It’s not okay to swear in front of your kids.
It’s not okay to swear in front of your kids.

YOUR SAY: It’s not okay to swear in front of your kids

Just saw a mother of two small children rip into a waiter over her breakfast.

In front of her children, and other cafe patrons, she used rather explicit language including the f-word. Everyone in the cafe went silent. It appeared that her eggs were not cooked to her liking.

Most of the cafe patrons and I were horrified. How is this behaviour in anyway ok? My heart went out to her children. What hope do they have with a parent who has no qualms in using abusive and vulgar language like this? Is this indicative of a lack of care, respect or education?

I guess this showcases and explains why many adolescents think this kind of offensive language is acceptable to use in everyday conversations at school.

Sure, this mother might have been having a bad morning, and the overcooked eggs were the straw that broke the camel's back, but this in no way excuses or justifies her behaviour or the words she chose to use in that moment.

Parents have a responsibility to instil good manners, values and respect, and the best way to do this is through positive role-modelling. There are far better and more meaningful ways to communicate frustration - especially when children are in tow.

A child is a sponge, they are observing all the time. A child's moral compass is set by what they see their parents say and do. I don't think there is any context where a parent should swear in front of their children.

Maybe I had a sheltered and unusual upbringing, but I never heard or learnt any explicit language from my parents as a child - and I'm forever grateful for this.