Tween and Teenagers
Kids Cursing in Front of Adults? Not in My House.
I admit it, I swear like a sailor. My mother never did, but my father did. I grew up listening to it, but I didn’t swear till well into my late teenage years and never, EVER in front my parents or any other adult for that matter. No one ever threatened me or even had to have that conversation with me. But I knew enough to respect my elders and never think I had the same right to behave like they did. Even as an adult, I never swore in front of my mom and I never would.
Regardless of my use of swear words then, and now, it irks me to listen to kids cursing in front of me. So imagine my horror when my husband told about picking up our 14-year-old at his friend’s house and listening to his friend and other teens present curse non-stop, not only in front of him, but in front of the other adults as well.
I wasn’t there, but my jaw dropped as if it had happened right in front of me. Last time one of my son’s friends openly cursed – on his Facebook page for me and the entire world to see - I immediately confronted the boy asking him if he kissed his mama with that nasty mouth. He quickly apologized - in person and on Facebook - and none of his friends have done it again. You can’t even imagine the thoughts that go through my mind about kids that I hear on the street or subway cursing loudly and behaving like they have no mothers who loved them enough to teach them respect and manners.
Do I think my son and his friends never ever swear? No. But I have made it very clear to him that the same rules apply as they did when I was a kid: respect your elders, respect yourself, and remember that there is a time and place for everything. And I am very honest with him about my opinions of the kids I see behaving poorly on the street. “You see that? Trash. Pure trash. Don’t ever behave like you’ve been raised to behave like trash.” I am harsh.
My son is very clear on the fact that I don’t allow him to freely drop f-bombs or any other curse word in front of me or any other adult he may meet, even when they are “totally cool” with it. I have a saying in my house that has lived through generations and it is “Tu y yo no somos iguales” meaning “You and I are not equals” a reminder I use on my son every so often when the teenage hormones take over his better judgment. Some people may think it’s hypocritical but those are the perks to being an adult and all that comes with it.
I will never be ok with kids who swear in front of me and I have to wonder what the parents who let them do so in front of them are thinking. A kid behaving like an adult just seems like a shift in control and authority that throws everything I believe in out of whack, but I realize it is not my place to tell people how to raise their children.
All I can control is how kids who come to my home behave and how I am trying to raise my own son so he knows exactly what is appropriate. And for parents who are totally ok with letting their kids swear like it’s no big deal in front of them? Well, good luck with that. They just better never do it at my house, cause I’ll be sending them back to you with manners.