Dad dot info form. Ask questions, get answers

The F-Bomb

“I’m sorry, we started watching the film but just couldn’t carry on. There was too much effing and blinding in it,” my mother-in-law Judy explained. “It just wasn’t realistic. I don’t mind swearing if it’s in context but these were professional people.”

“Yes,” father-in-law John chipped in, “Professional people working in the City just don’t talk like that. It was gratuitous.”


They were talking about the Kevin Spacey film Margin Call about a 24 hour period at a City firm during the 2008 financial crisis.

“Er… I’m sorry but you’re wrong.” I spent 18 years working in the City in a previous life and had held a pretty senior position at a global, bulge bracket bank. “The language for much of the time was very colourful. Most people, me included, would swear every other word. It’s a macho, high adrenaline environment. People dropped the F- bomb all the time.”

Aging in-laws looked shocked.

A few days later it was my turn to be shocked. In Arun’s home to school book there was a mention that “Arun has been swearing in school. We have put him in a separate corner when he does this to calm him down.”

One of the things about Arun going to a school that focuses on learning difficulties rather than one that focuses on physical disabilities like he used to is that most of the children are verbal and he’s going to come across some industrial language. The problem with Arun is that, because of his learning difficulties and autism, he doesn’t always understand what is appropriate and what is not.

Now, despite not working in the City any more I can’t pretend to be a saint. My language can be a little fruity at times. However, we try hard never to swear in front of the children and never, ever, ever swear at the children.

A couple of days later I was getting Arun out of the bath.

“Come on out, “I said. “Time’s up.”

“No!” he said. “You **** off!”

Well. What should a father do? He doesn’t swear that often (every couple of months we hear a naughty word being used as an adjective) but he has never sworn at someone before. Previously we’ve ignored it – the logic being that if we make a thing of it, he’ll only be encouraged. However, I wasn’t prepared to ignore this.

I may be a hypocrite but Arun got a right royal telling off. He was sent to bed with a flea in his ear and as his lip quivered as he said, “good night daddy, I love you. Sorry daddy…” I think he got the idea.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of


Related entries

Too old for this

It was late on a Thursday evening and Rodger and I were walking up Upper Street in Islington, looking for a Thai restaurant. We were a little worse for wear   “You OK?” he asked looking at my awkward gait. “Yeah,” I said with that little inflection that indicated...

The big day

I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it   The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly. “Yes,...

The big questions

I was walking home from school with my five year old daughter. As we approached our front door she looked up at me   “Daddy?” she asked in that tone of voice that all dads will recognise as a precursor to something that they’ve been pondering. “Yes?” I answered...

Latest entries

What birth rate is needed to sustain a population?

What birth rate is needed to sustain a population?

Not the most romantic of pillow talk, but though having children is a completely personal choice there is also an optimal birth rate that is needed to sustain a population. And it is 2.1 live births per mother. 2.1 for a few reasons. Sadly even with the best medical...



Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a hurt dad that hasn't...

Childcare: what are the options?

Childcare: what are the options?

Modern parenthood is about striking a balance between caring for your children and earning a crust. Many families need childcare options to balance the juggle. If you don't know your nannies from your au pairs, read our guide to childcare to help you decide...

Pin It on Pinterest