7 year old swearing.

User - posted on 05/08/2013 ( 13 moms have responded )

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So we got a phone call from BM yesterday letting us know that my 7 year old step-daughter has been swearing. A LOT. Last week at school she said "shut up bitches!" to a group of boys in her class, then another day she said "F*ck" when she got upset, then she said "F*ck You!" to a girl in her class, and also said the F word at her grandmother's house. BM was calling to ask us what we think she should do. She said she grounded her last week a couple of times. BF and I told her to ban her from ipad and laptop for the rest of the week. (technology is a vein of contention between BM and us. We believe there is no reason for a 7 year old to have her own ipad and her own laptop, a lot of behaviour issues and temper tantrums are a result of these) But I digress, what else should we do about this swearing? SD says she doesn't know better, and is also lying about doing it. Also, when asked where she was hearing these words, SD said Mom. (in front of mom, who denies this) I realize SD is doing this for attention, wants to get a reaction....any suggestion would be greatly appreciated :)

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[deleted account]

If you know she is doing it to get a reaction, don't react. After all, they are just words--harmless. She'll stop using them when they lose their power.

That said, since she told you she doesn't know better, you should give her a little lesson every time there is an incident. Grounding her or taking her technology away doesn't teach her anything about what words are appropriate or how to express herself appropriately, so it's a waste of time. Instead, sit down with her and ask her why she felt like she needed to use those specific words. Then show her how to express herself without those words. Explain that cursing makes her sound immature, uneducated, and childish because people of higher intellect know how to express themselves without having to resort to mildly offensive language. If she really does know better, she'll hate this. If she doesn't, she'll learn a better way to speak.

You can also have her look up the meaning of the words she is using and write an explanation of what the word actually means, how the context of her use changed the definition, and how the use of that word helped or hindered her argument.

Angela - posted on 05/10/2013

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I'd take her to the Public Library (the reference section) and get down Partridge's Dictionary of Slang & Unconventional English - it contains ALL the swear-words, profanities, curses etc .....

Look up the words she uses and read the definitions with her and let her see for herself why those words aren't to be used by respectable people.

Now there are several online dictionaries of the same type but she might not know this and you say you're wanting to curtail her use of her lap-top etc .... If she knew the naughty words could be accessed by checking online dictionaries (or even that online dictionaries exist) she might do a lot of browsing you weren't happy about and learn some new words! I daresay she might be aware of this anyway if she were a teenager, but she's only 7.

If she wants to go back to the library several times, then permit this, but always go with her and look things up with her.

Good luck!

User - posted on 05/08/2013

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I agree. I know she's hearing these phrases at home. (not our home) She has been told numerous times that language of that sort is inappropriate and unacceptable for her age. I like Kelly's idea of sitting her down and talking to her about the meanings of these words and why she chose them. Also, helping her find other words to replace these. To help her express herself.
But I still think there needs to be a consequence for what she's doing. She knows this behaviour is wrong. She knows that she's doing something that is against the rules. She DOES know better. So i'm going to marry these two ideas. Consequences plus conversations.

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Jo - posted on 12/16/2013

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Hi, today I may of got mixed up with my child saying A**hole instead of what he said was: Ass-uuuu. He was repeating what he had heard in a cartoon, which I also heard and did sound like the rude word. My son, whom occasionally will say a swear word, decided to say this word and I flew of the handle for him saying it, as I thought he was trying to say the rude version of it. I am having a time with him at the moment trying to tell him words he should not say, and just talking is not seeming to work as with other things.

My point is that often words on the television can be mis-interpreted because they sound like swear words also.... I would in this instance blame the cartoon programme for not being more careful with the word sounds they use.

Samantha - posted on 05/11/2013

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Hi there,

I know this will sound a little crazy but it has worked for me, my eldeset son is almost 4, a while ago, he also started swearing, and he would not listen, he still kept on swearing, I even gave him hidings,and nothing worked, untill one day, I took just one drop,not even a drop of "clove oil" (its not harmful at all,used for colic also?) and put it on his tongue,and since then never again one swear word,now I have taught him to tell anyone,adult or child "not to swear" - this gives him a sense of confidence,marutity etc. at the fact that he can tell somone else what not to do, now it has become a habbit for him, he corrects everyone who swears!

Good Luck, hope this helps

User - posted on 05/09/2013

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Yea lol I heard this off tv, but if keeping love isnt a challenge, its not worth keeping. Theres always something that we will have to tackle expecially as parents to overcome. lol I had no idea when I became a mother how it was going to be. Im so glad I didnt set any expectation that it would absolutely fabulous every minute, because its not. Ive never been afraid to state that, I def have my times of frustration. Sometimes we have to grit our teeth to overcome, but really once the hard times are over and you have a sweet child look at you and say I love you, or just give you a big hug, etc.. its all worth it.

