Re: DSM: Re: name calling and swearing (FWD)

From: Marko Koskinen (
Date: Mon Apr 09 2001 - 23:32:11 EDT

This is an interesting topic, and I wanted to give it a few thoughts.
I'm just wondering what purpose does swaring serve. I'm thinking that
how do children express their anger before they learn to swear... they
probably express it physically, by hitting someone or breaking something
or just plain yelling. But when they learn the swearing thing, they can
express their anger by words and I think that is much more constructive
and acceptable way of expressing anger than the previous ones, so, is
learning to swear actually a natural advancement of expressing emotions?
Interesting thought...

Another alternative cause... When children hear someone else swearing,
it usually sounds very frightening, because angry adults are always
scary (even to adults). And how do the children handle the emotion of
getting frightened? If it is a really frightening experience, they
usually tremble and after that they probably cry and after that they
start making jokes about the frightening thing and laughing about it.
And I'm just wondering if the swearing thing is actually a way to get
rid of the fear. To imitate the source of the fear so that the child
will feel that s/he is in control of the situation.

I have one experience to share. I was looking after two young boys (my
cousins) aged 5 and 8. I know that both of these boys have witnessed a
lot of domestic violence and I would imagine that a lot of it has
included swearing. First, they said something silly, like "shit" and
when I didn't tell them not to, they went on and came up with a lot
worse words and when I still didn't stop them, they started to mock me
like I was the worst person in the world, but we all kept smiling
through this. They kept telling me what a "stupid sonofabitch" I was and
their vocabularity was awesome... The sad thing was that probably all
these words they had witnessed when listening their parents fight, they
just wanted to do it themselves so that it wouldn't feel so frightening.
After like ten minutes of this they stopped and we had a great evening
playing videogames and talking and no swearing was needed anymore.

Just a few thoughts...


CindyK wrote:
> Hi Casey,
> I was just introduced to this idea of free speach at the schools when I
> watched one of the SVS videos. I don't remember which one because I've
> watched so many that it's all a blurr now. I am still trying to get used to
> the whole foul language thing myself. At first I didn't think it was
> 'right.' It still doesn't sit great with me but I feel it starting to
> settle in my mind as many other SVS aspects have in the past, once I got
> beyond the initial shock of how different it is. I think my initial
> reaction had a lot to do with a 'what will the neighbours/inlaws/my mother!
> think?!' attitude. So I have been mulling it over in my head for a few
> days. How can I allow freedom of speech with limits? You can have freedom
> of speech as long as I approve? How lame. At the same time, the idea of my
> children being exposed to this kind of language is not on the top of my
> desires list. (My kids are 4 and 2) Yet, I have to remember that I was
> exposed to it and even when kids aren't allowed to do it, they do. I may
> not have used foul language in school in front of my teachers but I
> certainly used it. I think (now I'm getting hypothetical because it hasn't
> happened yet) that if my kids were to pick up the nasty language habit, I
> would try to keep it from happening around me. I know that this is not in
> line with the whole freedom thing, but the home is different from school -
> at least my home is right now. I wouldn't like it very much but I really
> don't know how I'd handle it. Maybe by then, I will have evolved to the
> point that it won't bother me, or maybe not. Good luck to you.
> CindyK
> Sudbury, Ontario
> PS. I love the zuzuspetals thing - it's sooo sweet! I love that movie.
> Thanks for the smile! :)
> > Subject: name calling and swearing
> >
> > I am new to the list and am interested in how people feel about
> name-calling
> > and swearing. My son (5yo) attends a free school and I am sometimes
> > shocked by the language the kids use with each other and the staff.
> >
> > My DS has embraced a lot of these words and uses them often at home and in
> > public. I am particularly concerned with the name-calling and swearing
> done
> > outside of the (free) school environment. Some friends, neighbors and
> > relatives find my DS's expanding vocabulary offensive. I am worried that
> > people will run the other way when the see us coming!
> >
> > This is new to me and I'm not sure how to handle this. Any ideas?
> >
> > Casey

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