Recently my son (7) and daughter (5) have started asking about “The Cuss Words.”  My son started the whole thing when he asked, “Mom if no one is ever supposed to say the cuss words, then how do you know what they are?”  Pretty good question.  Then my daughter started to ask about the cuss words as well.  Is “fat” a cuss word?  Is “duh” a cuss word?

The best was this conversation that happened in the back of the minivan as I was driving:

My son says to my daughter, “I know there are four cuss words.  One is an H, one is an S, one is a B, and one is an A.”   I was very relieved not to hear an “F.”

Then he says, “I think I know what the B one is.   I think it is butt.”

They both start giggling and for some unknown reason I decide to correct them from the front seat.  “It’s not butt,” I say.

“I know what it is,” whispers my daughter.  “I bet it’s Butt CHEEKS!”

That one even got me giggling.  The conversation dropped shortly afterward and surprisingly it hasn’t come up again.  Maybe it is because they finally heard the correct words from someone else, or maybe they just don’t care anymore.

It got me thinking about the whole situation and I wondered if there is a correct way to tackle “the cuss word” dilemma.  Do you just tell them the words?  Do you ask them what they think?  Do you avoid the conversation until they are old enough to really get it?

One of my girlfriends has a nine-year-old son and she told him that on his tenth birthday, he is allowed to go in his room, shut the door and say all the cuss words.  Hilarious!  He is so excited he can’t stand it.  She said he can say them each one time and that is it.  I think the “f” word is still up for discussion.

Have you come to this bridge yet with your children?  How have you handled it?  I would love to hear ideas from you!