Where’s My Damn Juicebox?

by Robert Pondiscio
September 24th, 2010

Good news! New research shows young children are coming to school with more words at their command that ever before.  Words most of us wish they didn’t know, unfortunately.

Children are swearing at an earlier age and more often than children did just a few decades ago, according to Timothy Jay, a psychology professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.  “By the time kids go to school now, they’re saying all the words that we try to protect them from on television,” says Jay. “We find their swearing really takes off between (ages) three and four.”

The rise is not surprising and mirrors a rise in swearing among adults.  “Nearly two-thirds of the adults surveyed that had rules about their children swearing at home found they broke their own rules on a regular basis, notes a report on PsychCentral.  Jay has also found that swearing accounts for between 0.3% to 0.7% of all utterances.

Holy $#%!


  1. Yep, I’ve noticed that many adults do not censor their language around children. I’ve even heard some folks call it cute and adorable when a 3-year-old says something like f***. It seems to be a real difference over 20 or 30 years ago.

    Comment by dangermom — September 24, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  2. Kids seem surprised when I take umbrage at “oh crap!” I was raised to treat that as a minor obsenity. It seems to have migrated into the realm of polite speech.

    Comment by Ben F — September 24, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  3. I should have written “obscenity”.

    Comment by Ben F — September 24, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  4. Kids say the darndest things, don’t they.

    Hey, I’m no altar boy either. Even when I was a teacher in the classroom I came out with some real gems. The kids laughed, I laughed and parents got over it. Life went on.

    Comment by Paul Hoss — September 24, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

  5. My students have no idea how many doors are closed to them if they are not able to behave and speak in a civilized manner.

    Comment by Obi-Wandreas — September 24, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

  6. [...] Where’s My Damn Juicebox? (great headline) Core Knowledge Blog looks at the research on young children’s growing [...]

    Pingback by *#%$! says my pre-schooler — Joanne Jacobs — September 26, 2010 @ 9:09 am

  7. [...] certain CBS-TV show notwithstanding, what most of us worry about is $#*! our kids say: Children are swearing at an earlier age and more often than children did just a few decades ago, [...]

    Pingback by dustbury.com » Accelerated vernacularity — September 28, 2010 @ 7:59 am

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