How can you swear at your children? 25

I generally try not to judge other parents. Something I have been more mindful of since having an autistic son. I have no idea what people are dealing with in their lives, so when I see a child having a serious tantrum in a supermarket, I’m not quick to blame the parents. Children have tantrums. I have three children. They have lots of tantrums. If I see a child in a  pushchair that I think may be a bit old for it, I don’t think their parents are lazy, that child could have mobility issues, or maybe its the only way that child feels safe leaving the house because they have sensory processing issues. We all have our stories and reasons. We are all just doing our best and who am I to judge whether someone’s best is considered good enough in the eyes of society?

However there are a couple of things that I do judge, rightly or wrongly, I just can’t help myself think these things.

I am a ‘shouty’ mummy. Not something I am proud of, but sometimes it is the only way I can deal with the stress of the mischief and naughtiness going on around me. It is almost like it’s my coping mechanism. I know it isn’t going to get me anywhere, and I will probably end up having ‘shouty’ children because of it, but it helps prolong my patience levels on a particularly difficult day. I feel a bit sorry for my neighbours really, I live in a mid terraced house and  I do shout a lot more than I would like, they probably sit there saying “here she goes again!”.

But strangely, the moment I leave the house this incredibly patient mother takes over 99% of the time. I don’t know why, maybe because I don’t want to be judged by people like me. Maybe because I don’t think it is generally socially acceptable to be screaming at your kids in a public place. Most days I can deal with any mishaps calmly and effectively. It may involve a whole load of bribery, but it works all the same.

I can’t help but question the people that walk around shops, supermarkets and any other public place shouting over and over again at their child. The mother or father could be having the day from hell, so I shouldn’t have these thoughts, but surely we as adults know wrong from right and understand social etiquette? I would never comment or raise an eyebrow, but I do wonder why they think that behaviour is ok out of their own four walls.

What I do raise an eyebrow at however is people that swear at their children. How can you swear at your children? Why on earth do people think that is ok? And in public, even more so?

how can you swear at your child?

Today we had a few errands to run in town, we popped to the bank to pay in some money and in front of us were a couple of women, one of which had a little boy that was, maybe, three years old. He wasn’t really doing anything wrong from what I could see, but he could have been an absolute nightmare for the past hour and his mum could have been feeling hassled and a little bit stressed. She was getting really annoyed with him and was telling him off. Then, as they moved away from the cash point the little boy went to turn around but did it in what she must have considered the wrong direction. She turned around to him and said, (Name) will you just f**king move it! James and I just looked at each other in disbelief. “Nice” James said, “What exactly did he do wrong there?” I had no idea, but we just carried on with what we needed to do. Obviously talking about what we had just witnessed at length.

We then saw them a little while later in another shop. I could hear her cursing at him over and over again. Not with tame swear words either, the f word featured a lot! As she walked past me she shouted at him “I am going to f**king hurt you in a minute if you don’t start f**king behaving!”. I stopped in amazement. That poor little boy. If I had someone three times the size of me shouting and swearing in my face, I would be petrified. And who knows what she meant about hurting him?! He could have been the naughtiest boy on the planet today, but why on earth would that give her the right to speak to him like that. Mum or not!

Don’t get me wrong, I am no angel. I swear, and there has been the odd time I have sworn in front of the kids not thinking, especially before they started to talk. But I would never, ever swear at them. Even when they are adults, I will not swear at them, and I would expect them never to swear at me. It’s respectful, and respect is a two way thing.

We are always quick to say judging others is bad, and I completely agree with that. We all face different paths in life, and we all have different ways of riding that journey. Go ahead, do whatever you think is best! It’s your life, and your choices.

Parents are forever using an excuse that there is too much negativity, violence, swearing, and sexual content on TV and other forms of media these days. That children have to much access to seeing things too old for their young eyes. We blame the media for a generation of disrespectful youth. Yet with parents like that? There is no wonder, youngsters today have little respect and people that think this kind of behaviour is ok, should really look a bit closer to home.

I will judge these parents every single day of the week. And no, I will not be sorry about it.


Cuddle Fairy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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25 thoughts on “How can you swear at your children?

