8 Ways To Keep Your Kid From Cursing- You Can Thank Us Later
Imagine the most perfect day when nothing is going wrong, the birds are chirping, the sun is out and your household chores are almost done to the T – when suddenly, you get a call from your son or daughter’s teacher, complaining that he or she used foul words in class or to a fellow student in the middle of a discussion or altercation. Humiliated and ashamed, you might feel like the worst parent on the face of the planet.
However, you are not alone in this trial, almost all parents face this problem while their children are at an impressionable age, growing up in an open culture with adult influences, which are not always fruitful. Swearing is a huge problem for parents who are left red faced when their children use the f-word (or more) at school or in front of guests. No matter where they might have picked up these bad words, once these words enter your child’s vocabulary, it may be very hard to get them out. However, these six tips can help you keep your kids from swearing until he or she is old enough to make more informed decisions themselves and to understand the meaning and effect these words carry, on themselves and upon others.
1. Teach better ways to express complex feelings
If your child has begun using curse words to express feelings, or simply finds fun in putting them into casual conversations among the family, then you may need step up and work on improving his vocabulary instead of simply telling or admonishing him or her to stop swearing or using curse words.
Introduce your child to children’s literature or cinema that has the characters using their words to express complex feelings. This will possibly have a positive effect on both the vocabulary and the healthier expression of feelings for your child. Steer clear of movies that have adults shouting or cursing in swear words of any kind. As some children might find mirth in these scenes or situations, this is mostly where they tend to pick up the bad habit of using swear words.
2. Create dire consequences
If cajoled in the right way, children are somewhat good at following rules. As you are the primary role model in your child’s life, he or she will always try to get on your good side by trying to adhere to the parameters that you set regarding their behavior. You may use this behavior to your advantage in the crusade of eliminating bad words from their vocabulary.
Since very young children would not understand why a word is bad, simply telling them that a certain term is “bad” and that they shouldn’t use it sometimes works. Use time outs and take away privileges to deter swearing. But remember, do not get too much harsh with the punishments, this might create a negative image of you in your child’s mind.
3. Use the swear jar
If your child is not the one to respond to a tough cop situation, try a good cop one – introduce the swear jar. The swear jar could be a very effective way to prevent children from swearing. If the child resists preventive measures, you can always put a portion of their allowance directly in the swear jar.
To make sure that the family doesn’t take the swear jar lightly, you should give the money to charities or causes instead of spending them on shopping or family activities. Seeing their anticipated money go away from their clutches like that might trigger a positive response.
4. Correct guests if they curse
Despite your best efforts to keep bad words out of your home, your children might pick up curse words from guests or visitors. If you know that your child has an influence in the form of a particular person who is in the habit of using swear words liberally, you can politely ask them to somewhat sanctify their language when they visit your home or are around your kids.
You can also, in spirit, set up a sign that says “no swearing in the house” to make sure all grownups know that bad words have no place in your house. Since grownups are the once that the children follow, you will now sleep in peace knowing that your children are out of danger – at least in your own house.
5. Ban kids from watching adult rated TV shows, music and movies
Ideally, parents should be the ones who monitor what kind of music, literature, movies and TV shows your child comes in direct contact with. Most music videos on cable network or TV are unrated which means that you won’t probably know if it features bad language in the soundtracks or not. Even though most movies and TV shows are required to display an advisory by the government to judge their suitability, it might contain language unsuitable for kids.
Therefore, you should thoroughly read the adult guidance or parental advisory notices that come with the movies, or books or music videos to totally make sure that you will not be humiliated later on as a result of your child and his/her uninhibited mouth.
6. Find new words yourself
In order to ensure that you never accidentally use a swear word in front of your kids, replace the bad words in our own vocab with inoffensive words like “apple”, “mango” or even “rabbit”,or anything else. Remember, you are your child’s primary role model – the child will only follow the path that you will show.
7. Try to figure out why your child needs to curse
Sometimes, children use swear words to appear ‘cool’ in front of their peers, and if its happening around you, chances are that its happening around the friends more times than that. A lot of it is naivete, coupled with the intense human desire to feel recognized.
If you take your time and explain first hand how that might be offensive to certain people, or what filthy meanings they convey, you might just be able to save your little angel from the ugly habit of cursing.
8. Feign indifference, albeit with difficulties
It is quite difficult not to react when you hear those horrible words coming out of your perfect angel’s mouth – but as difficult as it may be, you need to hold your cool, and turn a deaf ear if it first happens. Children are only encouraged by attention, and nothing would drive them more to find misplaced mirth in your annoyances at their misbehavior.
Now, it is quite possible that the little one is absolutely innocent of the meaning that it holds, and is just using those words just to get that amused reaction from you. If it happens more than once, make sure you follow the list of advice stated above – they are absolutely fail-safe in ensuring that your child retains that innocence, at least until he/she grows up to be an adult.