How to make your child unlearn that bad word?

I was at a friends house and there were a few children around, playing and doing what children typically do. As a non parent, I’m very observant of children’s behavior because i’m curious and so I was watching one little girl. She probably wasn’t older than six years and was trying to get her parent’s attention while they were busy socializing with the others. If you are someone who is going to blame and think why the parents were socializing and neglecting the poor kid, I suggest you stop reading right away. This post may not entertain you!

After repeatedly calling out to her parents the child said something that left all of us a little shocked, her parents embarrassed, and the room with an awkward silence. She had used the F word. Oh-my-God! Did I hear that right? Her parent’s however, smiled gingerly and attended to her.

Now, while it’s beyond your control that your child picks up offensive language or those forbidden words that cannot be under any circumstance used in their daily vocabulary. What are your alternatives to ensure that your child unlearns that one word you are not quite fond of?

Lets face it, you are extremely careful about the language you use at home or in the presence of your child but you cannot control what the child picks up from school (other mischievous children) or simply from television or any such sources. Your first reaction is probably of shame and guilt of not being the perfect teacher to your child. Hold your horses young mommies and daddies. It’s not your fault, but you could try these few techniques to make your child unlearn that bad word.

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1. Ignore it

 Confused? When your kid utters that word for the first time, he probably doesn’t know what it means. So, if you act up and insist that he must refrain from using that word, chances are that he will use it deliberately. Don’t show signs of surprise or anger when you first hear it and reprimand him. Instead, act like it never happened. The more you tell him it’s bad for him to use that word, he is more likely going to use it and also will do so in public. Children love attention and sometimes that’s the one thing you must not give them. This is that time!

2. Sit him down and talk to him

 Once you have ignored what he said earlier, give it sufficient time and then casually sit him down and talk to him about it. Either when he is playing around the house or during bed time when he is supposed to reflect on his day. Tell him nicely that the new word he has learnt is not a great word to use and must not be used. Also, you could prod a little and ask him where he first heard that new word.

3. Take it up with the user

 Depending upon whom or from where he picked up the word, you could address the person involved. Perhaps he heard one of your guests speak, so its alright for you to take it up with your guest/friend. It could also be from other kids in school, in that case talk to the teacher or the parents of those kids. You may not want to blow this out of proportion, so a casual mention of it would be sufficient.

4. Be mindful of your own language

 In India the only place where someone curses the most is on the road, while driving. So, be careful about what you mutter under your breath in the presence of your kid. Children watch everything and you don’t want them to parrot the one bad thing you just happened to say to an idiot who overtook you from the left.

5. Don’t punish them severely for it

While a time-out is okay, a severe punishment would turn your child into a mini rebel and he will do it again just to get even with you for that severe punishment you gave him!

As children grow they learn new things everyday and a bad word is part of life. Eventually, they will learn to use it. Everyone does, so there is no point being all paranoid about it. We all did learn some bad words before we were supposed to use them, right? Our children also will.

So keep calm.

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