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SWEARING: What's the big deal?
DEAR DIARY, May 2008, by Nada Adams
What's the big deal?
When I was little my parents always said I should never swear. They got mad even if I said "stupid". I’m now 14 and everyone swears. It’s really no big deal because it’s just part of our language and everyone does it. Yesterday my parents heard me say the SH** word and they totally freaked, like big time! And that’s nothing compared to what is said at school. The part that bothers me the most is: my parents swear too. Why is it okay for them and not for me? How can I let them know that it’s no big deal... they obviously think it isn’t a big deal for them!
~ Signed, Vanessa, 14, Dundas ON
Swearing is highly overrated! Maybe some day if you become a parent you’ll want to teach your children not to swear too.
At this point in your life though, you want the option to be FREE to express yourself the way you choose. I do understand - I’ve been there myself. It’s important to keep in mind that swearing is a language that provokes strong emotional energy in some cases. It’s this energy that parents object to – i.e.: anger, frustration, anxiety and so on. When these emotions are expressed with swearing it evokes discomfort for most people... including parents.
You may be swearing for other reasons, reasons that have nothing to do with negative emotions. It may be habit, it may just be teen slang that feels normal. Either way, there are two perspectives; yours and your parents. Remember this: ‘Seek to understand before being understood’. Try to understand WHY your parents swear, yet don’t allow you to do the same.
Maybe they feel guilty and ashamed of their own swearing and feel somewhat responsible when they hear you do it.
Whatever the reason, resisting or arguing with your parents will not give you the desired result.
Try expressing your thoughts in a loving way. Have an open heart to heart discussion with your parents about their swearing. Genuinely ask them when they are in a calm mood why they ask you not to swear but they do.
We are creatures of habit. Though your parents in their hearts believe it’s wrong to swear, they have developed a terrible habit. Those ugly words can naturally come out without much effort or thought. Are you doing the same thing?
Think about what your swearing looks like to other people too. What if a really great guy or girl heard you swear and decided not to hang out with you because of it. Would you swear in front of your friends’ parents, your teachers, at church? Ask yourself why you swear. If it’s because you’re being a follower (everyone else does it), you may want to consider a new decision about it. If everyone did drugs, would you? If everyone smoked cigarettes, would you?
What are your values? Rethink the part about “it’s really no big deal and everyone does it”. ‘Habits begin as Cobwebs and over time become Cables.’
This is a great quote meaning; it’s easy to get into a habit and over time gets much harder to get out of one!
You could also try substituting different words like ‘sugar’. Make it a challenge with your parents and do it together. They will feel great by supporting you and you’ll get to voice your opinion.
When you get frustrated, just remember, in the next few years you’ll be on your own and FREE to use that kind of language if you choose. The CHOICE is always yours. You can choose to speak powerful supportive words or your can choose to speak useless non-supportive ones ~ which ones will support you to get to where you want to be some day? Choose wisely!