ to get the frustrations out but keep the bad language in – and little ears protected. Some of the most popular include ‘what the frog’, ‘shitake mushrooms’ and ‘fire truck’, none of which will get you or your kids branded potty mouths.”