My kids have been known to swear. They come by it honestly as their dad and I sometimes let the cuss words slip out in frustration.
Usually they are doing it to get a reaction, so we ignore it.
The level of swear words, is pretty tame -- I have yet to hear the F-Bomb drop out of any of their mouths (but I assume as my 11-year old moves into teenagehood it is coming). Though I am still surprised when he says "Sh*t", which is I guess why he does it.
When we talk to our kids about swearing -- which we do fairly regularly due to our own lapses in vocabulary judgement, we emphasize the importance of context. My kids know that swearing bears consequences: people may lose respect for them, the message of their argument may get lost or they may make people angry.
I assume when my kids are hanging out with their teen friends they will use swear words as punctuation; but when they walk in the house and are talking to me or their siblings that will stop. I hope that even now they know that the more mild swear words are never acceptable at school, or when talking to people they don't know.
We have told them many times that when a kid swears that is all anyone hears and they will be judged accordingly. We use the techniques outlined in this Today's Parent article, and sometimes, we even make jokes about the words. (The planet Uranus is a big punchline on our house right now.)
In this day and age, kids hear swear words all around them; whether it is Cee Lo's F-You hit, or the homeless man yelling in front of the liquor store. As a parent you have to assume that kids as young as five know what many of the swear words are. Which is why I am always surprised at the comments on my blog when the subject of swearing comes up.
I have been told that swearing in front of my kids is akin to child abuse, that I am a lazy parent (yes, but for other reasons), it is selfish, and letting kids swear is a symbol for the current trend of indulgent, out-of-control parenting.
I disagree. Teaching kids that swearing is a part of life but you need to show self-restraint when using it, is good parenting.
And everyone else can just F... I mean forget I ever said anything.
Want more chaos? Last year I wrote about the my kids going wild at the library. Books are free there!