Cussin Kids

When something inappropriate comes out of child’s mouth it can make a parent cringe.

Jackie Schmidtman says in her family’s home the standard is perhaps higher than other families when it comes to swearing.

She says it boils down to respect.

“When I would go home my family would say, you’re so hard on them. But really it was more of a rule of being respectful to each other and our family, said Schmidtman. If you let them say it at home they will say it where it is even more inappropriate.

Schmidtman say keeping kids from saying naughty words has become more of a challenge.

“On daytime TV, movies, music; I think with the introduction of a lot of bad words in music it has changed what kids think is appropriate and so as your kids get older you kind of have to gauge that and work with that, said Schmidtman.

Jackie’s son, Dan, admits that growing up in a world that has become more accepting of what was once considered inappropriate language, makes it more difficult to avoid the potty mouth.

“I feel that it is around you so much more than it used to be, said Dan Schmidtman. In music and on TV and movies. It’s around you all the time so whether or not you do it is really up to you.

It’s a much different world from when the elderly generation grew up.

As they discuss the past, some parents who are now grandparents, agree certain words haven’t changed.

“I am not very well versed in swear words, said 95-year-old mother and grandmother, Ester Gruneich.

While certain swear words might be somewhat agreed upon by society as unacceptable, families have to establish what is and what is not acceptable.

“Our children understood that the way we spoke at home was what they should emulate and that’s what was permissible and what was good, said Gruneich.

Discipline for inappropriate language has also changed, but one signature form of punishment tied to swearing is something many generations remember.

“If they said any bad words my oldest son would say ‘Don’t let my mother hear you.’ She washes your mouth out with soap, said Gertie Myrmoe. They don’t say those words around me when they come over.

“My parents would say ‘We will wash your mouth out with soap.’ They never really did it but it was always the threat, said Jackie Schmidtman.

But after the “time-out” is over, or the soap has been removed from the mouth, parents can only hope that the message sunk in.

“It all just kind of boiled down to the fact that you needed to be respectful to your parents, said Dan Schmidtman. And not only to your parents, but your siblings and your friends and the people that surround you in your everyday life.

Family counselors say if parents are struggling to cure a bad case of “potty mouth,” they should tell them that it is inappropriate and move on so as not to draw attention to something negative.

Counselors say families should clearly talk about expectations and what is acceptable; and the proper form of discipline greatly depends on the child and what works for their personality.

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