I have never seen or heard my father using obscene words towards his family or even his friends. He was never a fan of other people using it as well and because of him, my mother also has not used such language. In fact, I remember my father warning me and my siblings to make sure he never hears us using profanity to hurt someone. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I picked up his habit and till today, I do not use profanity.

However, I have come to realise that these days, out of 10 people, probably about 7 or 8 of them use profanity while talking or cursing at someone, so much so that it has become a language of the norm. Even the young ones are using them now, but I cannot blame them.

Most of them pick up the habit from the people who speak around them and influence them, especially in certain movies, reality shows, and social media. Besides that, children's attitude most of the time is based on their parents' behaviour and habits at home and followed by teachers and friends in school. These places are the two common grounds for them to practice and learn from the adults. They can pick up profanity immediately and replicate it without knowing the actual meaning, and therefore do not realise that they could be hurting someone by saying such words.

I am a father now, practising with my children to do the same as my father did to me. Everything starts from home, from what we do to what we say, to how we treat others, the choice of words we use, and so on. I sometimes cuss the word “sh**” which safe to say, is commonly used by many people but I feel horrible after using it. If my wife or I happen to say it in front of my children, both of us will immediately rectify and reason with them on why that was not the right choice of word, especially to my son who is at an age where he can pick up words easily.

I make sure I play a good role model to teach and guide my children with their choice of words, on using any words that can be hurtful to themselves and others. We can teach them to avoid using any words that can be hurtful to themselves and others. Although at the end of the day, as they grow into teenagers and adults, their choice of words will be up to them, this simple practice from a young age is sure to stick around. It did with my siblings and I, thanks to my father. 


Excerpt from Father Loves You by Anthony Sabastian