Since I was quite apalled by the AN staff to enforce profanity on groups and such, I would just like to arise the question why swearing is bad at all, and why particularly children must be protected.

Is it because they can hear "nasty" words connected to the human organs? I tell you, by the time a child is 13 they know most common swearing words. They didn't get it from TV or internet. They got it from their parents and friends. And what is the bad thing knowing the offensive version of male genitalia?

In themselves, swearing words are harmless. Swearing words are in fact, good words as such when we want to show that we are angry or put extra weight and importance to what we say. Sure, some of them are offensive, but that is only because we make them so. Eupheisms are made all the time. Look at the word toilet for example. At first it was water closet, then lavatory, now it's toilet.

Personally, language is language. You can do as much harm using no swearing words than if you do (sarcasm anyone?). I remember that when I was 4 or 5, I already knew words such as dick and cock. I also knew the meaning of it, in the harmless ways children know things at such ages. Instead of personally trying to hide such words for your children, you should probably discuss them as soon you find out they know them. As I said, words themselves are completely harmless. They are just abstract things in our heads. The more we try to hide and avoid certain words, the worse connotations they will get.

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I absolutely agree. A parent should not teach their children not to swear, they should teach them to swear appropriately.

But most parents don't like to hear their children swear because they want to maintain the illusion of innocence
The innocence thing is probably the biggest issue. However, we should try to drop that idea about innocence already. To not understand and to not know is not being innocent in itself, it's just lack of awareness. Children know and understand a lot more than we like to think. Is it innocence when children kill each other by mistake?

Children do not understand because of the lack of brain development. They have at younger ages hard times understanding anything abstract, because their brains aren't that developed they can grasp abstract subjects. Instead of protecting the children parents should enforce curious behavior and when children don't understand parents should merely be the bridge between understanding the abstract and not understanding. That would at least in my eyes be ideal. It is also proven that children who are given more freedom in many different areas perform better than their peers, like take the example of lifting your children a lot. It will later in life reduce their motoration, which in turn means they will have more issues to control their bodies, especially fine movement such as drawing, writing or doing gymnastics where complete body control is required.

It is also proven that children that watch news daily with their parents perform better on intelligent tests than children who don't. I can understand many parents who try to hide the news from their children because of the violence often shown from wars etc, and we also forget that such things were probably rather normal sights if we would still live a sort of jungle life, when hunters arrived back home wounded and bleeding.

Overexposement is of course never good, but not allowing children is also bad imo. They do things with a reason, to tell them not to will often just lead to more complications later in life which in turn might affect the whole society on different levels.
ditto, actually trying to hide things from children only makes them more interested in those things.
I think what is shocking you in your case is not your children swearing but your children not showing any respect to you.
There's nothing shocking about a child disrespecting their parent. It happens on a daily basis.
The difference is that a child of two cannot possibly understand much about how "leave me the fuck alone" and "leave me alone" are different. Their reasoning ability is just not very advanced. At that age, if they say "leave me the fuck alone," they are saying it because that's what they hear other people say, rather than because they are just that much more frustrated about not being left alone.

In my opinion, that is why it sounds worse coming from a small child. It's not a reflection on the child at all, but rather the environment the child is in.
Actually, swearing words HAVE uses in our language. Just look up any linguistics book touching that matter. I pointed out two reasons, for example to show when you are really angry or really want to emphasis something you wish to say.

To say "leave me the fuck alone" is far more powerful and gets the message through quicker than "leave me alone". Don't you think there is a semantic difference between the two?

It is also noticeable how swearing words in ALL cultures are all related to taboo subjects. In the case of Westerners, religion and certain more "private" body parts as well as sex in general.

In other countries, such as France, they use a combination of body parts and animals. One of their milder forms is "la vache!" which means "the cow!". If someone said that in other European countries they would raise their eyebrows and really wonder what is going on.

In Italy, it is favorable to connect people to bad relatives along with sexual references, similar to "son of a bitch" in English.
I agree. Swearing in itself is not bad. I've never understood why it's such a big deal and why it makes so many people uncomfortable. They're just words.

Edit: Then again, I am not and do not plan on being a parent. Perhaps it isn't pleasant to hear one's young child curse. Either way, I think how uptight America is about "bad language" is just another sign of how prudish we are as a culture.
I agree with a lot of what you said. Profane words are just words. Still though, we can't get away from the fact that they do have meaning. I also agree that hiding, skirting questions and demonizing words is a sure fire way to ensure that children will be tantalized by them. As a parent I try not to approach anything that way with my kids. However, I don't think it's as much about innocence as you think. My child at 5 wouldn't be less innocent if he used the word fuck. He'd have zero idea what the word means except that it seemed like a funny thing to say. And how do you explain the word fuck to a 5 year old? Profanity from a child really isn't a pretty thing to hear. I also think it's unnecessary and a sloppy way of communicating most of the time.
"I also agree that hiding, skirting questions and demonizing words is a sure fire way to ensure that children will be tantalized by them."

Exactly. Anything that's taboo or that a child (or even adult) is told not to do only makes it more likely to happen. Just like underage drinking--my parents always told me not to do it, and were strictly against it. I ended up having my first drink at 15, and I'm one of the oldest in my group of friends. However, my friends and I were/are responsible in that we stay where we are once we start drinking.

Er...didn't mean to derail the topic. But it's along the same lines. Tell someone not to do something, and they're bound to try it.
Kevin Smith, in one of his university Q&A's talked about how he and his wife using profanity freely around their daughter has actually made her want to use it less because she sees it as a "grown up" thing to do since she hears them using it but none of her friends. I thought that was an interesting observation, but it makes sense when you start to think about it.
I hadn't heard this. Are you serious? They're banning swearing?

A few words spring to mind.

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