According to the musings of one cunning linguist, it’s totally fine to swear around your children.
As society dictates, when you become a parent, you have to act right. One has to set the example and forever be a pillar of decorum.
I know many parents who have chosen the righteous path when Junior passes through their lips, silently vowing to never pass a curse through theirs. However, a professor of cognitive science believes swearing in front of your children is a boon, because, fuck, why not?
According to Quartz, Benjamin Bergen, a linguist and professor of cognitive science at UC San Diego, has written a book about swearing in front of children, What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves.
A professor of cognitive science believes swearing in front of your children is a boon, because, fuck, why not?
To prove that academics are a strange breed, he decided to look into the concept of censoring oneself around your children, and if you should do it at all. In the book, he makes a distinction between swears and slurs. Slurs, obviously, are out, we should not teach our halflings to disparage another, but there’s no proof that “ordinary profanity—four-letter words—causes any sort of direct harm: no increased aggression, stunted vocabulary, numbed emotions, or anything else.”
While Bergen concedes that swearing at children is not okay, but swearing around them is fine.
The issue, I believe, is context. As children cannot grasp the nuances of social interaction that (some) adults can, they’re unable to decode the when. For example, swearing at a television is fine, swearing at a cop is not.
The challenge is to teach them the optimal time to drop the worst word in the universe. You know, as the responsible adults.