I was on the beach with my parents when I was around 13 years old and they were talking as if they were one of the crabs. We were all having fun and everything was relaxed and they were using a few explicatives. I repeated exactly what they said and all the sudden, I was in trouble and everyone was in a bad mood. Why? Because I said a swear word and I shouldn’t have. I never cuss! So if you have kids that cuss my first piece of advice would be to be a good example! If you don’t want your kids cussing then don’t cuss in front of them. I have some friends that are working on this issue and wanted to share some of the ways to deal with the big potty mouth in your house.
Set Boundaries – Make sure the rules in your house are clear. Then be prepared with a consequence for when they do not follow the rule. Make sure you do follow through and show consistency as a parent.
The Swear Jar – I think everyone has heard of the swear jar. Use the Swear jar as a way to save up for something special for the family. Every time anyone in the house swears throw a dollar into the jar.
In Home Rules – I’ve seen that some families have different rules for inside the house verses outside the house. This is not my preferred method but if you really feel that boys will be boys (this goes for girls too) then by all means; let them swear in the house and not in public.
Provide an alternative phrase – This one was new to me and really liked by a friend of mine who has a teenager. Provide something fun for them to say that still sounds like it’s about to be something bad. For Example.. Say “Shut the Front Door” really loud at them. Tell them that’s ok for them to say, but the alternative is not.
Over Reaction can be a bad reaction – For younger children like my own, ignoring the situation is sometimes the best way to deal with it. When you give them a lot of attention over a phrase then they are sure to keep repeating it because they want that attention. Of course, you still need to find a way to tell them it was wrong, just be careful to not overdo it.
Communicate – When all else fails sit down and have a heart to heart with your child. Communication is key to having a good solid relationship with your child. Cussing may be a way of acting out and they simply want or need your attention. Discuss what the underlying issue might be and see if that curbs the cussing.
By guest blogger Louise Bishop, MomStart