On NPR's Morning Edition today, there was a piece about why kids start cussin'. Mostly, reporter Allison Aubrey concludes, they are mimicking phrases heard from their parents and their peers. Aubrey interviewed Julia Gordon, a lawyer and mom of a 4-year-old, who said "He totally screwed me," in front of her daughter when she was cut off in a parking lot. A few minutes later, her daughter repeated, "he totally screwed me," and Gordon laughed at first, because seriously, how cute is it when a four-year-old says shit like that? My parents definitely giggled when I cursed, and that has made me into the regularly profane individual I am today. I had an older brother, so I remember cursing at a pretty young age. When did you start getting your mouth washed out with soap?
By the way, I agree with another mother quoted at the end of the NPR piece. Sarah Pekkanen told Aubrey, "I would be much quicker to jump on my kid for saying an unkind thing,even if he used perfect language to do so." I'm still not allowed to tell people to shut up!
Why Kids Curse [NPR]