Yes, I Swear At My Kids

I swear at my kids.

Yes, I said it and I meant it. Each and every day, I swear at them.

I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Our kids can be assholes. Tell me your child hasn’t ever deserved to be cursed at and I’ll call you a liar.

I’ll even go so far as to say that I believe that swearing at my children makes me a better parent.

I’m not talking curse words like “dammit” and “hell.” Oh, no. I pull out the big guns. Those four letter ones of which I am such a big fan.

Now, I would never actually shout obscenities directly at my offspring. Obviously.

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But, when Lily is screaming that I ruined her life by taking away the hot pink hair dye which came with her new Moxie Doll that was staining the entire first floor of my house, I may just have seen the ords “shut the fuck up” float over her head in my imaginary commentary of the scene. And it may just have kept me from really losing it with her.

When Even is thrashing on the floor because I didn’t let him have a third bag of Goldfish before lunch, singing a little ditty that goes “Shut the fuck up, you pain in my ass. Shut the fuck up, my dear.” in my head, somehow, makes the moment more bearable.

And, Ben’s incessant whining can be blocked out by my asking “are you ever going to shut your little fucking mouth, you annoying child?” in my head. Logically, I know the answer is “not likely,” but just asking always makes me feel better.

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Just fucking shoot me now.”

“Fuck off, sweetheart.”

Does saying these things mean that I love my children any less than a non-swearing mother? No. Does it make me a bad parent or role model? No, I don’t think so.

Because, by thinking these awful things, I keep myself from actually saying anything terrible to them. Which, I argue, would be far worse.

It’s a coping mechanism, of sorts. A tool to survive motherhood.

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So, next time your child is screaming at the top of his lungs that he doesn’t want that shower or need to brush his teeth or that no, he will not stop taunting his sibling despite a hundred and three warnings, flip him off in your head.

I know he deserved it.

About the writer


In addition to being the founder of all things Scary Mommy, Jill is also the New York Times bestselling author of Simon and Schuster’s Confessions of A Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies)


Ian 2 weeks ago

I wish my wife would only swear in her head, but almost every day she tells the kids they are f**king lazy, or useless., and when they make small mistakes they get called morons or thick as sh*t !

Heather 2 months ago

I curse at my kids, use sarcasm, tease them, ; my father did it to me and its character building, helps your children build a strong sense of humor, sharpens their wit, and serves as a coping mechanism for you and I was much closer to my father for him doing so…and its certainly better than beating the crap out of your kids. My kids don’t love me any less for it. And if you’re not exercising curse words while they’re young, you will be eventually cursing them out when they’re teenagers…so in reality what is the difference?

Mackenzie Slack 7 months ago

This made me feel really bad…because I do, in fact, swear at my kids…loudly and to their faces. : (

Darcy 8 months ago

I just tell them they are being assholes when they are. They usually agree and change their tune. Nobody wants to be an asshole. Easy breezy.

Grace 8 months ago

I absolutely cuss at my kids. They are 13 years and 15 years old now and sometimes it’s not just in my head anymore. I try to keep the thoughts in but when my 15 year old is throwing an absolute shit fit because I refuse to allow her to dress like a whore I tell her so “No respectable young woman living under my roof with MY name us gonna walk out of MY door looking like a 2 bit whore! Go change your damn clothes and throw those out! Better yet bring them to me and tell me how the HELL you got them in the first place!!” (actually quote from me to my 15 yr old from yesterday). Or when she thinks she’s grown and can step to me I will tell her to stop acting like a bitch because it doesn’t suit her well.

Carla 8 months ago

i think in the end, it’s whatever works for you. :) I curse in my head, it’s stress relieving. Ever read that book “go the fuck to sleep”? Funny, totally right some nights, and entirely human. Just like all of us. Thanks for the honest laugh . I needed that this morning

Kari 8 months ago

My 3 kids aged 13,11 and 5 bought my husband and I a swear jar for our 15th anniversary gift. 6 months later, it’s overflowing. The kids are saving up for a Hawaiian vacation…

Arabella 11 months ago

Lol! I thought I was the only bad mother singing the swearing ditty in their head! Ahhh it is good to know there are other mums out there like me:) If DH knew even half the stuff I say in my head to him,i would be in the shit big time! lol!

Micki 11 months ago

I always tell my kids to “shut the fuck up” and “chill the fuck out”!(in my head) Really makes me feel better! Meanwhile, if they ever say shut up to anyone, they’re in big trouble!

sparkle 12 months ago

Thank you for this post. I sweared at my kids this morning and felt bad afterwards. Glad I am not alone.

Natalie 2 years ago

To be honest it’s just words, my mum swore all the time when I was little and still does (I am 15 now) and it honestly never crossed my mind as a bad thing, I knew that adults could swear and children couldn’t, and that’s the way it should be. People say “don’t swear because they will copy you” well then learn them that it’s not a thing children can do and only adults are aloud. You don’t see 5 year olds trying to make the dinner because their parents do it, I am 15 and I don’t swear In front of adults, and even if you as a parent doesn’t swear, your kids are bound to here it at school or just outside, it can’t really be avoided so I say it’s no big deal, swear at them if you want, it did me no harm and I am a nice person.