Yea I have a friend that is a step mom and I completely see how hard it is at times. I dont know personally how I could handle it, its atough situation, and I am sure that its as hard or even harder than being the parent, theres so much that it entails.

In my town one of the opportunities for families to volunteer is during christmas. At a church here they give out christmas dinner, hats, gloves, jackets, presents for the kids.
The kids can help sort out food and the others into seperate boxes, wrap gifts, and even hand out items for needy families. Its an awesome program, and Im sure youll be able to find something that fits for yall. Usually for something like this its not broadcast publicly, but through hear say and if you call different churches or organizations, they will tell you if they are doing anything that you can help


lol being off subject sry but I do hope the best for your family, hope its just a phase that wont last long

User - posted on 05/09/2013

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Thanks so much Stacy. Parenting is really hard, and for me, Step-Parenting is extremely hard. It's really nice to have these forums to be able to bounce ideas off one another.
I have thought about trying to do some volunteering with her but I haven't quite found the right fit for us. But I am going to keep looking, I think it's really important to teach kids early on that they aren't the center of the universe, and that it's nice to help others. It makes you feel good.

User - posted on 05/08/2013

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Yea really do what best suites your parenting style, and stick with it. And i agree you do need to have some type of discipline towards this, because it is not acceptable.

I have a nephew that doesnt cuss but he isnt the nicest kid around and I really feel sorry for him because he doesnt have the best parents, I cant do much at all, but its sad to see a child behave in certain negative ways when they just dont know any better, the parents dont teach them know to behave responsibly.

It is soo great that you and alot of mommas on here really reach out for help and try their best to raise a child how they see fit. I just give you and all the other hard working mommas kudos for being so loving and caring for their children.

Children arnt going to always do the behaviors they are taught, lol we al know this, but seriously with time and some dedication she will get out of this phase. Just keep it up and youll see an improvement soon.

I was wondering do you think this could help her? If they have something to fit this in your commmunity where children/adults help out others (volunteer), for your family to go do that together as well? Maybe her seeing you guys and strangers around her treating others nicely and caringly will kinda motivate her to treat others nice too. Just a thought

User - posted on 05/08/2013

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I don't feel it is an "imaginary" consequence. And I would hope that when she's an adult, the material objects around her are not going to dictate her behaviour. Also, when she is an adult it will be her decision whether she chooses to curse or not. That is when I would feel comfortable letting her feel the natural consequences of offending others. But at 7 years old, with a child who already has friend making/keeping issues, I feel these behaviours need to be curbed immediately for her best interest. I agree that a conversation is a great way place to start, but conversations have already been had. Many times. I'm not saying that consequences like we plan to implement would work for every child, but SD has proven in the past that not being able to have the things she wants the most, have an effect on her. Thank you though for the great tips for the conversation! I plan to use them for sure!

[deleted account]

You shouldn't need to create an imaginary consequence for her, the natural consequence should be adequate. Just let her experience the way others treat and view her when she curses. When you hear her curse, ask her "What do you think people think of you when you say things like that?" After she replies, ask "Is that what you want people to think of you?" Then go from there.
Punishing her with an arbitrary, unrelated consequence will not teach her not to curse when she is an adult, or how to avoid cursing if she needs to. Then, when she is an adult, she will think "I can curse all I want because I have my own computer and no one can take it away from me or ban me from it." and she will curse, and she will offend others, and then she will be all alone because she won't know the true consequence of cursing because it was overshadowed by the made up one.

User - posted on 05/08/2013

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I think that sounds good Elsie.

Have you also thought about the consequence of added chores, somehting she will not enjoy, that will help her also realize that she should never do it again because she wont want to go through that again. And with taking things away maybe letting her earn them back instead of setting a date when she can have them back, so she knows your serious over it

I know with technology you've probably got it controlled where she can and cant go. But for me seeing my neice and nephew (same age as her) they are smart, can do anything on a computer. Id just check every now and then to make sure the settings are staying the way you want them, the internet is also bad about cursing and general inappropriateness overall, we all know, but expecially children can be curious and start clicking on things or watch videos with negative material

User - posted on 05/08/2013

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I agree with Kelly totally! For you two as parents you need to have a sit down talk face to face. Be completely Truthful and just discuss the situation on her level. Sometimes when children hear stories from your past,( as when/if you started cussing and realized it was wrong and how you found out, or if it ashamed you and others around you) They realize that they arnt being singled out, and not the only one doing something wrong. That shes not alone, and you two are there ot help her understand things she might not know yet.

I really like the suggestions Kely posted, Id def go over those points, they will work! I as well will keep these for future use

Lakota - posted on 05/08/2013

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Yes, she is doing this for attention. But, she is learning these words from the adults or older children in her life. I would start there. If she sees adults or older children talking like this, why shouldn't she think it's ok for her to?

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