Guest post by: Daniela Baker
Children are bound to pick up bad habits from time to time. Unfortunately, some of those habits have worse consequences than others. One of these habits is cursing, and it can get your child in quite a bit of trouble when they are at school or in other public places (not to mention getting you stares from other parents!).
Here are some steps that you can take to help stop your kids from cursing. While it may take quite some time to break the habit, utilizing these steps will help you get on the way.
Talk about cursing
If your child starts cursing, take the time to talk to them about their new language choices. Explain to them what the swear words mean and how their language is very hurtful to others. Let them know that many people are very uncomfortable hearing these words and that it will change their perception of the child.
When talking with your child, acknowledge that there are times when it is difficult to express how you feel. Help them identify appropriate words they can use in these situations and other ways they can help calm down so they don’t need to result to cursing.
Establish rules and stick to them
Kids won’t know that swearing isn’t allowed unless you tell them. Establish a “no cursing” rule for the entire family—that includes the parents and other siblings, even if they are older and no longer live at house. If you do have older children who have moved out of your home, talk to them about the rule and ask that they follow that rule when they are around the other children to help set a good example.
When creating the rule, you must also establish consequences. Some families create a “cursing jar” where family members have to deposit a quarter each time they swear. Other parents have found success in banning their children from electronics, bikes or other toys. If you have older teens, you could take away driving, phone or credit card privileges if they are swearing excessively.
Change your behavior
Children listen and watch how their parents interact with others. If you tend to let swear words slip out when you are frustrated or angry, then they are likely to model this behavior. This means that you need to be careful with your word choice. You can’t expect your child not to use offensive language if you continue to use it.
Stop the conversation
After you have established the house rules and modified your behavior, be consistent with your disciplinary approach to continued swearing from your child. When they start to use curse words, remain calm, ignore the cursing (for now)and end the conversation. Tell them that you do not want to discuss the topic anymore.
Once both you and your child have calmed down, sit them down for a serious discussion. Remind them that the words they were using are no longer allowed to be used by the family. Tell them the consequence for their swearing and make it go into effect immediately so they can see the impact of their actions.
To truly break your child’s habit, you will need to be consistent with your discipline. You will need to uphold the no swearing rule each and every time you catch your child cursing. Be sure to issue the consequence each time. If you are inconsistent, you are not showing your child that you are serious about their behavior.
Daniela Baker is a social media advocate, a mother of 2 and knows how difficult it is to break your child’s habit.