Have you thought of how you will deal with your child when they use bad language? Unfortunately, for many parents it is not a case of if your child uses bad language, it is a case of when. It is helpful to understand why your youngster uses bad words before you can proactively deal with it.

Your child hears you use bad language.

Children will repeat what you say and do. Be sure to use the same words that you want your child to use.

Your child repeats what another child says.

Speak to your child calmly and without fuss and explain that they have some good words of their own, they don’t need to use the same words that their friends are using.

Your child is mad or upset.

Teach your child to use other words to express their feelings. You can explain that when we are mad it is easy for us to say a rude word, however, other words may help us to express our feelings. How about using “BOTHER!” or “RATS!”

Not understanding.

Sometimes children use words they don’t understand because they want to know what they mean. This often happens with sexual terms.  Briefly explain to your child what the word means and explain that the bad words to describe them are not necessary. That will usually take care of the problem.

Words to impress.

Your older child uses bad language when they are with their friends to “impress”. You can calmly express your displeasure and disappointment with your child and tell them that he/she gives a poor impression of the family if they use bad language. After all, bad language is not allowed at home so why should it be permissible outside. You can explain that as an articulate individual, they can use a better choice of words to express themselves.

Remember – controlling speech is an important form of self-control, and as with any other aspect of growing up, it is a process, often involving trying out and modifying. You are the best teacher your child will ever have, be a good role-model and protect those young, impressionable ears from hearing bad language.