Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bloody swear jar

Okay, we don’t actually have a jar. But in theory I am being fined 20 pence every time I use a swear word within earshot of my son.

He even does a little dance, often singing the words ‘oh yeah, oh yeah’ whilst doing so.

It’s annoyingly brilliant.

No idea where he gets that character trait from.

See, I like swearing. Believing intelligently used expletives can add humour and gravitas to words and their emphasis.

Not a fan of swearing for the sake of swearing, or to mask a poor vocabularly (sic), and I don’t think bad language and children are a great combination.

But cursing has its place.

But not in our house, apparently.

I love approaching things with honesty, and while I do try to limit swearing when in parenting mode the odd ‘bugger’ or ‘bloody’ will slip out.

We have discussed swearing together, my son and I, and as always I use an honest approach. He knows a lot of ‘naughty’ words, but also that there are consequences for using them, and that many people are uncomfortable with them, and that they are unsuitable for many, many situations.

Fines for swearing is a fairly recent development, and has acted as a mechanism for other things other than cleaner homely dialogue.

It’s been a good lesson in counting. With the fixed penalty set at 20p, I often end a pretend rant at my boy with ‘and just how much has that cost me?’ And he only gets the money if he gets the amount right, so if I swear quickly enough I can end up getting away with it.

This relaxed approach is one I hope that will lead to my child having a great understanding of language, and growing up aware of ‘nasty’ words, but together with a knowledge of when and where they are – if ever – appropriate.

Based on questions he’s asked me after school sometimes, it would be incredibly naive of me – or any parent – to expect children to never come into contact with swearing, and I strongly believe that embracing offensive language will lead to a better and refrained use of it later.

What do you lot bloody think?

And is bloody, even a bloody swear word?

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