According to Science, Teaching Kids Swear Words Is Actually A Good Thing

I think it is safe to say that we’ve all been there, done that when it comes to swearing in front of our kids.

We do it then we get that look of horror on our face and just hope and pray our little ones don’t head off to pre-school dropping the f-bomb. Well, if you’ve ever been in that situation, things may be okay because According to Science, Teaching Kids Swear Words Is Actually A Good Thing.

Now, before you start dropping more of the S-words and F-bombs, you need to know WHY science says it’s okay for kids to know what curse words are…

Dr Emma Byrne, a neuroscientist and author of “Swearing is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language,” revealed that she believes children as young as two years old should learn swear words. More importantly, the impact the words can have from their parents – rather than from their peers on the playground is huge.

Credit ITV

An excerpt from the description of her book reads:

“We’re often told that swearing is outrageous or even offensive, that it’s a sign of a stunted vocabulary or a limited intellect. Dictionaries have traditionally omitted it and parents forbid it. But the latest research by neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, and others has revealed that swear words, curses, and oaths, when used judiciously, can have surprising benefits.”

Credit: ITV

Aside from her book, Dr. Emma Bryrne has had multiple talks around the world about this very topic. She believes that teaching children swear words, their meaning, context and even appropriate times to use them, help children fully understand the meaning behind the words. It also helps children understand when is the correct time to curse and even make better decisions on how or when they use those words. The idea isn’t only to teach them and allow them to use the words but more teach them how these words can impact other’s feelings and allow them to make that decision.

She has an hour long talk that you can watch below if interested.

In case you are thinking she may not be correct, she isn’t the only one that feels this way. In fact, scientists have been studying this very thing when it comes to swearing around children and their overall well-being.

Cognitive scientist Benjamin Bergen said  in an interview that casually swearing around kids is fine. It is more that the context, as if you use swear words as a way to express verbal abuse, that is wrong. Casual swearing over excitement or you getting hurt is fine.

“The use of fleeting expletives doesn’t have any impact at all on their well-being, on their socialization… as far as we can tell,” Bergen said.

Credit: Global News

The way parents handle swear words in their home is up to them but according to science, teaching your kids what they mean and the correct context to use them in, is important. Some parents allow their kids to swear only at home while others teach them swear words are only for adults. No matter how you handle it, it is best that kids KNOW what swear words are rather than be sheltered from them and then hearing them from their peers. 

Bottom line is – if you’ve ever dropped an accidental (or purposeful) f-bomb, your kid is going to be just FINE and you’re doing a great job as a parent.

4 Comments

  1. I want to say back in 2008 I decided that it was wrong to tell my child not to swear when I did all the time. I had a talk with my husband an we agreed that we should swear less, but not stop nor hide it from out child. To just use it without fear. We told other people who seem to panic not too. ‘Don’t curve your words or hide it. That the word the child will latch onto an use the most. Just say what your going to say it is ok’. As my kid was NEVER one of the kids swearing up a storm any wear. AN as she gets older we talk about ‘Now did you need to swear right now or did you do it cause you thought it be funny?’ the more we talk about it the less she uses it if she doesn’t need too. Not only have I proven to family members who children swear up a storm that my way was better. BUT I also have a better bond with my daughter because she knows I am not going to scream at her for using a word I MYSELF use.I was so happy to see this, as I still have people trying to tell me that I am ‘Wrong’ and how dare I let my kid swear. Who are my age. This made my day!

  2. I totally agree. My husband often drops f bomb or other swear word! Often I remind him watch your language especially in front off our toddler! When the dreaded call from preschool came that our 4 year old dropped f bomb! Not directed at anybody or angry she saw snowing and she said ‘is f snowing again’ often this expression used by my husband!
    The other day we were talking about hotel and how our expressions were. And I lip said WTF and to my horror my daughter said I know what you said and repeated what I said !! We discussed that is ok in front of us if she swears but not at school or in front off others!! She advised me she will not swear in front of others!! So I think it is right to say if child hear us swearing what right do I have to stop her to use in same way if she sees us using!

  3. I think anyone that encourages or defends swearing should receive the fruit of what they sew! Whatever you sew you shall reap! This idea is no different than the stupid idea of defunding police. Does this generation have any integrity, or the conviction between right and wrong? Apparently not, and will receive the fruits of their choices. Unfortunately the rest of the world pays for it as well.

  4. Kristen Yard says:

    Thank you for your feedback!

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