If you know me in real life you know I immensely enjoy a good f-bomb.
I like to swear when I’m happy, sad, mad, and especially when I’m making a fucking point.
I subscribe to the notion that my use of the extended vocabulary is a sign of higher intelligence.
The science is out on this one, too. Swearing is good for you. Speakers are viewed as having high integrity and credibility. Speakers relieve pain by swearing. Speakers are perceived as more influential. Speakers possess a larger vocabulary in general. There are also health benefits like increased circulation. Can I get an amen?
This brings me to the point I’m here to make: I swear in front of my kids. Here’s why.
It’s one tactic in building up emotional literacy and emotional intelligence.
To get through this thing we call life kids need to have emotional literacy, which is the ability to understand and express emotions. Kids have big emotions like grownups do and by having an ability to understand and express themselves they can build up skills to cope with more big feelings.
All of this literacy leads to emotional intelligence which is the awareness of one’s own emotions and the capability to manage them accordingly — this is solid gold life skills.
By expressing myself fully and completely my kids experience a Mother who’s not holding back, who expresses herself even if it’s harsh language and a Mother who does it anyway because that’s who she is and she owns that.
If I’m not honestly expressing myself in front of my kids, how will they ever honestly express themselves?
Besides, there are so many other words that are truly awful; words that can actually inflict pain. Why would I worry so much about fuck?
Fat is the first one I absolutely, refuse, without a fucking doubt, will not use in front of my kids. Fat is harmful, hateful, and also a lazy fucking insult. My kids are smarter than that.
Idiot, dumb, stupid — we don’t name call in our house, period. My husband and I enacted a rule a decade ago for our fights: Never ever namecall. You can’t take it back. It will cause pain now and for an undetermined amount of time. It’s the cancer cells of words.
If my kids would learn to name call from us they’ll throw that shit around like confetti and hurt others. It’s a lazy way to judge someone. I hope my kids have better critical thinking skills than that.
Finally, my kids are growing up in an incredibly diverse world and there are words that they will encounter that limit diverse thinking and prevent inclusion. These are the words I am really fucking worried about. Not shit, for fuck’s sake!
So, if you came looking for validation… You’re welcome.
This post came about because someone observed this tendency in me and while I felt defensive at the onset of receiving this feedback I clearly gave it some deep thought and I do not give a fuck. Thanks, next.
Photo credit:Matthew Brodeur