Watch that potty mouth!

stop kids by using bad words - Parenting resources by ZenParent

What to do when your pint-sized prince turns into a potty mouthed parrot.

I’ll be the first to admit that often I do not watch my mouth as much as I should, especially around my kid. Swearing under my breath helps me cope with situations that bug me. It’s cathartic. Often times it’s spontaneous, like “Shit!” or worse, “F—k!” and other times it’s a calculated usage. Sometimes my son overhears and I have to backtrack, “I was really saying ‘frog’, darling” and so on. Sometimes it’s too late and he’s already picked up some bad words and is on his way to fluently using them. What then? Don’t panic. Read on to see what you can do in such a situation.

dont over react when your child using bad words - Parenting resources by ZenParent

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  1. Don’t overreact – Usually kids repeat things only to get a reaction out of you. If your kid is screaming “dumbass” and running around the house, just hold him to eye level and in a soft no-nonsense voice, tell him it’s a bad word and he shouldn’t be using it. And then, don’t harp on it. And as hard as it maybe in some situations, don’t laugh! If they know you react, they will repeat. On and on and on. In front of others, at school, everywhere else, till they eventually get bored of it like everything else. So, just don’t react. And also understand that words used without intent are just those – words. It’s highly unlikely that a child before the age of 5-6, raised in a normal environment will need to use any swear words at all.
  2. Substitute – Explain that “crap” is a bad word and offer a substitute that’s silly and serves the purpose. We’ve replaced “crap” with “crab” and now, it’s only funny when my son drops a bag of M&Ms and yells, “oh crab!”
  3. Limit exposure – As hard as it has been, I restrict my swearing to under-the-breath-on-the-potty or in-the-shower moments where I can’t be heard or repeated. It’s a hard change for me, but rather this than a report from school about him. Also be mindful of the shows you’re watching. Casual swearing has ramped up in recent times on prime time television.
  4. Explain – that words hurt. How would he like to be called a “fool” or some other word he understands? Explain to him/her that some words are really not for use, even by adults and so he shouldn’t hurt others’ feelings by using them.
  5. Their language is a reflection of you – Reverse psychology. You don’t want others to think that you’ve been teaching your child these things, even if he picked it up elsewhere, like an elder cousin or at school. Make sure that your child knows that it’s absolutely not right to use bad words at school. Or in front of elders. Or at all.

ask your kids to stop using the bad and cursing words - Parenting resources by ZenParent

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