Parenting Help

Kristian - posted on 11/29/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )




My son says bad words and he's four year old. I have put him in time out but he thinks it is a game. I've spanked him (lightly) but he thinks it is funny. I dont know what to do for him to understand its not a game and that its not right to say bad words. He's going to start school in a year and I dont want people to look at him bad beacause he is a very smart kid. I'm thinking that it is super nanny time! I really need some help please.


Kate - posted on 11/29/2012




My four year old went through a phase like that. Eventually when she realized that the word got no response (and I mean NOTHING- I pretended I didn't hear the whole sentence) she stopped.

I agree that you need to find where he heard it and get rid of that too, but I don't think the "punishment" is going to work. It just gives more power to the word- "look what mommy does when I say ___"

Watch your language, I know that when I really started to pay attention I found that I swore more than I thought. I also had to skip the ipod and listen to the radio, I think that some of it came from that as well.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/29/2012




Well, who is he learning these words from? If he continues to swear or whatever, ignore it. The more attention that you pay, the more he will do it. Also, clean up your mouth, or whoever is swearing in front of him. He did not learn this on his own.

Beth - posted on 12/02/2012




This happened to us recently. We had swore in front of our son when he was very young, but had cut back by the time he was 4, however cutting way back wasn't enough. We ourselves had to cut it out completely, and ask those we hung out with to try to do the same. He was swearing left and right, and knew the full gamut of words. It was completely embarrassing when we went out in public.

For our son, it simply became a habit to say those words instead of other words. We tried every method we could think of--even soap in the mouth, which we swore we'd never do. (And before anyone judges, it was all-natural, plant-based soap.) And ignoring it DID NOT WORK. At least for us.

What worked in the end was taking something from him that meant a lot to him. Something you could take a little at a time, without any real emotional repercussion (i.e. not their lovey). We chose his Matchbox cars. He has a zillion of them and he loves them. For every swear word, we took a car away. He could earn them back with good behavior. Took 2 days, and we haven't heard a swear word since.

Good luck to you, I know how frustrating this can be!


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Ev - posted on 12/01/2012




You could do that but that is not always enough. Sometimes ignoring the actions or words works too. You have to try a lot of things to see what is working for you and your child. Meanwhile, just try to limit the exposure to what he hears at least at home and around you and people you know, the tv set, dvd shows and other things. Moniter the shows he watches on tv...because now a days those cute shows for kids have a lot of things left to be desired within them.

Karla - posted on 12/01/2012




I would agree with the other posts here.

Besides looking at life style and where the child has learned these words, I might try explaining to the child like this - "Shit" is a bad word, try "shoot" instead - and then I would try to clean up my language in the same way.

Dove - posted on 11/30/2012




Where did he learn the words from? If you can change that exposure it will help a LOT. He's just copying what he hears.

My 4 year old doesn't know 'bad words', but his older siblings listen to some of what I consider 'borderline' music (other parents wouldn't bat an eye at it)... and he sings right along w/ it not having a clue what he is saying. So... there are some things that I KNOW my older ones are capable of listening to and handling, but have been banned from our house anyway.

If one of them says an undesirable word I simply tell them that we don't talk like that in our family. It very rarely gets to the time out point.

Sylvia - posted on 11/30/2012




Yeah, he's probably now at the point where his main reason for saying those words is that it gets a rise out of you. I would ignore ignore ignore until he moves on to something else :P

Ev - posted on 11/29/2012




If time outs, taking things and talking to him are not working, then you need to see what is triggering this to happen. Does he get exposure to tv shows, DVD's, people and other things where he hears this language? Do you or his father say those words without thinking about it? He has to be hearing it from somewhere. He seems to think its okay to say them. Does he understand what he is saying by using the words? IF he does he needs to understand they are not okay. If you and others use this language, its time to stop using it in front of him. Granted going to the store or other places in public is not going to curb his hearing it used, but just remind him that those words are not acceptable when he does hear it.

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