Parenting can get hypocritical – I

One instance I’ve been thinking about is swearing. Let’s be honest. Everyone needs a good “Fuck” from time to time (and here I don’t refer to its use as a verb, although that too is true). Letting off steam is important.

I know families (including my own) where all members are aware of the choicest abuses and use them regularly in everyday occasions. There are instances where the Dad uses swear words on the phone when speaking to a colleague, the siblings do so with their friends, you…well…yeah, and probably the mother is the only holy soul in the family. And yet imagine a meal together when the most innocuous invective is shushed with glares of disapproval. I’ve had many such meals at my place or with friends.

This is hypocrisy but necessary in my opinion. How would I have learned to keep my mouth shut at parties if this hypocrisy wasn’t reinforced in the micro-social context of my dining family?

As a parent sometimes the best interests are served by reinforcing the worst of behaviors.

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