S 3 years ago

I’m not shocked that some moms curse their kids in their own internal dialogue when they are having a tough time. what amazes me is not the post, its the response to it. When two ladies here tried to say that cursing is not a good response, and that one should try and deal with the difficulties and frustrations in a more productive and constructive way, they were immediately labeled as ‘judgmental’ by the majority of the swearing moms….those same swearing moms themselves became immensely judgmental and defensive, insisting that it was better to swear in one’s head then to do it to the kid’s face. they then undermined their own logic by admitting that they often curse out loud and their kids pick up on it and have learned all sort of verbal garbage and ‘oh isnt it cute when it comes out of a two-year old’s mouth?’

what i will say is this – no one is perfect, but as a higher species we should always aim to raise the bar and improve ourselves constantly. to this end, refining our language and deleting all foul words from it would be a great start. i havent used an F-word or anything else in that category for decades now. not out loud, not in my head. there is no need to when you realise that there are plenty of other, less offensive words that will do the same job. in our house, the worst words that the kids utter is ‘idiot’, ‘stupid’, and ‘dummy’. They have never heard foul words from their parents, relatives etc. so they dont use them. they have heard them in school and on TV in other people’s homes, but they know that such words are beyond the limits, and they know better than to cross the limits. I am sure that will change when they are older, all kids experiment and challenge the limits, but I am confident that that phase will die out when they’ve had enough and their own ears start to find it an ugly and abhorrent corruption of a beautiful language. why use coarse and uncouth words and pollute the atmosphere with them? I’m not a saint, believe me, I’m actually thinking about hiring a counsellor for me and my son, because while our good days are awesome, our bad days are pure hell. We are both under a lot of stress, and life is testing us to the limits, and we need help. But at least I have acknowledged that I need help and am not exulting in my own weaknesses and flaws. Yes, we are all flawed, but lets not turn it into a celebration, lets work to get rid of those flaws; that’s when we will really have something to celebrate.

Jacquie 3 years ago

When my 5 year daughter decided to make snow angels in the basement after asking her brother (nicely, I might add) to empty her bean bag chair on the floor. My first words were “Oh my god, seriously”..followed by “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me” in my head.. It took all my restraint not to say the words out loud… This was followed the next week with her plugging the basement drain with marbles because she “wanted to make an ocean”..These are the times when I am pretty proud of my true restraint..Believe me the profanity was flowing(in my head) for a very long time..
All the money, fame and fortune in the world would never be enough to take my kids away from me…But god knows I wouldn’t pay a nickle for another one!!

neo 3 years ago

LOVE IT! I curse too. I don’t think there’s a difference with saying darn, over the word shit. Get over it!

MummyTwoToo 3 years ago

Hmmm, I do it out loud. Fuck it. I have to let it out or I’ll burst. Get real, not all of you commenting here really do just ”say it in your heads”…admit it! ;o)

They’ll survive…they’re happy, fun-loving little rascals. They know when I’m saying naughty words, because they tell me off for it :o)

Helena 3 years ago

LOL! Btdt so many times.

Mostly Sane Mamas 3 years ago

I do it too! I wrote a whole blog on my kids and The Swear Jar!

S@$#t! You Owe Me A Nickel!

varsha 3 years ago

I don’t know how parents don’t end up swearing at their kids. My 2 year old can be a total asshole. Sometimes. I usually keep it in my head but every once in a while he does something in particular that just stirs me up and I come right out with it. I feel bad afterwards but if an adult did some of the things he’s done I’d say the same thing not that its right but you know I get pissed. I will in the future do my best to control myself and keep little tirades in my head and not in my mouth because despite the little devils torture he is also on the other spectrum very sweet.

Mare 3 years ago

Love this blog, I am so glad I am not the only one that does this! This morning in fact it took all that I had not to say all my my favorite curse words out loud when my kiddo came up to me to say he went pee in the kitchen closet! My God! What the fuck was he thinkin! LOL

sunny 3 years ago! I too say it in my head and sometimes outloud.. my kiddlets are awesome annoying little toads at times.. and none of us have killed each other yet! I LOVE the rules down the side of the blog about NOT judging each other..thats my new favorite thing..apart from this blog:)

Melody 3 years ago

Again, so thankful for this site, this morning “what the f- where you thinking” and “give me a f-ing break” came out loud and clear. I’m not proud but now I think I can forgive myself because I felt like a horrible mother not only for yelling but for yelling bad words to my kid!

Jay 3 years ago

Admittedly I’m in the midst of recuperating from a moment with my duo…hence the reason I googled my desired reaction! Thank you ALL or at least those who do understand for being forthright and unapologetic for being mothers who express actual emotion and frustrations when the role of motherhood is challenged and underestimated.

heather 3 years ago

To the lady that said fu to her teenage son…..quit kicking yourself. If he’s old enough to act like a shit to his mom and tell you he doesn’t care, he’s old enough for strong language. You will live, and so will he. Tell him to quit being a brat. If that’s the worst thing that ever happened to him, he’s a lucky kid. Hugs.

BadMommy 3 years ago

I found this site today by committing a Mommy sin. I swore at my teenage son. He was not listening. And when I said to him you don’t care do you. He said NO. And I said do you mean that? He said Yes. I said I can’t believe that then I blurted out FU….I felt horrible and still do. I feel like I need meds and he is so angry with me. So now he feels like he did nothing wrong and I did everything wrong. So I think this post holds some key things to it. If I had only thought it as I did twice before I said it. I couldn’t hold it in any longer or so I thought. I was just so mad that he wasn’t my child but an unruly thorn in my side at that point. And now I’m paying the price for my crime. I wish I had read this before that incident.


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