Heidi Klum Doesn’t Use ‘Potty Words’ Around Her Kids

01/25/2011 at 04:00 PM ET
Kevin Mazur/Getty

Heidi Klum‘s latest project Seriously Funny Kids is an unscripted series featuring the supermodel interacting with children and bringing out the hilarious things they say.

But when it comes to Klum’s own four kids, there’s one thing she and hubby Seal do not find funny: swearing.

“When we’re around the children, we really make a point in our family to not curse or say potty words,” Klum, 37, told PEOPLE on a conference call promoting the Lifetime series, which airs Feb. 1.

“My husband and I try our best to make sure our kids are proper and have good manners. They’re already saying things that they shouldn’t be saying at their age.”

Klum has especially tried to steer her eldest daughter out of the wrong direction.

Leni will sometimes come home and say, ‘What the…,'” the model mommy explains. “And I say, ‘Leni, “What the…” isn’t a sentence. It’s inappropriate and you can’t say it.'”

Klum — who admits she is not perfect — saves the swearing for her friends.

“I’m not saying I’m a saint by any means,” she says. “When I’m with grown-ups and we’re out, I curse sometimes and we say some inappropriate things. But when we’re at home, my husband and I try our best to make sure our children are proper and have good manners.”

In addition to Leni, 6½, Klum and Seal are also parents to Henry, 5, Johan, 4, and Lou, 15 months.

— Dahvi Shira

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 55 comments

Mira on

Good for them! My six-year-old also recently started saying “what the…” and I had to nip it in the bud immediately.

Kim G on

It is so refreshing that Seal and Heidi don’t allow bad language in their home. It makes me like them even more. There is nothing worse that a kid with a potty mouth and bad manners.

Emily on

Good for them! We try to really watch what we say too. However, today my four year old said, “What the heck?” When I asked where he heard it, he said his aunt. Yikes.

Emily on

Well I’m sure no parent WANTS their kids to mimic their bad habits, but it’s inevitable.

Nella on

Good for them for teaching their kids manners. I met some parents that simply do not care if their kids curse and actually find it cute.

Shannon on

More parents should do this. Otherwise the children will grow up talking to their parents like the Kardashian/Jenner daughters do. 🙂

Laura on

I think it’s good that they want their kids to be well educated, but I think it can be a little exaggerated. I mean, it’s not like swearing is the source of all evils. Personally, I’m a very polite person, and have always been, but I also cursed since I can remember.
It’s not just about prohibitting kids to do or say certain things, but about making them understand when it’s okay and when it isn’t.

Just my thoughts here.

Also, that’s an awfully unflattering picture of Heidi. I’m sure there are tons better, since she’s a gorgeous woman.

Holiday on

Emily there is nothing wrong with what the heck. I dont see how that is an issue. We dont use rude language he either.

Lilith'smommy on

My mom was okay with me cursing after I turned 13. I’m okay with teenagers cursing NOT with small children.

Sharon on

Great for Seal and Heidi. Love them! However, why is it such a big deal that parents try not to swear around their kids? Them and a billion other parents. I mean, should we give them a medal? HAHA. Just funny.

Sarah S. on

Good for them, I agree 100%!!

Elle on

My husband and I don’t swear and I honestly don’t see the need for using inappropriate language. It is something I do have a really hard time understanding. I can remember swearing in middle school and thinking I sound so stupid when I use those words. My parents never used bad language growing up so when I did hear it I was very turned off.

Tee on

Seal and Heidi’s attitude towards innappropriate language is refreshing! I think it’s wonderful that they are taking care to teach their children the proper way to speak and behave!

CelebBabyLover on

Good for them! I don’t have kids, but my parents got a rather embarassing wake-up call about their language habits from my older brother when he was pretty young (I’d don’t know exactly how old, but early Elementary school age at the very oldest). My dad, after apparently hearing my brother swear, was explaining to him why he shouldn’t be saying words like that.

My brother responded very sweetly, “I know. You’re only supposed to say those words when you lose your tools or something, right?” And he wasn’t trying to be smart or anything like that, he was dead serious! Needless to say, my dad felt pretty darn embarassed! He admitted to my brother that no, he shouldn’t be using those words either….and then watched his language more carefully from then on!

Anyway, I’m glad that Heidi and Seal are tackling that issue with their kids from a very early age!

JM on

laura i kind of agree with you. i tend to ask my children not to swear or repeat swear words if they hear them, but if they do i don’t make a huge deal out of it. and i also think that people have slightly different opinions on what constitutes being deemed a swear word. i know people who think words like “damn” and “hell” are swear words, people who won’t even say “oh god” which is ridiculous! and like someone else said, “what the heck” just isn’t swearing to me.

i also agree that there are far worse things a child can do than swear. being polite and well mannered to other people is much more important to me.

nmdortch on

I just love Heidi and Seal!!!!

