Blaspheming Children

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with kids swearing - but it may have made us swear when we saw him.
This photo has absolutely nothing to do with kids swearing – but it may have made us swear when we saw him.

A few months back, I hit the Netmums fora with a question about my blaspheming toddler.  You see, I am incredibly diligent with modifying my language in a bid to avoid swearing in front of the kids.  I swear a lot.  However, I haven’t managed to extend this diligence to my blaspheming.  I am prolific blasphemer, and unfortunately, my elder son, 3, has picked up a few of my frequent slip-ups.  In the past, he has been known to (very appropriately) utter ‘oh god’, and I’ve had to curb this by reinforcing ‘oh gosh’ and ‘oh dear’.  This worked well for a number of months, and now he instinctively says ‘oh dear’ when something goes wrong.

However, he has recently started using ‘for Christ’s sake’ more frequently than I’d like (twice), and I must confess that this is solely down to me.  Now I originally hit Netmums because I wanted to hear what other peoples’ perception of blaspheming was.  I do not come from a religious background, so although I do not feel the full force of blasphemy, I do understand that some people may find it very offensive and I should really be a better mum/person and just stop blaspheming altogether.

When I hit Netmums, however, I did not expect the response that I got.  I was met with numerous hilarious stories about fellow Netmums’ toddlers making hilarious and inappropriate outbursts.  Many of these were sweary, and had me laughing out loud as I read them.  What was also surprising was some of the comments about blasphemy.  Many users did not see blasphemy as an issue at all.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you some of the best quotes that I read that day.  They may make you laugh as much as I did, or at the very least, make you slightly chuckle.

“My 21 month old toddler has started saying ‘Bloody dog!’” says Jane.

“My health visitor came round to weigh my twins when they were small and my daughter (age 4) was building a tower with bricks.  She knocked it down and words I will never forget came out of her mouth ‘Oh bo**ocks!!!’  My health visitor didn’t bat an eye, just said ‘language skills coming along well I see’” says ‘JMB’.

Mel had this hilarious childhood tale to tell.  “My nan has a cracking video of me as a toddler playing nicely in the garden, and my granddad comes outside and I shout at the top of my voice ‘granddad, granddad, you w**nker!’.  I’ve never been rushed inside so quickly in all my life.” 

Here’s Kayleigh’s experience of a two-year old taking on board a language slip.  “My two year old was sick in his bed one night at about 3am.  He called me and as I went in there was sick everywhere.  In my tired state I muttered under my breath ‘for f*** sake’.  It was a whisper and I really didn’t think he had heard me.  I cleaned him and the room and put him back to bed thinking nothing of it.  Well… about two weeks later he had a tummy bug again and threw up in the night.  He called for me and so in I went to find him pointing at his own sick and saying, ‘Look mummy!  For f*** sake!’  It took me the best part of two months to teach him that it was called sick and not ‘for f**k’s sake’!”

Cat didn’t have any issues with blasphemy.  “In my opinion, there is no issue with blasphemy.  First of all because we aren’t Christian and secondly because God, Jesus, etc. are religious figures, not curse words.  Also thirdly because as non-Christians we don’t use the words god or Jesus anyway, unless in conversation regarding religion.  It’s Pete that gets it in the neck at our house. ‘For Pete’s sake’.“

And neither did Elizabeth.  “Blasphemy is a victimless crime so I wouldn’t worry about it!  It isn’t swearing so let him blaspheme away!”

Sometimes, kids aren’t even trying to use a swear word or blasphemous term, but inadvertently end up doing so regardless, as Hope points out.  “My daughter keeps saying ‘for God’s sake’, but what she’s really trying to say is ‘no, go this way!’” 

My nan used to tell me a story about me as a little girl.  I must have been younger than six.  One day I was busily playing in the house, when I decided that I was going to leave the room.  Apparently I stood up and announced, “Right, I’ll just p**s off then!” I don’t remember my nan was much of a swearer (she never swore), so I can’t think where I learned such atrocious language!

Anyway, these truthful tales put a smile on my face and I hope they did on yours as well. I haven’t heard any blasphemous slips from either of my children lately, so maybe they’ve moved on and found some more exciting things to say.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.  Have your kids accidentally let some naughty words slip?

And then the fun began...
Thank you to Netmums for permitting me to use these quotes.
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12 thoughts on “Blaspheming Children

  1. That is hilarious Fiona! They did make me chuckle too! I struggle with this one as well because I was brought up completely secular (my dad’s an athiest and my mum went to a Catholic Convent and I guess that put her off the whole thing!). I’m guessing there was a lot of ‘Oh god’ ‘Jesus Christ!’ etc. as I was growing up because those always seemed like ‘acceptable’ things to say instead of swearing when something went wrong. I don’t think my dad ever noticed anyone being offended until one day when he was playing tennis with a very churchy friend and must have yelled a ‘Jesus!’ and got a right dressing down for it! (Which, I might add, he found hilarious and completely nonsensical!). I know I do it in front of the kids and have heard JJ muttering ‘Oh God!’ too at times which winds my husband up no end as I believe he was brought up with much more respect for organised religion!
    I always used to think it was vomit-inducingly twee of the Americans and their ‘Oh my gosh!’ – I still flinch when I hear my step-daughter saying this and just feel a little bit nauseated!
    I actually asked a good friend who is very attached to a church and church-going life whether she was offended when I said ‘oh God’ etc, and she didn’t really seem that bothered. I think it’s just common sense that people with religion in their life know that you aren’t criticising or bashing their religion by using these terms, that’s not what it’s about. Thanks for sharing this debate and all your hilarious answers with The Truth about Xx #thetruthabout

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    1. Sam, I would have loved to hear your dad’s reaction to his dressing down on the tennis court! I have to say, I do try and watch what I’m saying, despite not having any religious loyalty whatsoever. I agree with you on the ‘oh my gosh’s’, though I (bizarrely) find myself muttering ‘gosh’ quite frequently these days. I think it is a relic of my initial panic at a 1-year old Finley saying ‘oh god’. I’m sure there’ll be many more things that I will hear both of my children saying that will shock the heck out of me during the course of their childhood (and probably adulthood). Thanks for having me on #thetruthabout again! xx

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  2. Oh that is so funny. Love the responses you got , especially the one about confusing the word for being sick with a rather inappropriate one! I am a bit of a potty mouth when angry and try really hard not to swear or blaspheme in front of my children although it does slip out occasionally. So far they haven’t repeated although Jessica used to say ‘fug’ instead of ‘frog’ which when shouted enthusiastically sounded like something else altogether!

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    1. Louise, so glad you found this funny. Thank you for sharing it on your blog too! The granddad story made me laugh the most. Sometimes these things do just slip out of our mouths. We’re only human, and parenting can be testing at times! ‘Fug’ is definitely one that would get your attention. Kids, eh? Thanks for your sweet comment x

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