Perpetual Potty Mouth

Your buddy lives nextdoor to you. Awesome right? Uhh…usually…more like, it’s pretty cool and convenient…but with an ever growing concern. Ok, so what’s the problem?
To begin with, he works in construction, and does very well might I add. He knows more about building and fixing stuff than Wikipedia, and he never hesitates to help me with home projects. He grew up in a house full of manual laborers and mechanics. His father still swings a hammer at 65, and his three brothers regularly join him on the company job site. All five men make a prideful living with their hands.
Unfortunately, coming from a family rich in the tradition of masculine know how, and being around manly men all day, it’s not surprising he’s been exposed to a significant amount of foul language in his time. Shop talk without filters is commonplace in his line of work, and he’s a willing participant in the choice of vocabulary. So it’s equally less of a shock when he uses the same vernacular both on and off the clock. But from my perspective, it’s become a habit that’s better left at work, or at least not exercised when children are in earshot.
Ok, got it. Here’s your Callemonit predicament. It’s not that your pal uses bad words. It’s that he simply can’t control the where and when it’s acceptable. Basically, your neighbor and close friend has a potty mouth, and your kids hear it. Maybe when they were infants or toddlers, you could dismiss his behavior. They didn’t even know what he was saying, but lately it’s become cringe worthy.
Exactly. When we’re in the driveway talking about engines while the youngsters are jumping rope nearby, and when he stops over for the big game and the tv is in the family room, and even when he’s barbecuing on his own back deck which is thirty feet from my grill and dinner table, the cussing is clear as a bell.
On multiple occasions, I stop him in mid stream. I caution, “Dude, language, the kids.” He always has the same reaction, putting his head down and shrugging his shoulders replying, “Oops! Sorry Dude. Gotcha!” But the disappointing reality is, he doesn’t “Got me.” Just five minutes later, and he’s back to using colorfully inappropriate adjectives.
It’s gotten to the point where my son uses an expletive when he gets soap in his eyes on bath night, or my daughter shouts a profanity when we’re out of her favorite breakfast cereal. I don’t even have to ask where they heard it.
Understandably, you and your wife have had enough and need to take action. But it’s a tough Callemonit. Your neighbor is your friend, but it seems he doesn’t have the self discipline to curb his cursing. And you feel you have a responsibility as a father to limit your children’s exposure.
So, how do you enact this Callemonit? Does your wife appeal to his wife? Do you threaten to end your friendship? Navigating the perfect neighbor relation is often a slippery slope, plus people tend to put different weight on the acceptability of cussing.

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