Warning: Naughty language ahead!
I am a single mother to a beautiful nine-year-old son—and I unapologetically admit that I use the word “fuck” on a daily basis in front of him.
I could go into a long story about my past abandonment issues, what led me to this point of authenticity and vulnerability, and why I am so open in front of my son, but I won’t. It isn’t necessary, and it doesn’t have to define who I am now. It’s kind of like having to say over and over again that you are a “good person” instead of just acting like one.
I am a firm believer that words aren’t really what teach us—life experience and action does. When we read words or new information, we are being reminded of what we already know within.
Sure, words are powerful. They are jolting, moving, and triggering at times; this article might even be triggering you. But words are a learned vibration. Words impact us on a personal level because of the stories attached to them, the cultures we come from, and the life experiences from our immediate environments—not because of the actual word. Any word or sentence that carries a charge within us is a clear sign of a highlighted wound that still affects us.
Language changes the way we think. It molds and shapes how we see our reality. The English language is one of the most difficult languages to learn because we have so many unique ways of saying the same thing, and so many different variations of the same word. Cognitive Scientist Lera Boroditsky has an amazing TED talk on how language shapes the way we think.
She states that if language is responsible for the way we think, then we must ask ourselves to be mindful of the thoughts we wish to create. This is a more scientific way of saying, “We create our own reality.”
In French, the sound that vibrates like a curse word in English—phoque—actually means seal. And the way we say fuck in English means different things as well. For example, if I am talking with a friend and laughing about something funny she said versus something rude she said, the way I say, “Shut the fuck up,” is going to sound different in tone. This shows how vibration and intent mean everything when it comes to language.
So what is my intention with being so raw, authentic, and honest in front of my child?
Many of us living in this consciousness-shifting world have lost our blunt, self-aware, childlike attitude. We were told over and over again to tell the truth, be quiet, do the right thing, act like a lady, or man up. I have no idea what the hell any of that really means, but I do know each of those statements is full of shame. Women are shamed for their bodies and men for showing their emotions—it’s a cultural and subconscious conditioning passed down from parents who were taught the same thing.
I am choosing to end this cycle within my own family. I refuse to put my child on a lower scale when it comes to status and emotional intelligence. I refuse to enforce a pattern where children feel as if their voice is naive, irrelevant, and does not contribute toward the growth of everyone in their lives—a pattern that forgets that they are our teachers as well. This mindset silences the multitude of emotions that every little boy deserve to express and the freedom every little girl deserve to feel when it comes to their bodies.
My son gets to see my many emotions: the confidence I have with my body and my authentic truth when it comes to my words. I still change in front of him and share out loud when I am scared or sad. I acknowledge when I am wrong and own my shit attitude when needed. I cuss to myself when it feels necessary and I let him see my many colors.
I show him what intent means by not cursing at another person in anger. I show him by my actions that it isn’t the word, it is the intent behind it—and the emotion that it induces within our being. This is how he learns kindness without suppression. But don’t get me wrong, I am not just my son’s friend; I am his mother and boundaries are most definitely in place. I check him, with one look or a strong tone, when he gets out of line, but I also allow him to do the same to me by using his words.
Children teach us how to move energy and let go in “real time.” If they don’t want to do something, they say it. If they feel frustrated, they may fall to the ground and flail about. They are moving energy and cycling negative emotions through their body. They aren’t holding it in until they explode like a volcano. They choose to show exactly how they feel without fear of what we might think. They show us this truth until this type of behavior gets stripped from their self-expression—until the adults say, “This isn’t appropriate.” Setting boundaries without belittling is possible, but so many of us have been shown different from those who raised us, so the patterns continue.
My son gets to see me spiral and cycle my feelings in real time. He gets to see me drop a plate on the floor and say, “Fuck!” then clean up the plate and acknowledge that I shouldn’t have tried to carry 10 plates like a waiter at a Mexican restaurant. He gets to see me do the work, own my actions, and show him that we can be both spiritual and imperfect human beings.
As someone who leads intuitive sessions focused on finding our individual, authentic truth, I hold myself accountable on a daily basis. Over the past eight months, my work has moved toward the direction of “shadow work“—this healing focuses on the subconscious and explores what we suppress in our lives with void fillers, like people, substances, and jobs, or the emotions we hide away that keep us in patterns of feeling unworthy.
If I am helping others by using my own life experiences and gifts, I will never be a hypocrite about what I am currently moving through or experiencing—especially not to the one person I helped bring into this world. My intention is to help my son stay true to his authentic self, so that he doesn’t do what I did and abandon who he is to gain comfort and approval. The more I encourage his awareness, the less shadow work he’ll need to do as an adult.
I mean, he’s going to have some shit to work through—I am not a fucking saint—but I am consciously aware of my own actions, patterns, and emotions. And if cursing helps move that energy through my body, I am not going to stop what feels like a release.
So maybe we should be saying fuck in front of our kids instead of hiding from our authentic emotions. Maybe it is time we show them how we each get to choose our creative self-expression, individuality, sexuality, and colorful spirit.
And just in case you’re wondering, I don’t allow my son to say fuck, but he also doesn’t desire to do so because I’ve made it our normal. I have constructed an environment of freedom for myself, which then encourages his own freedom. He chooses to express himself differently than I do, and he also understands that some things need to wait until our human body has matured. Decisions like using plant medicines and expressing his sexuality must wait until he is older, and he’s okay with that because he knows that when the time comes, his freedom will be valued within our space.
He is his own soul, living a human experience. And that’s all most of us want to feel—that we are seen, loved, safe, and free to live life on our own terms.