  • A Moment with Franca

    I know what you mean. I’m also very loud at home and it is funny as I’m always thinking what my neighbours will be thinking about our loud house lol but it is true that as soon as you leave the house you compose yourself. I don’t scream to them in public as I don’t think other people should listening to our personal issues if you know what I mean. It is difficult to judge other parents and how they behave but I agree with you that is not correct to behave like that. I also feel sorry for the child. I need to be more careful of not swearing in front of my girls as sometimes it just comes out which is really bad. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

  • New Mummy Blog

    Oh judge away! I completely agree and do exactly the same, I won’t appologise for it as quite frankly I don’t want my daughter to hear swearing or think it’s ok. I’m flabbergasted at parents like this, and feel so sorry for their children. Yes, I understand they aren’t shop lifting or something, but it’s so disrespectful and just not very nice. #KCACOLS

  • Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you say it’s about respect. I hate it when people swear loudly in public – they have no consideration for who might be in earshot and that they might be offended. I think it’s unforgivable when they are doing it to children. They are not only being disrespectful, they are also losing that child’s respect and teaching them a bad habit #KCACOLS

  • Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    My first thought when I see or hear a shocking parenting incident is, if they are doing this in public, what is it like at home? Like you, I think most parents try to stay calm in public. So if that’s her calm face I wouldn’t like to see the at home, all out face! It’d be so damaging to the poor child’s self esteem & so embarrassing too! Thanks so much for linking up with our first #BloggerClubUK, we really appreciate your support & hope you will be back again this week x

  • Someone's Mum

    Ohhh I actually already read this and commented on fb and retweeted I think! I completely agree – there’s just something completely heart-breaking about overhearing a parent swear AT a child. In front of is a different thing entirely – though I try to avoid that too, 90% of the time – but there is something so horrible about the nastiness and negative emotional connotations of swearing at a child. I can’t imagine or understand wanting to direct that towards your child. Great post #KCACOLS

  • Mrs Tubbs

    What you’ve described sounds terrible and like you, I’d be cringing with horror if I saw it. But context is all. I’ve seen sweary mums who are, despite appearances, loving and kind underneath all the bluster. And calm, seemingly well spoken mums destroy their children with cutting comments without a single swear.

  • Rebecca | AAUBlog

    I love this post! I hate swearing and make a point of never doing so (using a silly replacement word usually helps to make me laugh about a situation rather than scream anyway), so I could neve imagine swearing at my children. It is so sad and what example does it show to them? #KCACOLS

  • Aimee Foster

    I’m occasionally shouty (something I’m trying to work on) but I’ve never sworn at my kids. I know you should never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes but it seems impossible to think of a scenario when swearing at your child is acceptable x

  • Gemma @ A Gem's Life

    Oh what a horrible situation to see, poor little boy. I hate seeing shouty mums out whether it be at the shops or school etc. Like you, I can be shouty too but I am always aware when we are outdoors not to be like that, as it is one thing I hate seeing. Parents need to learn to control their own temper and control their children’s behaviour outside (and inside) of the house, although when it seems like the boy had done nothing wrong, it is a different story 🙁

    Gemma xx

  • Rachel (Lifeathomewithmrsb)

    Oh i hear this all the time at School. Parents pick their children up and swearing at them as soon as they’ve met while i’m cringing in the classroom. It’s everywhere sadly and even though i can be abit shouty or grumpy (depending how many diva strops Miss M has had) i would not dream of swearing at her!

  • Laura's Lovely Blog

    Interesting. I witnessed something similar in the supermarket today, not with swearing but a mum shouting and aggressively shaking her – at a guess under 18 month year old – in her pram. And I was so taken back at the aggression of it I actually stopped what I was doing. You’re right I don’t know what had gone on before, it is hard to judge. But I was really uncomfortable at the Mum’s tone and manner. Like you I can occasionally be shouty, although am always so much calmer when I leave the house lol. But there are also lines.

