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Don’t swear in front of your kids.
You’re sitting in a public place, your kid falls to the ground, out comes a very loud “f***” from their mouth. You sit there calmly, act like you don’t know the child, and freak out inside. Where did a 2 year old learn to swear like that? Why have they never said it before now when there’s a ton of other people around? While you have to take responsibility for your child, it can often be quite embarrassing.
If you want to avoid a situation like this, then you cannot swear in front of your kids. Kids are not stupid - they hear almost everything that comes out of your mouth and they will gladly repeat it. They have no idea that they’re not supposed to say those words - mom or dad said it so I’m going to say it.
If you like to swear when things go bad, you have to work on fixing your language first. You can tell your kids not to say those words all that you want, but every time they hear it come out of your mouth is another reminder to them that they can say it. It doesn’t matter how many times you repeat it or scream at them, they’re not going to remember that, just that it’s a good word to say when you get hurt or when you’re mad.
Even if you only swear every now and then, you’ve really got to remove the language from your vocabulary completely. If your child only hears it once every now and then they’re going to repeat it. Kids simply have funny memories wherein they will remember an expletive in the heat of the moment no matter what.
Beyond swearing yourself, you need to make sure that those that are watching your kids also aren’t swearing around them either. You can be perfect about it, but if your parents or others swear around your kids then you’re not in the clear at all. If you’re having troubles with your child using some of those not so pleasant words, make sure those around you aren’t saying them either.
Remember, swearing isn’t the end of the world for a young child. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent. Not everyone is going to think you’re the worst parent in the world. You can be an amazing parent and your child will still say one of those naughty words - sometimes you just need to step back and laugh at yourself. Realize that kids are kind of funny about the things they say and remember.
If your child has a real swearing problem though, then you do need to work on it. Don’t let them just say whatever they want all of the time. Work on cleaning up their language. If they really do have a swearing problem though, it’s likely because they are hearing it on a regular basis. It should be easy for you to know what needs to be addressed to fix the problem.
Swearing kids happen. Be embarrassed or laugh it off. If you’ve got a swearing problem of your own, then work on cleaning it up.