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Manners and Discipline Topics..

You are here : home > Manners and Discipline > Dirty Words and Obscenity > My Child Uses Dirty Words

My Child Uses Dirty Words

Does your child use bad words? How do you react when you find your child using dirty words? Read on to learn how children pickup foul language and find tips for stopping children from using bad words.

It isn't funny

Shyama Dalal was horrified when her five-year-old son, Vinay, called her a b----- in the middle of a routine argument. She says, "I was so shocked and angry. I gave him a good spanking. He better not speak to me like that again."

When one thinks of children, one thinks of fairytales, sugar candy sweetness and innocence. When faced with a child spewing choice abuses, people generally have one of two reactions. While parents take a step back and think  - "Did I really hear what I did?", other people might actually find the incongruity funny. 

The parrot instinct

The fact is that it is fairly common for children between the age of two-and-a-half and five to use swear words. In the course of the development of their language skills, children have a tendency to repeat what they hear. If you've cursed somebody over the phone when your child was in earshot, you shouldn't be surprised if you hear your child repeating the same choice words in the near future. 

Potty talk

Toilet-training time often sees a sudden surge in "potty talk." Suddenly your child finds it very entertaining to say things like, "I'll flush you down the pot." They find endless amusement in indulging in gross talk about their bowel movement, especially at the dinner table. Unfortunately, this is extremely annoying for people around. 

Shock value

Children love attention. They soon realize that one surefire way of attracting attention is by using swear words. More often than not, they have no idea what they're talking about or the contexts in which they use the words. They know that these 'naughty words' have shock value and that's good enough. It's the thrill of the forbidden, which every adult can identify with.

However, in the case of the older child, say somewhere between the age of six and ten, their use of profanity is a little harder to take. Somehow, it's not so easy to excuse. You feel that children this age know very well the meaning of the words they are using and are saying them deliberately to be mean and hurtful. In a sense, that is a fair assumption. Children this age usually use bad language for revenge or to gain control.  

Tips on how to react

  • Be careful about the language you use in front of your child.

  • Be firm and tell him that such language is not acceptable.

  • Don't laugh and discourage your friends and family from laughing when he says a bad word. He will interpret laughter as encouragement.

  • Try not to react at all. Maintain a poker face. If he can't get a rise out of you, he will soon tire of these antics.

  • If your child continues to use swear words despite your ignoring him, leave the room. If you are in a public place, both of you should leave.

  • Another option is to give your child some time to himself and make his sit in a corner or in another room. 

  • React with humour if you can, rather than anger.

  • When both of you have calmed down, discuss what language is considered and what is not. Let him know the consequences of disobeying you.

  • In the case of the older child, make an effort to find out what is bothering him and when you do help him to find other ways of releasing his pent-up emotions.

  • While it is very hard to stay calm when your child is using profanity, try to convey your hurt and anger to him in a calm manner. 

  • Encourage positive behaviour and praise him for restricting the use of bad language if he shows improvement. 

  • Find out whom he is picking up this language from and restrict his socializing with such companions.

It is fact that children learn everything from their immediate environment. Therefore, parents need to be careful while talking anything in front of children and parents should also imbibe the right way to talk to them. 

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Riya.5 years ago
Usually in teenage children find it 'cool' to use foul language. At Orchids my son picks up words from his peers but is careful not to utter them before me or relatives.
Saini.6 years ago
You are right! Children love attention and I remember my son calling someone donkey and I was totally pissed off and I need to stare at him while apologizing the victim. Good spanking really helps!
anjum.9 years ago
my son is 5 yrs old and he uses bad words like dog and bitch i know he is learning from his frineds in the compound but the problem is there are 5 such kids of his age group and all say this i cannot restrict him from playing with all of them i have tried by not letting him play for a day when i hear these bad words but again after 2 days he starts saying this or especially when he wants something and i do not give him still i tried to tell him these are bad words if u say so u will not get anything at times i did not buy him things which he asked for because he said these bad words but then again and again he says it . once or twice i have given him good spanking also as i am single mother i cannot put much restriction on him as fear of losing him or he feeling later as i have no dad so mom scolds me more , if u can help me in this matter i will be glad how to stop his bad words.
monika.9 years ago
i feel that we need to be patient with the children. this may be a passing phase.

however, it is vital that the child gets a clear message that such acts of his are not welcome. a combination of reward and punishment can be used to instill desirable behaviour e.g. set up a reward for him ( a hug, a choclate, appreciation etc.) if he doesn't use any bad word thru the day.

i hope it helps.
nick.9 years ago
Chitra.9 years ago
in my humble opinion - do not give him material rewards. instead, tell him how proud you are of him when he gets through the day without swearing. and when he does use these words, ignore him. i know, our first instinct is to hit the child right across the face but it is not going to solve any problems. you are just teaching him that it is alright to hit someone smaller than you (one bad habit in exchange for another). ignore him consistently and don't hit him. he is, most probably doing this because it gets him your attention even if negative. you said you are a single parent and that means you have many other problems to think about and you might not be able to give him as much time as he wants. this is just his way of getting attention from you. make it clear to him that you don't appreciate the use of such language (and that bad kids use such language) and you will listen to him only when he is polite and doesn't swear. give him rewards like extra time with you, praising him in front of others for controlling his urge to swear and i am sure he will understand what makes his mom happy. children his age always want to please their parents - it is an instinct in them. make use of this instinct.

well, i hope this helps :) good luck!
derdi mardi.9 years ago
i feel that all of this is bullshit for the simple reason that all of my children have been given the leway to swear and so they dont often do it.
jaanuuuu.9 years ago
hello!!!!!!! carry on swearing
rita.9 years ago
can some1 pl give advice on how to stop a cild from using bad words
shan.9 years ago
i hat this sie uglys
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