Many Parents know of and have heard those unexpected words from our children when they are upset hurt or angry.
And its not as though we haven’t heard them before or, even used some of them our self, but when we hear such words come rolling for the sweet lips of our toddler, it brings somewhat a new shock to us.
Our children pick them up in all sorts of places, from school, day care, television, over hearing conversations, in the family home and many other places.
We must do our best to shield our children from hearing this sort of talk in the family home, as we don’t have any control other places.
Sooner or later we are going to hear our children speak with a forked tongue.
When we hear these disrespectful words roll out of nowhere, making the atmosphere very uncomfortable, the best reaction is not to fly off the handle and make it worse.
Simply say nothing, and carry on the conversation as though it wasn’t heard by you.
Your child will either think he has got away with it or, he will realize he went to far this time, because your reaction wasn’t instant like other times.
An hour or two later, call your child aside and then have your bit to say, don’t threaten your child, but make it firmly understood quickly and leave the room before explanations begin.
The fact you said nothing to start with, will leave your child with time to think about what he said, and when called aside later he will know exactly why. Nor does it condone what he has said, regardless of the choice of words.
Children that swear in the company of their parents, normally get an on the spot reaction and this leaves the child with another way to gain attention if the others fail.
When our toddler swears its not considered as bad as our five or six year old, the younger child is merely copying from others and has no idea of the meaning.
Although your toddler is not aware he is swearing or saying anything bad, but he is aware of the attention he receives when using it.
Toddlers have a great sense of humor, mimicking us at our best and of course our worst, not that we are amused, when done at the wrong time can be a moment of complete embarrassment.
As for the older child it is serious and must not be allowed to continue, explain to your child there are other ways to let his feelings be known apart from swearing, with your support and understanding he will do a turn around.
If all else fails, Time Out may be your only break through with getting your child to understand the consequences of his unacceptable use of words.
Use the Time Out action consistently, sooner or later your child will find other ways to get your attention rather than swearing.
Article contributed by Theresea Hughes, creator of
http://free-toddlers-activity-and-discipline-guide.com a site dedicated to providing parenting resource articles for toddlers activity & child discipline with positive parenting tips, free kids games, recipes, arts & crafts, including articles about potty training, temper tantrums, kids sleep problems, parent tips for fussy eaters, including free child development toddlers activity and toddlers discipline parenting resources.
DEFINITION OF SWEARING BY CHILDREN
Swearing is cursing, using profane, abusive, offensive, dirty, or foul language, or making obscene gestures. Young children usually swear to experiment with language, while adults often swear out of anger.
WHY DO KIDS SWEAR?
• Children sometimes use unacceptable language without knowing the meaning of the words. If they hear swearing from other children, adults, television, movies, music, or from parents, they are likely to repeat it.
• Sometimes children use unacceptable words without knowing that they aren’t supposed to. If it’s acceptable for adults in the house to swear, children may assume that it is acceptable for them, too.
• Children under five often swear to get a reaction. Although they may not know what the words mean, they do have an understanding that certain off-limit words are used with more strength and feeling, and carry a power that most other words don’t have. If a word gets a strong reaction, they will be likely to use it again.
• Typically, children will experiment with swearing and testing the language limits at ages four and five.
• Children need help learning appropriate words and actions to use when they are angry or frustrated.
Some Suggested Approaches to dealing with child Swearing problems:
DON’T DO THIS:
Washing a child’s mouth out with soap and making a child taste or eat soap may be hazardous to your child’s health. Some children are allergic to soap and become ill or have a serious reaction. Soap can be even more dangerous when eaten, so don’t ever use this old housewives tale as a remedy.
Use your RESTRAINT
Make it very clear to your child that inappropriate language is not allowed – EVER. If your child swears you need to stay very calm, and tell them calmly that those words are not alright to use. Prevent swearing by other family members, or the child will continue to copy their elders.
Don’t give your child attention for swearing
You could choose to let your child experiment at home, but tell your child that you don’t like the words. Reacting strongly will only give your child the attention they seek, and entice your child to use the words again. If your child uses bad language in public, consider setting up a discipline consequence. Before you go out again, discuss together what will happen if your child uses inappropriate words. Try to help your child remember if they slip up and swear and praise your child when they remember to behave well, without swearing.
FRUSTRATION WORD GAMES
Ignore swearing, but notice acceptable language, and create your own fun words to replace unacceptable words. If your child is using bad words to get your reaction, then ignore it and don’t give them any attention. DO give your child attention when using acceptable language.
Consider making up your own “frustration language.” Have fun with it and think up silly words to use as expressions of frustration or “swear words”, the sillier sounding the better. The silliness will help ease the tension while allowing a child to express frustration or anger with more acceptable words.
BETTER WAYS TO DEAL WITH ANGER
If your child is swearing out of anger, help them find better ways to show their feelings. Let your child know that it’s all right to be mad and to talk about it: “It’s all right that you are really mad. Do you want to tell me what makes you mad?”
Give your child alternative actions or words to show their feelings: simple things like punch a bed pillow, or say, “I’m really, really mad,” or “That’s not fair!”
If your child is frustrated and needs help, teach them ways that they can let you know they are angry, that won’t make you angry as well!
WHARE KIND OF ROLE MODEL ARE YOU?
Show your child what kindness looks like. Help your child be aware of the feelings of others and the impact that good words and bad words have on people, but don’t punish your child for simple mistakes.
As children learn from the role models around them and everything they see and hear around them, make sure that you and the people around your child are kind to each other, in order for your child to have a good example to follow.
When is it time for you to Get More Help with a difficult child?
Children typically grow and learn new skills in their own time and at their own pace within the wide range of what is normal.
Sometimes, children need a bit of extra help to keep their development on track, or to stay healthy and happy.
Sometimes, parents need help providing for a child’s needs or sorting out the best approaches to parenting.
Consider getting help if your child Shows little or no improvement after you try an approach to help change the swearing for at least two months.
You are the expert when it comes to your child.
If you have a concern, trust your instinct and find someone trained to help you: health care providers, early intervention teams, mental health professionals, parent educators and consultants, or telephone help-line staff.
Consider talking it over with any friends and family that you feel are doing an excellent job with bringing up their children.
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