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How To Stop Your Child From Cursing

We’ve all heard the saying “kids say the darnest things”. And as a parent you won’t agree more.

However when your toddler or child says a curse word, it may make others around him/her burst out with laughter, but you being a parent might be shocked.

There are a number of reasons why your child might be saying that word over and over again. It’s important to deal with it as soon as possible to avoid it becoming a habit and a bigger problem later on.

Why Do Children swear?

Young children usually swear because they're repeating things they’ve heard. They are just learning to use language to communicate, so they mimic any word they can. They aren’t trying to offend anyone. They’re just developing their verbal skills.

But older children swearing can be due to a number of reasons: If it’s a word they don’t hear often, they may be using it because they don’t actually know what it means and don’t realise that it’s offensive.

They may also swear to get attention. When your child uses a curse word, it’s difficult for a parent to ignore it. You might get upset, or perhaps burst out laughing. Either way, the child gets attention. They pick up on this and do it again next time when they seek attention.

READ MORE: How To Discipline A Naughty Toddler

Older children also often begin to realise that swear words are offensive. That’s why many children stop swearing during a later stage in their lives if they’ve been cursing before. Unfortunately, not all children are like that and they may remember the swear words when they’re frustrated or want to hurt others. Sometimes they only use them to show off in front of their friends.

How Do I Stop My Child Swearing:

1. Stay calm and don’t react – The most effective way to deal with their swearing, is to ignore it completely. No talking (or shouting for that matter), not even eye contact. If your child’s cursing to seek attention, this is the best way to put a stop to it. Your reaction will influence whether your child swears again. Stay calm.

2. Do your best not to laugh – Once again, your reaction will determine if your child will do it again in the future when he/she seeks attention, so don’t laugh.

3. Don’t confront your child about swearing when he/she’s angry – This can only add fuel to the fire in most cases. Work through their anger at the time and deal with the cursing another time when everyone is calmer.

4. Watch your own language – Children, especially small children, pick up curse words at home. If you’re using it more frequently, they might think it’s acceptable and do so themselves.

READ MORE: 8 Ways To Discipline Your Child (Or Not)

5. Consider your child’s age – Children who are learning to talk usually don’t realise that the swear words they say are bad. Once again they might stop saying the word if you ignore it. Rather help them with the correct pronunciation than focusing on the curse word they just said.

6. Explain why it’s bad – If your child has more developed language skills, explain to them in a calm and simple way why they shouldn’t swear. Tell them that it’s offensive and might cause hurt to someone else.

7. Older children might have to be disciplined – If your child understands the meaning of the word and still uses it, you might have to discipline them. Depending on their age and the circumstances, time out, suspension of certain privilages or grounding may be appropriate.

8. Consider the context of the curse word – If your child cursed because he/she tripped and fell, there is a difference between that and calling someone a bad name which is much more hurtful. Both are discouraged, but make sure the punishment fits the crime.

9. Apologise if you swear – It happens that you might slip up and curse yourself, but apologise. This will set a good example for your child.

10. Offer alternatives for the word – There are plenty of words people can use rather than to swear. Encourage them to rather use the alternative than the actual curse word.

READ MORE: How To Stop Grandparent From Spoiling Your Kids

How do you deal with your children swearing? Tell us in the comments below.

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eumom team 

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