  • Jessica Powell

    I hate to see children sworn at too, but I suppose it depends on how you were raised, and acceptable behaviour within your home. I mean, swearing will mean less if it’s something that happens as a matter of course rather than something which is exceptional. Same with shouting; if you are shouty your kids probably don’t find it anywhere near as big a deal as kids from households where raised voices are a complete no-no. I think as we go forward there will be more public awareness around swearing at children though – it’s not long really since it was fine to smack a kid in public, but views on that have totally changed! x #bloggerclubuk

  • Angela at Daysinbed

    Luckily I have never picked up the habit of swearing but swearing or even using that kind of language towards a child is a form of emotional abuse and it’s not okay. It is so wrong in many ways and can be damaging to a child’s emotional wellbeing, self worth and learning. How can we expect children to speak kindly and without swearing if the parent swears in their face. Thanks for the food for thought. Angela at Daysinbed

  • Chloe

    I totally agree, I judge them too. Their children are going to grow up thinking it’s acceptable to talk to people like that too. I’m no angel, I curse sometimes if I hurt myself or drop something. It’s a bad habit, but I will never swear at my child. I shout at her occasionally but it’s always within reason. Even if I’m having a bad day I will be looking at why she’s being naughty first, is she getting enough attention? Am I doing something that’s causing her to be naughty? The only times I shout without thinking is if she’s about to do something dangerous. If she’s messing about and being naughty in a shop I will find something to entertain her, i.e. we’ll play eye spy while I’m browsing or if we’re in a supermarket I’ll get her to help me find the things. There is always a reason why your child is being naughty. Swearing and screaming at them is not going to solve anything. I think it’s disgusting when you hear parents swearing at their child. They are innocent minds and the reason they’re misbehaving is not going to be changed by swearing at them. x

  • Sassy

    I 100% agree with you, I think it’s absolutely disgusting that parents swear at their children! And adult would hate it if another adult were standing shouting and swearing in their face, so why do they think it’s acceptable to do that to a young malleable child? I go to a specific place Weekly where I have seen first hand young women shouting and swearing at their children as well as generally swearing ridiculously in a room full of people there is one particular woman who freely uses the C-word around her child. I feel completely sorry for that child because he is going to grow up knowing no better and probably end up using terrible language like that by the time he is in school, and that will be her fault! Thank you for sharing this post! #BloggerClubUK

  • Emma

    Your post made me really think. I completely agree with you. I am always careful not to judge people as like you say you never know what is going on in their lives. I also think that people are very quick to criticise and judge. However, the one thing I can’t stand is when I see a child being sworn at or threatened with physical violence. I just don’t think it is acceptable and it is sending the wrong message to the child that it is and that is how they will grow up speaking to others etc And it becomes a vicious cycle 🙁

  • The Speed Bump

    I’ll never swear at my daughter, but I do think it’s one of those things where you never know what someone is going through, how they themselves were raised etc. Some parents will have been raised with their own parents swearing at them constantly, so they won’t know any different. Others may be ill or otherwise struggling. It’s totally possible that those parents feel horrendous guilt when they go home and realise that they exploded at their kids (obviously it’s totally possible they think nothing of it). I think it’s really important not to judge parents but to try and support them instead, even if we don’t agree with what they’re doing. #BloggerClubUK

  • Sarah HP

    I hate hearing people swearing at their kids. It is aggressive and abusive. Luckily it seems to be quite rare, but totally shocking when you do sweet. It also makes no sense as kids are like sponges and will model the behaviour test you see – they’ll learn to shout and swear at you and the you’ll have a massive problem on your hands. S x

  • Helen | Wonderfully Average

    Completely agree with you. I also try not to judge other parents but in my opinion swearing at children is never ok, no matter how naughty they’re being or how many of your buttons they’ve pushed. That poor little boy 🙁 It’s completely different to swearing in front of children which I’ve done on many occasions (by accident!).

  • Clare

    Totally agree with you, there is no excuse. There’s a boy in Conway’s class who’s mother is always swearing. Unsurprisingly he also swears and now the others are picking it up. Have had to speak to Conway and the teacher and I’m not alone! Can’t help but feel sorry for the child, what hope does he have?! Xxx

  • Amanda

    I fully agree with you on this….. Ryan can drive me up the wall and back and I also shout way more than I thought I would but hey I’m not perfect however like you say swearing at your child is wrong I do not care what they have done that day,week or year no one should swear at a child. I work in retail and unfortunately this is becoming much more frequent in the past few years and takes a lot of effort on my part not to comment.