Only a third of parents reprimand their children for swearing, according to a survey that also discovered 80% of parents admit to swearing in front of their children.
The research of 2241 people, commissioned by engine starter company Start Ya Bastard, discovered dads were the most to blame for swearing in front of children, with 84% of men admitting to the practice, compared with 75% of mums.
The study found that 9 in 10 parents have witnessed their child swearing at least once, but just 34% punish their child to reprimand their obscenity. 41% of parents admitted that they believe their child swears on a ‘regular basis’. The average age of children of the participants was 12.3 years old.
The most common punishment was ‘taking items away from children’, which 71% of parents who punished their potty-mouthed kids admitted to. Second most popular was ‘grounding’ with 45%, and third most popular was ‘making them do more chores’ with 32%.
When asked “Which of the following have you heard your child say?” 42% of parents admitted to hearing their child utter the ‘F’ word. Here is the top 5 most prolifically uttered swear words according to the research:
F*ck – 42% (of parents have heard their child say this word)
Sh*t – 36%
Cr*p – 31%
Bastard – 28%
Bo**cks – 22%
An interesting stat that the survey revealed is that 93% of parents that have sworn in front of their children have heard their children swear, opposed to just 64% for those that haven’t.
Also, the parents who didn’t swear in front of their children were more likely to punish their child for swearing, with 45% commenting that they wouldn’t let obscenity go unpunished.
Children aged between the ages of 10 and 13 were most likely to be overheard swearing according to the study.
William Findlay, CEO of Nulon UK had the following to say, “A previous study we commissioned found that the average Briton swears 14 times a day, meaning that it’s highly likely that at least one of these will be in front of children, maybe their own.
“The results speak for themselves, showing that children whose parents swear in front of them are much more likely to swear. I think that as a nation, Britain needs to either cut down on our bad language in front of children, or be more willing to ensure our kids don’t follow suit, at least within earshot. It’s a matter of respect from both parties, and the fact is, kids will swear, especially when they feel there will be no repercussion.”