My Grandson (Im raising) has picked up on bad words and when he get's mad yells at you and curses...he's only 3!...how do you make it stop? He is out of control!

Glendora - posted on 02/15/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Temper tantrums, yelling, cursing, throwing things and hitting. How do you make it stop? You cant ignore it when it's to this point.

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Cindy - posted on 02/15/2009

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my son is nearlly 4 and does the same thing but i have chosen to ignore it as i feel its an attention seeking thing.has he had something happen recently to him in his life like a death or picked on at daycare not seeing his parents.it could be he is greiving as my 3 yr old doesnt see his dad anymore for 8 months now.he had picked up the bad words at daycare and sibblings.i started putting wet soap on my 2 fingers and put it in his mouth and he hated it but has now stopped.maybe you should try it as its better than smacking him.cheers cindy

Rebecca - posted on 02/16/2009

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You might want to check out www.positiveparenting.com

I did this course and our son went from very angry, yelling, screaming, tantrums multiple times a day at close to 5 to being much calmer and better able to control his behaviour.

Our son likes to see if he could get a reaction when he was angry and didn't feel like he had any power. One morning he called me a bitch, he was 4 or almost 5. I could see by the look on his face he knew it was a bad word but he was going to challenge me. So I started barking like a dog. He got really annoyed and then tried the word cow, so I mooed like a cow. He has never used either of those words again.

Of course this works best at home without company and is dependent on the words being used.

Rewards charts can be great for effort to meet a desired behaviour etc. Not all kids respond to being told something is wrong or shouldn't be done. I did try and wash our sons mouth out with soap once. He kept asking for it again and again....... clearly not the right solution for him. He has gastric reflux so I am not going to torture him with hot sauce, vinegar etc. I am happy for the families this works for, but it is against the philosophy of positive parenting and in my opinion would only create more food issues for our son.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about the positive parenting.

Bernice - posted on 02/16/2009

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My advice for what it's worth. I have 3 daughters aged from 9 through to 17yrs. When they used a 'sloppy' word as we named it, or if they back chatted, or if they vocalised bad attitude talk - we put a little hot stuff on their tongue. A tabasco bottle with the lid off and your finger replaces the lid, shake the bottle and remove your finger - that little. Don't rub onto the tongue just 'blot'. It is enough to remind them that sloppy words are a no no. Eventually it got to the stage that a simple request to 'fetch the tobasco' would bring a very genuine apology, the same reaction happened as I grabbed the bottle and made quite a drama of shaking it whilst telling them I didn't approve of what they had just said. The 'sloppy' word phase - picked up from schools and friends and peers - was very short lived. Be aware as Estelle noted of the TV, media, song input into their lives....toddlers are mimics of what they hear and see. Good luck and a huge hug and love for looking after your Grandson.

Angie - posted on 02/15/2009

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My son is now 16 and stops himself before a curse or slang word slips out, but when he was small his father and i would tell him "Give me your hand and we would tap/lightly slap the back of his hand and tell him that is a bad word and no bad words"  Eventually if We slipped he would ask for our hand and repeat the punishment on us. It did not take long for all 3 of us to learn to think before we speak.

Lisa - posted on 02/15/2009

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If I can assist, I dont want to offend anyone when I say this but I found it helpful for me as there mother to tell them that they are not allowed to talk until I said they could. I told them that talking is a privilege and not a right and if they are going to abuse/ take advantage of there privilege then the right to talk gets taken away (for only a matter of minutes of course but to the kids its an eternity. Might be a bit harsh sounding but it worked for me. As I said I am sorry if I offend anyone but I had a similar situation as well. And it was a time out for them so to speak.

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TealRose - posted on 03/22/2011

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Hold him, love him, try to understand how frustrating and strange the world it to a tiny one .... Ignore most of it .. and it goes away. Make a big deal over it and it gets worse. Take the hand that hits you and say "No .. hands are for loving ..' and stroke your face or hand with his. AND NEVER ever hit him, He is a human being and doesn't deserve to be hit ever. More importantly how can you teach a child NOT to hit others if you hit them ! I never hit my children and they are fine adults.

I so hope he settles soon ...

Thembelihle - posted on 08/21/2010

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my son was almost 3 when he started those @ first I wld smack him but I realised that when I smack him he wld hit himself on the wall, kitchen table anything hard that will make him feel more pain. he started throwing tantrums n swearing it was unbearable. eventually I ignored him. I told his sister to do the same, if he started screaming we wld walk out n go to another room or go to the kitchen n lock him in the other room it worked he wld apologise to who ever he was screaming at you cant believe he is a nice 4 year old child now.

Tina - posted on 08/18/2010

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I agree, consistency is the most important thing. Stay calm but firm, let them know that is a bad word and won't be tolerated.

