What To Do When Your Child Starts Swearing

By Myka Bomediano, Parent Herald February 29, 10:54 pm

Once your child leaves the confines of home, there is no way to know where she picks up some habits -- it could be in school, on the playground or at a friend's house. While some of these things could be cute, there are more alarming ones such as using foul language and expressions.

Today's Parent says that kids curse for all sorts of reasons: they may be angry, have hurt themselves or even heard you or someone else uses certain words which at times, they might think it's just so cool and funny, too. However, as a parent, you may not want to hear your child curse at such a young age, but here's the thing: the impact of these words on a child depends upon the reaction of their parents.

Kids, who are still learning on an everyday basis, are still learning about different words and trying to fit them together. "The power of the word and its ability to linger in a child's vocabulary is usually tied to the reaction of the parent," Julie Freedman Smith of Parenting Power said.

So, how do you stop your child from cursing before it goes out of hand? Timothy Jay, a researcher at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts said that children, aged three to five, have a vocabulary of 30 to 40 swear words, so as parents, help them find other words to express their feelings more clearly.

Otherwise, consider your child's swearing as a way to start teaching tact around different people. "We all learn to choose words for situations. We learn when it's appropriate to say something and when it's not," Freedman Smith noted.

"You can say, 'We never use that word,' but there's no real way of enforcing that. The real lesson is where is it OK to use these words and where is it not," she added.

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