Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Dream: A World Without Cursing

Let me be blunt. If I had my way ALL swear words, vulgarities and taking of the Lord's name in vain would disappear. Forever. Including rude hand gestures.

Don't you think that would solve a lot of problems? Think about it:
  • Fewer children in trouble at school for swearing at the teacher.
  • Less road rage (I mean, what would you say?)
  • Less violence (MOST cursing is done in anger, rage, hatred - all violent emotions!).
  • Better movies. Some movies would be great if it wasn't for the cursing.
  • We wouldn't have horrible "grown-up picture books" that talk about swearing at your child when they won't go to sleep. I'm not even granting them a link, and I'm not mentioning the title - you all probably know what I'm talking about. It's not funny!
I'm not saying our world would be perfect, but it would be a cleaner, better place.

As a writer, I value words deeply, and think we should choose them with care (not that I always get this right; I am not perfect).

As a Christian, I believe we are accountable for our words:

Ephesians 4:29 - Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Cursing is destructive and hurtful, not to mention rude! I wish more adults would stop "casual cursing." I know my children will at some point hear curse words, and I'll have to address that when the time comes. But sometimes everyday acquaintances let curse words slip into casual conversation. It's awkward for me to tell people how to live, but if they are swearing in front of my child, how can I not say something? (Would love to know how you would gracefully handle these situations?).

Tomorrow, July 8, 2011, the Today Show is going to cover this topic. Here's a reprint of a press release I was sent (my commentary in red):

New Study Finds Majority of Parents (86%) Believe that Kids Ages 2-12 Curse More Than When They Were Children

 Eight out of Ten Parents Admit to Cursing in Front of Their Children [WHAT!?]

Waltham, MA (July 7, 2011) – According to a national survey commissioned by Care.com, Inc., parents believe cursing has become more prevalent in today’s society, particularly among children.  Eighty-six percent of parents who responded to the online survey agree – and 52% agree strongly – kids ages 2-12 today are cursing more than when they themselves were children. [IMHO, parents are much more lenient today about what they DO in front of their children, and in the discipline they [don't] hand out! What do you expect!?]

Care.com, Inc.,  found while 93% of parents made an effort not to curse in front of their child, eight out of ten reveal they have cursed in their child's presence.  Additionally, a majority of parents (54%) reveal their child has cursed in front of them.  Twelve percent admit the child was repeating a curse a parent had said, and 20% believe the child didn’t understand the impact of what he or she was saying. [I bet children understand more than you think!]

Nearly forty percent (39%) of the time, parents of a child who cursed blame other children, either from day care, a playgroup or older siblings. [Even if they learned it from another child it is the parent's job to address and correct this behavior so it is not repeated!].  More than a third (34%) blame television, games and movies, [which is a good reason to limit or eliminate these activities or the very young!] though nearly a quarter (24%) blame themselves or their spouses. 

Despite the universal belief that kids are cursing more, nearly a quarter (23%) revealed they were shocked to hear a child of theirs curse.  While more than three-quarters (77%) explained that it was a 'bad' word, ten percent laughed. [Oh, I get so frustrated when adults think negative behavior is funny!]

“Cursing is something that is definitely going to happen, and parents should know this is something to expect and not a reflection of being a bad parent,” said Care.com’s Parenting Expert and psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig. [Maybe the first few times. But continued cursing from a child IS a reflection on the parent, IMHO - it needs to be addressed and corrected!] “However, there are steps parents can take to stop the language before it continues, from creating consequences to monitoring the TV shows and movies your kids watch to correcting house guests and encouraging the use of alternate words.”

Visit Care.com for a full list of Dr. Ludwig's tips on how to prevent your children from cursing. [I don't agree with some of the comments by the author about some swear words being effective adjectives. Cursing limits your range of verbal expression, and is crude and rude in my book!]

 The Care.com survey was conducted via an online survey at Care.com among 700 parents from June 15, 2011 – June 27, 2011.

About Care.com, Inc.

Founded in 2006, Care.com is the largest and fastest growing service used by families to find high-quality caregivers. The company addresses the unique lifecycle of care needs that each family goes through-child care, special needs care, tutoring and lessons, senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more. The service helps families find and select the best care available based on detailed profiles, background checks and references for hundreds of thousands of mom-reviewed and pre-screened providers who seek to share their services. Through its Care.com Employer Program, corporations can offer Care.com memberships as a benefit to employees.

What do you think? Do kids swear more today? How have you handled this situation as a parent? Would you love cursing to die a swift death too? 

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