Jessie on

I think it’s great that they set the example at home so when they do go out and hear other people saying those bad words, they’ll know that’s not the way to talk.

kim on

Really like everything I read about them!

soph on

Ha, kids seem to go for the “what the…” a lot. Don’t know why.

I think Heidi looks pretty in that picture. Odd dress, but it still looks good on her.

Ashley on

I’m a teacher at a public high school and, just as you may imagine, some kids have the most abrasive language! I’m glad Heidi and Seal are teaching their children to use a more intelligent vocabulary when expressing themselves. Afterall, it’s not only part of raising polite, well-mannered adults, it’s also a big part of teaching children how to be good communicators!

erilynne on

Well, you shouldn’t. Adults should KNOW not to have any curse words said or in use in sentences at all in front of children.

Good for them making sure of that. I think cursing has gotten a little out of hand. Everyone seems to say it so much! I’m in my early 20’s and I try to make people not curse in front of me cause it just lowers your vocabulary to me.

Em on

Refreshing indeed.

On a similar note, I’m wondering: does Heidi speak German to her children?

Hi on

It’s good that they don’t even tolerate “what the heck”. I know a kid who is 9 (I think) and he says “Holy shittake mushrooms” a lot. I guess that would be okay, but he doesn’t say the “take mushrooms” bit until several seconds after the first part. What’s worst, his mom encourages it and thinks he’s funny.

Needless to say, I’m glad these celebrities have more morals than some other people I know.

Faith on

Yes Em, Heidi and Seal’s children are all bilingual in German and English. Finally celebrity parents who are raising their kids to be proper and respectful.

Victoria on

Good on them, children pick things up so quickly. I generally don’t curse or swear which is probably a result of having parents that didn’t either. My dad would say Gordon Bennett if he did something that required a curse – no idea who Gordon Bennett is or was but he is my shout of choice! My husband tends to go for “the love of Pete” or “for crying out loud”. I don’t if its an english thing but i don’t tend to hear darn or heck very often.

itznia on

Love, Love, Love her!!!!!!!!!!

Not you on

JM- “Being polite & well-mannered” means that you DON’T curse. Period. Someone well-versed in etiquette (ie, not you) would know that. Try swearing around Miss Manners or one of the Post girls & see just how far you get.

Chaz on

I did my thesis on children’s television of the 80s and 90s. “What the..?” is in a surprising number of kids shows and has been for quite some time. Even Disney’s. I think that’s where most kids pick it up as it’s not swearing, but walking right up to the line. We all know the thrills of being that age.

Props to Heidi and Seal, although I grow concerned for how she will handle her children when they befriend a boy named “Chuck” and attempt to play “The Name Game.”

Jamie on

Why use curse words at all? I just don’t get it. People sound so uneducated and ignorant when they use fowl language!!! My husband and I don’t cuss…that is the way we were both raised. I expect the same from my 3 kids’. Glad to see a celebrity couple that is actually teaching their kids’ manners though!

Shannon on

I am right there with you all on not cursing in front of children. However, I do not agree that cursing as an adult is an issue. I would NEVER curse in the workplace (I am a HS teacher) even when I am not around my students, but still at work. I do curse, however, when I am with friends and in situations where no one can be offended by my language. As long as using curse words at appropriate times, there is no issue with it. I am very well educated and know the boundaries of when to use them and when not and I see no problem with using it on occasion.

JM on

“Not You” 😀 so funny! you do see the irony in your post don’t you? please tell me you do otherwise i am seriously worried for your intelligence.
but thanks for giving me a good chuckle anyway. 😀

ah, that was good. still laughing at your supposed “good manners”.

Sarah M. on

I worked retail for 8 years. One day while helping 2 customers, we heard a father shout VERY loudly to his toddler ‘Shut the f— up and sit down NOW!’ Both of the customers and I looked up at each other shocked. He was a toddler who didn’t want to sit still any more and rather than leave and finish their shopping later, dad decided cursing and yelling at him was the answer.

Needless to say, I don’t generally agree with cursing. If you do it too much at what some people deep appropriate times, you can then start doing it at inappropriate times without even thinking. (I do it every now and again. Not meaning to, it just slips out. So I am an offender just like pretty much anyone else. But I try my best not to whenever possible.) I’m also with the view that not cursing is good manners.

Jennifer Chew on

Trust me, having a child that swears isn’t the worst thing in the world that the child can do. As long as the child isn’t growing up and doing things that are against the law (such as drugs and/or stealing), it isn’t that big of a deal. I grew up with a mother who swore all the time when she talks, and I never thought of it as a big deal. I use those words all the time, and I consider myself to be a well mannered and polite person. As long as I know right from wrong, and I know when and where to do certain things that’s all that matters.

Yo on

This type of language shouldn’t be used AT ALL! WITH ANYONE! It’s just negative, rude, and degrading if you’re a child, adult, or geriatric.

