has given the all-clear for his seven-year-old to swear.
Well, it probably surprises no one reading this to know that I am a swearer. I enjoy the he emotional release. I like the naughtiness. ghtiness. I relish the words as s I pair them with the rightt phrase. I use them recklesslyly at times. More often than nott in the wrong company.
You see,ee, swearing when I was a child was not really allowed.lowed. When I was a teenager, er, the rules were relaxed somewhat and… it… was…… thrilling. I was a grown up. Even before I had a girlfriend and, you know, “did did it”, to talk with dirty wordsords seemed like shaking off the shackles of childhood od once and for all.
Words s are powerful. I believe Michael Hutchencence said they were “weapons… eapons… sharper than knives”.
So when hen I swore onstage at a function for a friend’s nd’s birthday, in context, xt, in front of my seven-yearven-yearold, I hadd been exposed.. Busted.
I mean, an, it was just the “S” word. Nothing othing serious. None of the truly offensive ones. Could I have said poo? Sure. However, saying to somebody, “Wow, what a performance, you are the absolute poo, poo,” does doesn’t have the same impact. Let me tell you, Leo wou would not let me forget it. He told his mother straight away, eve even though I treated him to Ma Maccas fries to distract him. I even encouraged the fidgetfidg spinner at the din dinner table but, nooooo nooooooooo, we had to discus discuss Dad’s propensit propensity to impersonate Gordon Ramsay.Ramsa So, we talked with Leo about the is issue and we laughed a lot. He was asking us about words he had hea heard at school and whowh said what to whom.wh And then, witho without warning, with mym seven-year-old, I went rogue. I told him I am fine with him swearing with hishi mates. I mean, h he is going to experim experiment with swear wor words anyway, right? W We all did. We never toldtol our parents, but we so did.di
So, here is what I told him were my rules (which I may or may not have made up on the spot).
1. Swear with your friends. I insist you try it. It’s fun, so get it out of your system.
2. You must never swear at anyone in a cruel way.
3. No swearing at or around anyone who is younger than you.
4. If you get caught by the teachers, then you are on your own (I don’t really mean this, but you know… I had to make the situation a little scary).
I wanted to show my eldest that I trusted him. Naughty words could be used entirely at his discretion. Leo was in charge of his destiny from this moment on.
So far, so good. I have had no calls from the school… yet. I have not had to apologise to other parents… yet. More importantly, the excitement and danger Leo was feeling about swearing has completely disappeared.
So it was a win. A big effing win.
David co-hosts Today Extra, 9am weekdays, on the Nine Network.
“If you get caught by the teachers, then you are on your own”