I tweeted yesterday:
"A plague on parents who swear full-throttle in the company of their toddlers. #ghastlypeople
I was walking through town and approached a bench. On it, two women sat smoking away and chatting at some volume. On one side of the bench, there was a pram, the passenger, I estimated, a six-month old child. At the other side, there was a toddler holding a doll. The words coming out of the mouths of the two women included a considerable amount of f-words and other expletives. I wasn't really that interested but it was impossible to ignore them. I stopped to look at a shop window and noticed after a few moments that a couple of male voices had joined in. I assumed from what was being said that these people were fathers and mothers to the children. The effing and blinding continued, sometimes as forceful opinions were exchanged and sometimes punctuated with laughter as someone cracked a joke.
The sadness and tragedy in all of this is that the two kids were absorbing the chatter and to them this was the normal way their parents spoke. This was NORMAL. Fast forward a few years and the kids at school tell the teacher and other kids to 'fuck off' and suddenly the kids are thrown into a state of confusion as they are punished for saying such a word, a word that has been a NORMAL part of their growing up.
I despair at this kind of adult ignorance. Maybe those fathers and mothers learned their Anglo-Saxon from their own parents. I don't know. But it sickens me when I hear swearing in the presence of children.
I am not a prude and I can and I have used all of the "bad words" in adult company at various times during my life but I wasn't taught to swear. I certainly didn't get it from my mother. I picked it up from my mates or the TV as a way to enhance an angry debate or to get a cheap laugh.
I am reminded of a friend of mine from many years ago. We were not quite teenagers. Anytime I went to his house, his mother (one might say rough as a bear's arse) would swear like the proverbial trooper as she did the ironing. She had a view on most things and an answer for everything, always delivered in colourful language that, at first shocked me, but then became NORMAL any time I visited.
So, a plague indeed on the ignorant, thoughtless cretins who use foul language in front of their kids.
Luckily, I had my blood pressure check minutes before I approached that bench.