Dealing with Bad Language


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Dr. Naseeruddin Mahmood

Dr. Naseeruddin Mahmood is consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist.

Latest posts by Dr. Naseeruddin Mahmood (see all)

Hammer hitting nail on the head.When your child goes to school, his exposure to the outside world widens. By this age, he has also realized the existence of words so mean and powerful that grownups usually reserve them only for the really frustrating moments.

What to do about swearing?

Keep your cool: Remember that children are capable of goading you into angry reactions. By losing your temper, you play right into their hands. Instead, calmly and matter-of-factly remind them that certain words are off-limits.

Be specific: “Don’t ever use language like that!” doesn’t work as well as something more precise, such as: “We don’t use that word in this house.”

Invoke consequences: If your child persists after being warned, then apply disciplinary tactics, such as withdrawal of privileges. Whatever you do, be consistent. Don’t chuckle at your child’s quick tongue one day and punish him for it the next.

Suggest alternatives: Explain to your grade-schooler that instead of swearing when angry, he could punch a pillow.

Establish house rules about swearing and follow them yourself: Make sure you don’t use the words forbidden to your children.

Look for signs of trouble: An increase in foul language or cursing that no amount of guidance seems to curtail may be a cue that something is wrong. Your child could be carrying around excessive anger or might be upset about something that’s going on at school or in other areas of his life.

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