Raina on

@Holiday, If Emily doesn’t want her child to say “What the…” Or “What the heck” Thats her choice. If she feels it wrong then thats how she wants to raise her child.

Patricia on

It’s nice to know some people are teaching their children not to curse. I worked retail a few years ago and there was a young woman and her boyfriend who had two children under the age of four who would come in the store with them when they put their toys in layway. The children would yell and curse us for taking the stuff and the parents would just ignore them and not correct them. After going through this for two birthdays and a Christmas, I refused them service. It is unreal how some people let their children behave.

Rebecca Saraf on

Lovely couple…I love to watch them both. Each is talented in his or her own right and seem to e fantastic, loving parents.

May on

Isn’t it funny though how you have to repeat ‘Yes please’ and ‘No thank you’ a million times for it to sink in. But just slip up once and say a swear word when you’re angry and they’re like little parrots for weeks! My 2 year old has picked up one of my other catchphrases.. When I ask him if he wants to wee in the potty he goes ‘mmmmm.. maybe!’

Not you on

Refreshing to see that there are still some people who realize the presence of manners should include an absence of cursing. Lack of self-control, which is basically what cursing is, is really a characteristic of the lowest form of human behavior (and lowest vocabulary spectrum). You are what you say.

Beverly on

I’m glad that Heidi and her husband are trying to be positive roll models and setting standards for their children. I was raised that using foul language is very ignorant. We have proper words to express ourselves and using foul language is not one of them. It makes you look like a very uneducated person when every word out of your mouth is a cuss word. If my children are going to pick up a bad habit I’m certainly not going TO HELP them… I’m going to try my best to correct them and tell them the right thing… THAT’S what a parent is suppose to do.

Momma on

What ’til they’re 14 and start playing Black Ops…

Not you on

LOVE May’s comment! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could switch it! I absolutely do not stand for any bad language from my children. I teach them that what comes out of your mouth speaks volumes about who you are- with swearing, it says you’re foul.

Not you on

Whole lot of moral relativism going on on this page- “I can be polite AND swear because there are worse things I could do.” Go for it.

Jill on

JM, I got it!

Tifany on

My 8 year old says “what the ” and I hate it! I scold him when I hear him say it. It’s one thing for a child to hear the occasional curse word in movies and tv, quite another for them to hear their parents doing it. I don’t get uptight about my kids watching pg 13 movies and hearing curse words. They know they shouldn’t repeat them!

warriormother on

I’m usually the positive one on the comment boards but really? are they THAT perfect???? come on. What parents need to hear is how other people (celebrities or not) are imperfect to stop the pressure cooker that so many women are under to be the perfect parent. We all want to be the best parents possible. Do I curse in front of my children? I try not to but occasionally it just comes out. My children know that there are “adult” words that they are just not allowed to use. Its great to lead by example but its also great to lead by teaching them to be better than we are. I am not perfect and my children know that, neither do I expect perfection from them. I’m not saying Heidi and Seal expect perfection from their kids but really? you have 4 very small children and you are always on the top of your game???? I don’t buy it.

Laura on

My 4 year old goes around the house saying “What the!!” I do not know where she got it from. I am not perfect, so I know I say things like that all the time, but I do know where she learned to stop it there. How does she know they next word is a no no before I have told her it is??

JM on

Jill, thanks for some sanity 🙂

Not You – you seem to be a very strange person.

ksp on

JM – In complete agreement! Not You is very strange!

warriormother on

JM,I’m on your side. I know people who don’t swear who are the most ill mannered and rude people I have ever met. And I’ve known people with mouths like truck drivers who are the most polite and thoughtful people I have ever met. It’s all a matter of context isn’t it? I discourage that language in my house too but if when my kids are teenagers the worst thing they do is say “oh Sh@#”, then I’m on easy street.

JM on

thanks ksp, i agree 🙂

Jill on

She says she’s ot perfect. And there are many households that don’t swear……have you noticed by the comments? I think you need to reread the article.

warriormother on

Well apparently Jill, you did not read MY comment. You might wish to go back and have another little looksee…..good grief.

AmyJ on

Yay, Heidi and Seal! I totally agree. It looks so tacky to see kids saying “adult” words, and I also think it takes away a little of the innocence of their just being children, as well. I don’t over-shelter my kids, but I don’t think they need to be exposed to every. single. thing. either. My FIL has taken to saying that my toddler is being a “butt”, and I told him that he can think I’m trying to be hoity-toity or whatever, but he’d better knock it off or HE will be the one getting in trouble when she starts saying that! 😛

AllisonJ on

Good for Heidi and Seal! As a mom of a 7 year old and 10 year old, emphasizing manners is very important, as is proper language.

My kids hear all kinds of swear words in school (sigh), even though it is a private school, but I nip that in the bud right away.

Swearing can become a bad habit. I had that habit before I had kids, and I have to be careful what I say around them because they are like little sponges. You don’t think they hear you or are paying attention, but they are!

Heidi and Seal seem like great parents.