It’s amazing how quickly a child will pick up on an inappropriate word and repeat it. Usually this brings a strong reaction from adults within hearing distance, making the word stick in their brain even more. Here are some tips to help teach young children that foul language should not be used and to teach them other ways to express themselves.

  • Try not to laugh or over-react but at the same time, don’t ignore it. Deal with it the first time you hear it. Make sure they know that swearing is not acceptable.
  • Suggest words to use instead. Make a game of coming up with replacement words to use when angry or frustrated.
  • Reinforce appropriate language when used.

Adapted from:
Behavior Matters
Deborah Hewitt with Yvonne Pearson
Redleaf Press
St. Paul, Minnesota