It is shocking for parents when children start using foul language. You start questioning your parenting skills and wonder what went wrong. The best way out here is to nip your children’s behaviour in the bud before they think using inappropriate words is normal.

The following tips will help you to address this problem:

Find the Source of Foul Language

Your children must have heard someone using bad words. It could be family members, friends, classmates, teachers or anyone in their social circle. They might have also learned swearing from books, movies, music or social media.

Talk to your children instead of overreacting. Ask them politely how they knew about the bad words.

Put a Stop Immediately

Keep a calm mind and let your children know firmly that using foul language is unacceptable at home or anywhere. At the same time, you should limit or avoid their exposure to online or offline content or people through which they are learning the bad words.

You can also talk to people who utter indecent language in front of your kids and request them to be mindful of their language. Model good behaviour as a parent yourself.

Understand the Children’s Motive for Swearing

When your children use inappropriate language, spend a few seconds observing them.

Are they angry or frustrated? Are they playing or busy and uttered the word without realising it? Are they doing it for the sake of attention?

Little ones might just say these words innocently because they are expanding their vocabulary and hardly know what they are saying. However, if your children are mature enough, then ask them why they used socially unacceptable language.

Channel Their Negative Emotions

You should give your children a creative or physical outlet to channel their negative emotions and aggression. This will also prevent them from using bad language.

Explain the Meaning of Bad Words

If your children are old enough to have a mature conversation, you should explain to them the meaning of the vulgar words they are using. If they are young, then you could simply tell them that it is not appropriate for children to use these words.

Teach to Apologise

Get your children to apologise to people to who they have spoken offensively. Make them apologise sincerely every time they use cuss words till they realise their mistake.

Keep a Swear Jar

You can keep a swear jar in the living room of your home. Every time someone in the family utters bad words, they have to put a predetermined amount of fine in it. Your children can contribute the fine from their pocket money. If they don’t get the pocket money, then they can put ‘IOU’ chits which make them liable to run errands for home.

Make your child aware of the consequences if they continue to use offensive words despite repeated warnings. This consequence can be in the form of age-appropriate and fair punishment.

Encourage your children to use kind and polite language. Every time they exercise restraint on using bad words, praise them.


About Smita Omar

Smita is an ex banker who voluntary said adiós to a high flying career to explore the rocky yet beautiful terrain of motherhood. When she is not busy juggling between her naughty daughter and foodie husband, you can find her donning the hat of a freelance content developer-editor to keep her sanity intact. She has been a Work-From-Home-Mother for 8 years and turns to meditation when the going gets tough.


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