No F-word please I'm English

Dear friend,

One of the things that really shocked me when I moved to Holland was the lack of censorship. On one of my first visits here I remember listening to the radio in the car and trying to decipher what was being said only to be comforted with the F-bomb more than once! Songs are not censored and neither are the presenters and although there isn't gratuitous swearing it does happen.

When I grew up the only swear word we were allowed to use at home was crap. Don't get me wrong I did go through a phase in my teens when I had a serious case of potty mouth but I would never have dared continue that at home and face the wrath of my dad. God forbid the F-bomb should pop out or we would be in serious trouble. There was definitely a time and place for swearing and it wasn't at home!

The UK censorship laws also prohibit the use of public obscenity. No swearing allowed before 9 on mainstream TV and radio. It used to be punishable to swear in public too, however, in 2011 a High Court judge ruled that people should not be punished for hurling obscenities in public because such words are now so common they no longer cause distress.

Has swearing lost the power to shock us?

I think living in a land without censorship did mean that I became desensitised to swearing, the shock factor had gone but that was until my children came along...

Artwork reads: Heinz fucking hot sauce! 
Only in Holland!

I felt that swearing around my kids was just wrong! People regularly tell us that kids are like sponges, soaking up their environment and copying the behaviour that they see. I didn't want my cute little darlings uttering obscenities and I knew it would give my mother a heart attack so we listened to children's CDs and nursery rhymes and avoided the radio.

But then my kids got older. The eldest got into music in a big way, he started DJ lessons and began following the SLAM top 40.  As certain songs appeared on the radio or TV I would flip the channel over or mutter about the inappropriateness of this language. Hubby however took a different stance. This is Holland, we don't censor. I don't understand the problem. This lead to many heated discussions at the dinner table.

For some time my little DJ would sit in the passenger seat of the car and when a 'bad' song came on would dim the volume at the key moment and smile at me. Job done - mummy was happy, papa would laugh! But then I started to think about my behaviour. Why was I so worried? Did I think that by exposing my kids to profanity they would start to use it? Did I think it was damaging them in some way? Or was my negative reaction actually causing my kids stress?

There is no research to say that swearing is damaging to children. Directing abusive language at children is of course damaging but hearing swearing? Lets face it who is going to allow their kids to sit and listen to swearing for research purposes so there probably isn't any research available?!

I started to look at my behaviour and communicate more with my kids instead of just shutting down or getting cross. We discussed the difference between growing up in Holland and England and we discussed how mummy felt uncomfortable with bad language because she never heard it growing up. We talked about the watershed in the UK. We discussed why people swear (when they are angry, to express something strongly, or to abuse others.) We were clear that using profanity as abuse is wrong.

I am confident that my kids know there is a time and a place for certain types of language. 

A few days later we had a party with friends and someone swore. My eldest explained that in our house we don't swear until after 9 because mum is English. It made us all laugh and the joke is now set - whenever anyone swears we say;  After 9! 

I don't think I will ever be totally comfortable around people who swear gratuitously but maybe I am becoming more Dutch as I find the censorship peep used in UK TV very annoying and I feel really patronised when UK presenters give the; We apologise for any offence caused... speech when someone drops the F-bomb on their programs.

Maybe the judge was right and because Holland does not have censorship, swearing has become more common to me so no longer causes me distress.

What do you think? Should we still be shocked by swearing?

#PointShoot Week #20

Do you love making photos of your family? Do you like to record the everyday memories you are making? Then this could be the linky for you. Come and share your photo story posts with me. You can share your days out snaps or any fun, special, touching moments from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without. 

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Point Shoot: Holiday in Tenerife

Dear friend,

Welcome to my Photo series #PointShoot. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.

This weeks point shoot is a look at our holiday in Costa Adeje, Tenerife. We had a brilliant time as there was something for everyone. Whilst I relaxed, enjoyed the sun and read lots of books the boys played in the pool, got involved with the kids club, and went crazy at the water park. The best part was meeting some lovely new friends, we all enjoyed the entertainment (and the cocktails) perhaps a bit too much πŸ˜‰ 

Happy Days!

Why don't you join me on #PointShoot link party? We are open from Tuesday 6 a.m. until Friday 6 a.m. so there is plenty of time to link up. You can share your days out snaps or any fun, special, touching moments from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without.

My Sunday Photo

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#MummyShot Week 30

Dear friends,

Welcome to #MummyShot Roundup, hosted by myself and the amazing MacKenzie Granville. I always seem to end up walking behind the boys playing catch up as they are running along in front of me, chatting away. A few years ago I snapped a shot of my boys walking at the beach. I loved this shot as for me it captured their relationship, hand in hand, mirrored walking steps, little man turned towards his brother... I've been recreating this MummyShot  even since.

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This weeks shots are all about amazing sea views, you can feel the sense of wonder and amazement in these photos. Thank you to @ponderingparenthood @rainbowsaretoobeautiful @oh_maxwell @welshcakeswellies. 

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