Tips for talking to children about swearing
As your kids get older, it is natural that they become more exposed to strong and even violent language. To make things worse, since children are sponges and are fascinated with taboo words, this makes swearing a problem that parents face worldwide.
So how do you talk to your kids about using such potty language? What is the right way to approach the topic? Below are some tips to help you figure things out.
Talking to kids about swearing 101:
If your child starts using strong language around the house, do not be alarmed. It is normal and natural. However, you need to find the right way to tackle it at an early stage and here is how you can do that:
Find the right time & place
When you want to talk to your child about anything serious or sensitive, make sure that you choose the right place and time to do it. Talking to your child about serious topics when they are over stimulated, sick or bored is not a good idea to get your point across. Furthermore, talking about sensitive issues in front of friends and family can make the problem worse.
Expand your own vocabulary
This one should be intuitive however a lot of parents get it wrong. If you don’t want your kids to use swear words, make sure that you don’t use swear words as well! So try to find replacements for curse words in front of your children. Also, help your children find alternatives to the words they use to describe their feelings. (We use disgusting chips and bull bits at home as alternatives to some swear words).
See Also: Tips for Raising Children with ADHD
Teach kids that words can hurt
The other day my son called someone ugly. I was shocked! However, I made sure that he understood that words can hurt and that he needed to choose his words carefully to avoid hurting people’s feelings. When you child understands the power of his words, he will more likely learn how to pick them better.
Explain that words reflect who they are
Some kids think swearing makes them cool. You need to explain to them that in reality that is not the case and that using curse words is actually a sign of immaturity and bad manners. The more your children understand that their words reflect who they are as people, the better your chances that they will get your point and listen.
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Limit your kids’ exposure
This might be easier said that done however, you need to try and ensure that you limit your children’s exposure to violent and strong language to begin with. To do that, check out the language section when selecting TV shows, games and movies. Also, turn off comments and access to chat rooms whenever possible.
Making a big scene when your child utters a dirty word will probably reinforce his behavior. This is why you need to stay calm and collected and avoid overreacting. Also, make sure that you don’t laugh because this could definitely cause a repeat occurrence.
Empower your kids
To prevent kids from trying to get attention at any cost, make sure that you give your kids lots of quality time, love and attention. A child who lacks power and attention will do anything to get them.
Finally, if you feel that your child is using foul language excessively, you need to dig deeper and find out the underlying reasons for this behavior. Sometimes power struggles and revenge can be the culprits.
How do you handle swearing in your household? Share with us your tips and thoughts and help other parents out there deal with their struggle.