Why This Dad Is OK with His Daughters’ Cursing

Elise Solé
This father doesn’t mind when his two young daughters curse. (Photo: Courtesy of Mike Reynolds)

A father who allows his children to use swear words is being hailed for his parenting philosophy.

On Tuesday, Mike Reynolds, a 38-year-old writer and designer of a gender-neutral T-shirt line, penned a Facebook post about why he allows his two daughters, Leah, 7, and Charlotte, 5, to use curse words, because to him, it “isn’t a big deal.”

“Now, maybe it isn’t ideal that they know the word ‘f***,’ and maybe it isn’t always the most convenient for us,” Reynolds wrote, “but as parents, these aren’t the words or phrases we worry about too much even though we know we’re supposed to.”

Instead, the dad emphasizes compassion, writing, “So while they may say ‘s***’ when they stub their toe, they don’t use words like ‘lame’ or ‘crazy’ or ‘gay’ to negatively describe things or people.”

He continued: “We want our kids to know that their words have power, and using words that marginalize others is worse than saying s***.”

Reynolds then summed it up: “But parents need to prioritize what they teach their kids. We can’t have it all. A swearing kid among a group of strangers just makes us red in the face. A kid who uses ‘lame’ or ‘gay’ hurts others.”

My daughters both sometimes use swear words. It’s 99 per cent likely they do so because I admit that this is something I…

Posted by Everyday Girl Dad on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Reynolds’ post received hundreds of reactions and comments from like-minded parents raising their children to verbally express their individuality.

“To be clear, my wife and I don’t encourage our children to swear,” Reynolds tells Yahoo Beauty. “In a perfect world, they wouldn’t swear at all, but we choose to spend our energy teaching them to be kind.”

The father admits that he is a habitual swearer, “particularly in the car during school drop-off hour,” and that his children even give him “permission” to use certain words. And while he hasn’t encountered any backlash for his parenting style, his daughter’s preschool teacher once diplomatically remarked that the little girl was “assertive” in her language.

Swearing does have its benefits — research shows that people who do have better pain management, higher self-esteem, physical control, and can appear more honest and easygoing to others.

In a follow-up Facebook post Wednesday, Reynolds added “I’m proud that I don’t care as much about offending people’s sensibilities as I do causing harm to someone’s confidence.”

“Swearing is a much-needed release,” Reynolds tells Yahoo Beauty. “My kids know how to express their emotions instead of bottling them up inside. I don’t want to give those words too much power.”

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