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Saturday, November 22, 2008


It’s really shocking for parents to hear their innocent and sweet children suddenly one day start using swear words as part of their conversation. This is a highly prevalent problem that often perplexes parents who are lost on how and why the child’s vocabulary has suddenly expanded to include these atrocious words.

Usually children begin swearing when they hear adults doing it. We all know that kids are like sponges who absorb everything that they see and hear in their environment. They may be copying mom, dad, any other adult, a sibling or friends at school. Sometimes children also swear to get attention. Younger kids are looking for their parent’s attention and swearing is one surefire way of getting it.

The first thing to do when you observe your child swearing is check your own language. It is not fair to expect your children not to use these words if you are regularly using them. Kids always model parent behaviours, thus if you want them to monitor their language, you have to monitor yours.

If you are not the one using bad language try to look into the other sources that might be influencing your child’s language like Television, Friends, Neighbours or Relatives. Try to keep your child away from the source as far as possible.

Establish clear rules about swearing with your child. Make it clear to your child that such words are not permissible at home. If your child is using these words when angry, try to teach him or her healthy ways of expressing emotions especially when they are frustrated or angry. This is especially true for younger children who most likely don’t understand the meaning of the words they use. Also, explaining to children the meaning of the words usually makes them stop since they now understand the vulgarity of the expressions.

Don’t feed in your child’s bad habit. If your kids are swearing in order to get attention, yelling at them or reprimanding them in any other way is just going to increase the frequency of the behaviour. A calmer approach usually works here. Ignore your child’s behaviour at that time and instead give him or her attention when behaving in a desired manner.

It is very distressing for parents to hear their kids use language that is inappropriate. Parents have an obligation to raise their kids properly by teaching them the right values.It is not easy being a good parent, we all know this, but we need to try our best to understand our children and guide them in their formative years in order for them to have a comfortable future!!

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