Swearing has gone mainstream. TV shows, movies, video games, and popular music share the blame as does loosening standards among adults. While many adults used to censor themselves for the sake of small ears, swearing has become so common that many don’t think twice about letting a few foul words drop while in the presence of wee ones.
Just because society has begun to accept swearing doesn’t mean parents have to do the same. You can curb your child’s use of bad words in several different ways:
- Enact a rule simply stating that swearing is not acceptable in your household.
- Be consistent. If your children swear, hand out consequences. Send them to their room or take away a privilege. Washing their mouths out with soap is NOT recommended nor is putting something hot or disgusting in their mouths or on their tongues.
- If your children are angry about a situation, encourage them to talk about it without swearing. If that’s impossible, send them to their room to calm down until they can talk without swearing.
- Realize that you can’t control how your children talk with their friends in private. They may follow your rules at home but fall into bad language while hanging out with friends.
Finally, look at your own use of language. You can hardly expect your child not to cuss if such words are a regular part of your own vocabulary. If you show your child that you’re making a sincere attempt to clean up your own language, you’ll set a powerful example for your child to follow.