Jessica - posted on 02/16/2009

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My 4yearold twin dose the same thing. I just take him to a diffrent part of the house and his sister will sit nice intill he is done. But i just let him do his thing than i try to talk to him. Not much help i know.

Vicki - posted on 02/16/2009

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Be calm.  Do NOT react with any emotion at all.  Give him a reasonable consequence, like a 3 minute time out.  He'll stop.

Amy - posted on 02/16/2009

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Ugh! I feel your pain! I have a 1, 2, and a 4 yr. old. The things kids say sometimes!!!!! I found that not making a big deal out of the bad words is key. If you yell at them for it, then they know that's something bad and they use it to push your buttons when your losing it. Let them know they should not say bad words, but don't turn it into a major issue. As far as tantrums, I've found that putting them in the corner or dragging them to their room for a while helps. they need to know that that kind of craziness is NOT acceptable and maybe they just need to be alone to think or work out their anger without an audiance. Leave him there until he calms down a little ( you can calm down a little too in that time) and then after he calms a bit, talk to him like a person and explain why he's in there. Ask him what's wrong and if he understands why he's there. If he continues to scream and yell, tell him that means he has to stay longer. I've found talking to them like people instead of little kids helps.Try to be calm because if you're not, then neither are they.It takes a lot of work and a LOT of patience, but hopefully this helps a little. Mine generally respond to this.

Tricia - posted on 02/16/2009

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VINEGAR BALLS....... have worked wonders for me.  I soak cotten balls in vinegar and keep them in an airtight container.  I made several containers, One for car, home, etc.  I would make them hold the ball in their mouth for one minute.  At the end of the minute, they could take ONLY  the ball out.  This has been very effective on my son.  However, my daughter likes the taste of vinegar so I have found that a TABLESPOON OF BUTTERMILK  works best for her. 



Hope this helps.

Lisa - posted on 02/16/2009

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Okay, vinegar..... sounds strange but it works completely... When the child has uttered a bad word or said something nasty, put some vinegar on a paper towel and stick that is his mouth... It shows if bad things go out bad stuff goes back in. Not soap or hot sauce because of the obvious. Please do not just shove it in with out explaining that we are responsible for what we say and that for every bad action there is a consequence. It's quick, you can get on with your day and it's an affect that lasts.

Katrina - posted on 02/16/2009

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Quoting Glendora:

My Grandson (Im raising) has picked up on bad words and when he get's mad yells at you and curses...he's only 3!...how do you make it stop? He is out of control!

Temper tantrums, yelling, cursing, throwing things and hitting. How do you make it stop? You cant ignore it when it's to this point.



I know with my two toddlers, when they started picking up bad words, at first i would ignore it because the more attention i paid them the more they did it.  but then when that didnt work or it got too frequent, i just told them that we didnt use those sorts of words and found something to replace it with.  Good luck!  Sometimes it might seem all too hard, but your doing a great job.  Keep it up!!!  :)

Jessica - posted on 02/15/2009

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For temper tantrums, I set my son on his bed and tell him when he is ready to be nice and say sorry, he can come out.  If he tries to leave his room, I set him back on the bed and shut the door.  Now when he is that angry, he takes himself to his bed.  He has to have himself under control and also has to say sorry in order to come out.



As for cursing, I used a look of disapproval with a disapproving tone and say "That is a BAD word.  We don't say BAD words."  If the words continue, I give a light tap against his lips and say no bad words.  If I slip and say a word we have declared "BAD", I will tap my own lips and say "Sorry.  Mommy won't say bad words."

Amy - posted on 02/15/2009

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Stay calm, and speak in a calm voice. Say "Those are bad words and we don't use those kinds of words." Of course that means you have to watch what you say too...my daughter catches all bad words and let us know if we slip!! Also I agree with what Jennifer said about being out in public. It is embarassing to have to carry a screaming child out of the store but it is better than letting them think that that behavior will be excepted. This too is a stage that just has to be out grown. Be consistant in the way you deal with it and it should get better!! Hang in there and good luck!!

Felicia - posted on 02/15/2009

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I would do the time out or take things away from him that he values, like a favorite toy! He has to understand that this is unacceptable! Also you have to make sure that his parents understand that also, because everyone has to work together to get him on the right track!

Lisa - posted on 02/15/2009

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Some children behave this way when they're having a hard time expressing their feelings. Has he been tasted for any sort of learning disability? Sometimes some simple counseling can work wonders. Good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 02/15/2009

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what happens before he gets like that???

if u are out and he does that u have to leave where u are...if he can't behave when ur out with him tell him u won't take him out and DON'T tell him to use his words, and go to his level when u talk to him. also time out on a chair or in the corner works well one minute for each year 3yrs old 3 mintues in time out. i do time outs even when we are at the store... hang in there. tell his parents about his behaviour they have to help with his attitude also ...

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