It is a natural concern of all parents that their child will pick up swearing and repeat what they hear. The first time that you hear your little one swear tends to, because of the shock, induce an embarrassed laughter.
However if the swearing continues the laughter is often replaced with worry and anger. To help prevent your child’s experiment with adult obscenities from spiralling out of control, there are certain steps that you can take. Here’s our guide on how to stop your child swearing.
1 – Curb your own swearing
It is uncanny the way that toddlers and young children often swear within the right context – namely when they are angry or frustrated. This is usually achieved through copying their adult role models. The most obvious way to prevent a child from swearing is not to let them be exposed to any bad language. As well as controlling your own language in front of your child, make sure that other members of your household also watch their language so that your child does not get mixed messages.
2 – Replace offensive words
If your child has taken to using a certain swear word often, try and encourage him to replace it with a non-offensive word when he needs to express anger or frustration. A good way to do this is to start using the word yourself in such contexts. After all, your child has only copied the word in the first place so the chances are he will soon replace it with a new, albeit inoffensive word he hears you using to express frustration.
3 – Try not to show emotion to your child’s swearing
Children, generally, love to get a reaction from their actions; it encourages them to repeat the action even more. Therefore remaining ‘blasé’ about your child’s swearing is likely to discourage him, whilst laughing or becoming angry may make him more likely to swear again.
4 – Regulate TV viewing
Even if no swearing goes on at home your child can be exposed to offensive language from different sources, particularly the television. Ensure that your child does not watch TV after the watershed time, which is usually littered with swear words.
5 – Talk to the nursery or school
If you think that your child is picking up swearing from nursery or school go and talk to the carers or teachers, who will then monitor any swearing that is going on more closely.