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My Kindergartener's First Curse Word

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Is this a rite of passage, or cause for concern?

Girl making faces

Momlogic's Julie: This weekend, my five-year-old dropped something and said "SH*T!"

We had made the unfortunate mistake of allowing her to watch part of "Yes Man." We turned it off after the first curse word ... but apparently we were too late!

I couldn't believe such a word came from my daughter's mouth!

I asked her if she said a bad word, and she said she didn't know.

Then I told her I heard her say it, and she burst into tears.

I remember the day I said my first curse word vividly. I was also 5. I was in my mom's car on the way home from the laundromat, and the laundry basket spilled. I said "SH*T!" as loud as I could, and my mom stopped the car so fast and told me that was NOT an appropriate word.

Have your kids ever said a curse word? How did you handle it?

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Beth in SF May 5, 2009, 5:46 PM

IMHO, they’re just words. When (not if) my son says one, I’m just going to explain there’s a time and a place for certain words. They hear them, they repeat them, they test their boundaries. Simple as that. It’s no cause for alarm.

MelissaB May 5, 2009, 5:52 PM

My oldest said God D*** It when her bowling ball went in the gutter when she was 5. That came from my dad. We laughed then explained it wasn’t nice words to use and it makes people feel uncomfortable to hear it. Youngest said “what the h*** was that!” when JarJar Binks first came on while watching Star Wars when she was also 5. Surprised my husband so much to hear it, he thought someone was outside watching through the window because it was said with exactly the right expression. We don’t know where that came from. Used the same explanation with her, haven’t heard another bad word since.

Lori May 5, 2009, 6:10 PM

I love how parents always blame their child’s cursing on someone other than thenselves. And I agree with Beth in SF. They are words, tell them it isnt appropriate and move on. Making too big of a deal is putting power in those words and making it far more attractive.

dizzymum May 5, 2009, 6:13 PM

It’s sobering when you here naughty words coming out of innocent mouths!
My daughter said hers probably around the age of 4. She was playing leggo and couldn’t connect one of the bits. “F…ing Hell,” she muttered, as she kept playing. Worst of all, I know she got that from me! Made me more aware that I shouldn’t use so many Grown Up Words around my kids!

mercaties May 5, 2009, 9:08 PM

My son isn’t even two yet and the other day he dropped something and said “damn”. I tried to explain to him that we don’t say bad words but he’s a little young to understand. The other day though, we were in the store and he dropped his shoe and he said “damn, bad word” LOL!

MJ October 24, 2009, 8:04 PM

I think it happens a lot earlier than kindergarten. When my youngest son was two, he came home from daycare with two phrases “OMG” and “Damn it.” Since these are not spoken in our house, I was shocked the first time I heard them - I wasn’t expecting this until he started elementary school. I was even more shocked that at 2, he used the appropriate tone/inflection in his voice when he used them. It took a while before he stopped using them, but we just let him know that those words were not appropriate and helped him find other “nicer” ways to express himself.

Paul February 20, 2010, 11:10 PM

About 4yrs ago I was working in a kindergarten when one young boy started spouting some lyrics from a rap song “mother f#$kin ho’s etc, etc”. After a quiet discussion about the right place for some words he was ok.
A couple of days later an irate mother came in blaming me for the young boys foul mouth. I smiled and told her exactly what had happened on the previous occasion and tried to emphasize playing down the importance of the words. Seriously, if you make them important then they become attractive. Mommy left in an agitated state cursing me and the center.
The next morning we discovered where the language was coming from… on the ride into school in Daddies car. Dear old Dad loves gangster rap.
Still haven’t had an apology from the B#$%h.

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