Toddlers and "BAD" words...

Jessica - posted on 07/22/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )




My son will be three on July 27th. The other day he was playing with some of his toys and threw one of them. I told him to come to me so I could talk to him about what he did. He told me to wait. After repeating my request three times he finally grunted and groaned and said "damn it mommy!" and came over. Stunned I scolded him and sent him to time out. I was very shocked that he used the words in the right context, yet I am not sure that he realizes what he is getting scolded for. Any suggestions on how I can go about teaching him that these words are not to be said? I know I am guilty for slipping up in from of him, but I also know that it comes from the people that surround us, tv, etc. I don't want it to become a problem, yet I do not want to make him feel as if he does nothing but wrong. He is so sensitive. Help me!


Sarah - posted on 07/23/2009




I had the same problem with my daughter, who will be 3 in sept, a couple of months ago. My daughter is quite a stubborn little girl, which your son does not seem to have that in common with her lol. I took the approach of scolding her right away and doing time outs but those only gave her the attention she wanted and almost encouraged her to keep doing it, so get me worked up. So, after seeing that didn't work for her, I tried to continually reason with her as she said them. I wasn't sure if I could reason with her at such a young age, she was just over 2 at the time, but miraculously over time it worked! I would give her a sad face, like I was disappointed that she said it and she'd say "sorry mommy, oh man" I told her to say "oh man" instead of "dammit," was what she was saying. Now she is like the language police! She tells anyone that says a naughty word "don't say that grammy, oh man." I'd say it took a good month to break the habit, for her it was a habit, doesn't sound like it is for your son tho. So I think you're doing the right thing by starting off making it a big deal, and nipping it in the bud. They understand more than we think they do so just go with your instinct! Good luck!

Stefanie - posted on 07/22/2009




The best way is to take away the people/things that he is learning them from. Make sure you surround him with people, shows and so forth that you want him to mimic. I have done this with my kids (4, 2 1/2 and 2 months) and none of them have ever uttered a bad word. Obviously you can't shelter them from everything (like people at the mall) but they still won't pick up these bad habits if you do not display them or allow them displayed in your home. Our kids have been around plenty of people who have cursed and we simply say, "We don't talk like that in our family." and when they hear bad words they turn to us and say, "We don't talk like that. It's not nice!"

What you display to them is what they will learn and display back to you. I would start by telling him that it is wrong to use those words and it is wrong of mommy and daddy to use those words also. From now on, no one will speak potty words in our family.

If you or your Dh are unwilling to do this then I'm afraid you will always battle with bad words from your children. Or at least that's my experience.


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[deleted account]

Growing up in my household every second word that came out of my mothers mouth was a swear word and boy did i get in trouble if i said one.

Come my sister, by the time she could talk 2-3 every second word too became a swear word, no suprises there. My parents never corrected her until my maternal grandparents looked after us then they put a stop to it.

My brothers first word was "Are Hole", my mother used to call my father an arsehole.

Its funny cause I still got told off for swearing at 20 (when I was still living with them)

We try to remain from swearing infront of our son as he is learning to mimick (saw somebody piking their nose so now randomly a little finger enters his nose) and he now can say two words. We have asked our friends not to swear infront of our son

Vicki - posted on 07/29/2009




LOL A friend's daughter, about age two or three, began to mimic her mother's swearing. Specifically when she was frustrated she'd say, "Jesus F-king Christ." As my friend recalled to me, it was shocking to hear her little girl utter those words, but she definitely got the context correctly. She's now older and nows all about appropriate language.

Kayla - posted on 07/29/2009




I wouldn't suggest the soap in the mouth....yeah our parents did it..but its really dangerous(not to mention most of us dont do things the way our parents did), people really harm their children that way

Hope - posted on 07/29/2009




My husband has a terrible mouth and my daughter who just turned 3 on the 27th loves to copy everything daddy says. She actually let the "big f" fly the other day, I nearly had a heart attack. We just tell her it's a "naughty word" and she's not allowed to see it and daddy was naughty for saying it too. Try not to make too big a deal out of it or it will become an attention getting tactic.

--- - posted on 07/29/2009




dont expose him to the words and if the behavior continues a dap of liquid soap on the tongue should do the trick. tell him you are cleaning his mouth of the dirty words.

Kate CP - posted on 07/25/2009




Try not to make a huge deal out of it. If they see you react so strongly to it they will know the words have powerful meanings behind them and will use them in the future. I simply tell my daughter "That's not nice. It hurts people's feelings when you say that." She apologizes and moves on. If she hears me say a bad word and I will admit that I used to have a real potty mouth she tells me "Mommy that's not nice. You need to say you're sorry." I say I'm sorry and we go on. Making it a huge ordeal just makes it harder to get them to stop.

Jenny - posted on 07/25/2009




I'm guilty of the occasional slip as well. My 3 year old daughter has called me on it before, too. I always apologize and we talk about how saying things like that is rude and it might make other people sad. She keeps me on track as much as I do her. I think the most important thing is that you are honest and fair: if they are expected to refrain from profanity, you should show your child the same courtesy.

Jen - posted on 07/23/2009




Just explain to him there are certain words that only mommies and daddies are allowed to say. Tell him that if he says them he will be sent to time out because those are not words you will tolerate coming out of his mouth. Just speak to him at his level and in a calm voice.

I like to call the 3 year old year the monkey stage because they love to copy everything you say. We were in the car with my friend and her 3-year-old one time and my dad was yelling at another car and Zoe repeated everything he had said. Luckily he didn't use any choice words, but he watched what he said the rest of the time we spent with them.

Jessica - posted on 07/23/2009




like I said, we're working on not using the "not nice words".....the over reacting thing I don't think is too much of a problem....he has been saying it less, but it continues. Hopefully I am on the right track with him!

Crystal - posted on 07/23/2009




As long as you do not over react to the situation (than it becomes a game) and try to make sure you are setting a good example . . . just make sure he knows you can't control other people, but you're household doesn't use "not nice words". LOL

Jessica - posted on 07/23/2009




I am in the USA and people do use the word Damn lightly.....I still consider it a swear word, especially from a little kid. We are trying to make sure that people are watching what they say around him, but I am not going to keep my family away from my son. I do not think that that is a good solution either. We just have to make everyone understand and respect our wishes! :)

Ena - posted on 07/22/2009




It depends if they r using it in a mean context. I was wondering (this may seem strange) if u r in the USA.Im in Australia ( mayb u r too) but damn's not really a swear word. I think everyone uses it. Its actually better than saying s**t.

[deleted account]

Keep it in simple words so he can understand. I would tell my daughter (when she was little) "Uh-oh, we don't say that! Those are naughty words!" Keep the expressions big too so he knows that it is not okay! Hope this helps!

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