Would you ever fine your kids for cursing?

I admit: I am a huge potty-mouth. It's a bad habit and my parents are constantly scolding me for it but I can't help it! It's not that I'm cursing left and right at all times or in inappropriate places, like the office, but at home, I don't even think twice before swearing…which is partly why I was so taken aback when I learned that residents in Middleborough, Massachusetts have voted to impose a $20 fine on those who swear in public.


What! Would that even work? That sounds a little extreme to me. I mean, what happened to freedom of speech people? Still, officials say that the proposal is not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but to limit the loud, explicit language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.

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So basically they're making a law, but only really enforcing it on younger people? That hardly seems fair. Are they also going to somehow remove all the popular movies and TV shows that constantly use the same words? Otherwise, it seems kind of pointless.

I understand why cursing amongst young kids can be offensive, but I personally think turning it into a legal thing would do little to help the cause--especially because it's really more of a parenting issue. If moms and dads have a problem with their child's language, they need to monitor it and instill certain punishments themselves. In fact, depending on your kid, I actually think fining in a household might be good idea—like a swear jar where children put a dollar or two (or as much as you think is necessary) in for every curse. Hey, I know if we had that rule in my house growing up, I would have learned my lesson real fast and probably wouldn't be cursing now!

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So what's the difference? To me, it seems like kids (and even certain adults, like myself) are a lot more likely to respond to their own parents than to random people trying to monitor what they say. Honestly, if some stranger came up to me now and tried to tell me how to talk, I would probably resort to the exact language I'm trying to avoid--partly because I have a typical Latina temper and partly because seriously, why does it matter to them? But for my parents (who--and this is really importantly-- STILL set an example by hardly ever cursing), I'll always gladly and willingly try to curb my cursing.

Would you ever "charge" your kids a fine for cursing? Tell us in the comments below!

Image via Elvert Barnes/flickr

Topics: child rearing  how to parent  parents and children  teenagers