I got a text recently from a friend recently who was away on vacation with four other families.
Totally get it. But to be honest, I didn't know how to respond. Because I am one of those parents, too. And while it's not something I'm particularly proud of, it's not something that worries me too much either.
Which is why I was happy to see a post from Australian mom blogger Constance Hall—who has four kids under the age of 9—in which she defends letting those oft-controversial four-letter words fly.
"I swear, no sh*t right," she wrote. "I justify it to myself by saying I only ever swear for emphasis, I never swear at anyone. You'll never catch me calling someone a name. But my kids have never sworn, they know, mum can. We can't. I barely even needed to teach them that, it was instinctual."
Fair enough. But recently, Hall admits that her 5-year-old son Arlo has started experimenting with "dropping a few bombs" when he's hanging out with his friends.
"Does it bother me? Not much, meanness would bother me more," Hall wrote. "I realised something pretty important. Arlo is reaching an age where his friends have a greater influence on him then I do, he copies them, loves them dearly and gets empowered by them. I read about that once, about how you will come to a time where your children get their power from their mates and there isn't much you can do about it, you need to let them discover who they are in a group of peers. That's socialising. And it's beautiful."
She's not wrong. Though of course, as parents, we still have the power to teach our children right from wrong, and how to recognize the qualities in others that we respect.
"While it's important to say 'don't swear it's not cool,' it's equally important to teach your kids to strive to find friends with similar moral codes to your family," Hall explained. "Because our household might be a sweary one, but it's a bloody kind one and it's full to the brim with love."