Sometimes, your toddler might begin to use swear words. Most toddlers, often, use swear words as a result of mimicry or picking up words through direct observation. Before you know it, they are endlessly repeating the word over and over again, almost as if it were a habit.
Some things that can be done to stop your child from using swear words are:
Make sure not to react when your toddler uses swear words; try your best not to laugh. Your child might take your laughing as reinforcement for doing it. Children like to receive attention from the adults. Therefore, paying too much attention when your toddler uses a bad word, makes them want to repeat themselves over and over again.
On the other hand, getting extremely angry and scolding your child might also not be the best alternative. When toddlers realise that they hold a lot of power over adults to get that reaction out of them, they are likely to do it again. Try to be calm and show no reaction.
When simply ignoring it does not seem to work, then the next thing to do is to set limits for your child. It is essential to be calm and gentle, make sure not to become irritated or get agitated, which will only remind your child the power they have to make you pay attention to them.
When your child uses a bad word or a phrase, just tell them you don’t understand what it means, or it doesn’t make sense to you. It is not necessary to explain the meanings of the words to your child. Just make it clear, in a disinterested voice and expression, which words or phrases are not to be used or are off-limits. Telling your kid “That is not a word you may use in the house or around other people” is a good example.
If your child is swearing because they want something, make sure not to get it for them. If you give your child whatever they want because they are cursing, it will only act as reinforcement for them. They will now know that they can get whatever they want by just swearing, and will to continue to do so.
It is often suggested to use alternatives that are fun and appropriate. If your child is using curse words because it fascinates them, then try to persuade them to use alternative words by suggesting it to them. They might find it interesting and start using the alternative words or rhymes to express themselves or get your attention.
Lastly, it is crucial to teach your child respect. It is essential that as parents you teach your child to be respectful towards other and not disrespect anyone. Just the way we don’t like to be disrespected, others don’t like it either. Teach your child to be respectful towards other children and elders; this will also make your child more empathetic. One way to do this is to drop using swear words around your child. Young children pick up things that they see and hear around them, therefore it is best to refrain yourself from using any bad language around your child.