Around the age of four or five, children will start to learn that there are certain words that can get a reaction out of adults and other kids – swear words! Swearing can give a child a sense of authority, can give them attention from others and can make them appear funny and daring to other children, all off which children at this age crave. Attention seeking gimmicks, like swearing, can be handled in a number of different ways. Below are some options when your child’s vocabulary takes a turn for the worst.
Let it Slide
It can only take one time to slip up and let a swear word out. However, if you are near your toddler, then he will probably be quick to repeat it, especially when out in public. One way to deal with this is to not make a big deal of it and correct him. For example, let’s say he lets out the “F” word. You could counteract by saying “No honey, it’s a duck. DUCK.” He will realise that he has mispronounced the word rather than thinking he has said something that will get a reaction out of adults.
Talk about Good and Bad Words
Explain to your child why swear words are wrong. Many children will not actually be aware that these words are off limits. However, of course, once they know that these are bad words, they will want to use them more.
The Swear Jar
We’ve all heard of the swear jar…. a jar that you keep at home and add a certain amount of money to every time you swear. A swear jar is often best for adults that have a problem with swearing at home and teaches kids that no one, not even Daddy, is allowed to say those words. After all, if your husband comes home from a bad day at work cussing about his co-workers, then this can make it difficult to teach your kids why this is wrong. Make sure everyone is on board with the swear jar in place, even family and friends that come to visit
React the Right Way
Making a big deal out of swearing can provide your child with the reaction he wants – attention, especially when out in public when it can be quite difficult to send him to his room or give him a time out. It might be best to simply ignore it or calmly tell him that is not acceptable without laughing, yelling or overreacting in any way. The less attention he gets, the less inclined he will be to swear again.
Monitor What he is Watching
If you and your partner don’t swear at home then he must be getting it from school or from something he is watching. Monitor what he is watching and where he is learning these words. It could be from a particular friend or it could be from television, video games or other music
Help Him Build His Vocabulary
Is your child is swearing because he is angry or frustrated, then teach him different words to use in this situation so that he can still communicate his emotions but without causing a scene. When he uses these words, praise him and give them plenty of attention.
These are only some of the ways to deal with a cursing child. How you choose to handle the situation will depend entirely on the situation. Often the best way to react to a swearing child is to hardly react at all.