Behaviour and Discipline Parenting and Childcare

Tips to Deal with Swearing and Abusive Language: A Guide for Parents

Reasons why my child is using foul language

Kids are always studying how to converse and communicate with people. When your kid picks up a new swear word at kindergarten or from another kid in your society, the prospects are, he will want to try it out at the house. And when other kids start laughing when he uses the word, it will give him the confidence to repeat uttering the word.

Toddlers also study by copying themselves on others. For your kid, this often involves imitation, particularly of people he looks up to and loves, such as family members and older siblings. Thus, he may pick up certain words and behaviors to fit in, without knowing what they mean.

This is the usual stage in your child’s development. Your curious child has acquired a new skill, one that is different and thrilling.

What should you do about swearing and abusive language?

It does not matter where the language comes from, though it is never too early to teach your child that it is not tolerable. Here are some tips on how you can make your little one comprehend:

Maintain a straight face

When your preschooler uses abusive language, says a swear word, oppose the urge to giggle, which he will take as superb support for doing it again.
The capability to make adults giggle or annoy or distress is very powerful when you are little. And even if it seems hilarious or amusing to hear your toddler repeating some wrong words unknowingly, showing your enjoyment is not in his best interests.

Though difficult to practice, try to pay no heed to rude language the first time your child uses it. It may happen that he would not repeat it if it does not get him the reaction he was searching for.

Evaluate the environment

Children usually imitate behavior and language that they have heard. Although they might have an idea that it is something that is not permitted, they do not know the connotation of the words themselves. If your kid hears you or other family members swearing on a day-to-day basis, he is likely to choose these up and reiterate them. If you swear in front of him, admit and apologize that you should not have said it.

Speak to everyone within the family which also includes the household staff. No one should use bad language in front of your toddler. If they end up saying something inappropriate they should apologize.

Teach respect

Children need support and motivation to study about respectful behavior and the disparity between “good” and “bad”. Kids need to know right away when their behavior is improper, whether it is swearing, kicking or hitting. Wait for a few minutes if you need to pacify, and then tell him that foul words are not allowed. Also tell him that it is not okay to use swear words and this is not tolerated at preschool or daycare, on the playground, at friends’ houses and even their home.

Remember that all children go through this stage at some point or another. The possibility is that with a little patience and guidance, your toddler will get the message that it is not acceptable behaviour.

Development Technology

Media Effects on Children’s Social and Moral Development

We live in an environment surrounded by television, mobile devices, and other digital gadgets. Since the time of our tiny one’s birth, they are exposed to the world of media. It not only impacts their beliefs, values, and behaviour but also shapes their social interactions. The psychological impact of media violence on toddlers is profound and can cause irreparable changes in behaviour.

A research study published by the US National Library of Medicine has shown that exposure to violence on television, video games, mobile videos, etc. increases the possibility of violent behaviour in children. The subjects of this study range between the age of 5 and 13 but this holds for toddlers and pre-schoolers too.

How does digital violence influence toddlers?

Young kids are impressionable and cannot differentiate between fiction and reality. The violence depicted in cartoon films or TV shows will give the impression that this is correct behaviour. Digital violence affects toddlers in some of the ways listed below:

  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Unprovoked anger
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Rebellion
  • Nightmares and/or phobias
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Other psychological disorders.

How can you reduce digital violence at home?

The first step towards helping our kids grow in a less violent environment is to restrict the exposure to digital violence. Here’s how you can implement some simple but effective measures at home:

Be media literate

Educate yourself about the type of TV programs/videos that usually show violence. Kids often see games and mobile apps that show battle scenes in a combative environment. Restrict your child from playing such games or watching these types of videos.

Watch together

Sit with your little one during TV or video time. Watch the entertainment together so you know what is going on. Most stories have the basic theme that shows the triumph of good over evil. These stories usually have a villain whose behaviour is negative. Explain to your little toddler that such behaviour is bad and hence the villain loses in the end. Emphasise on other qualities depicted in the video like cooperation, multi-tasking, friendship, loyalty, kindness, etc.

Child-safe logins

If you are permitting your toddler to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime videos, make sure that you use the Kid’s login and not your usual one. This login will automatically permit the child to only watch toddler-safe movies and shows. This way, Parental guidance will not be required most of the time.

Change your viewing time

You may be very fond of action thrillers but it is not appropriate to watch them while your toddler is awake and in the same room. With a small child in the house, you will have to adjust your timings so that the child is not inadvertently exposed to digital violence by just being in the same room. Also, your baby will start enjoying violent content too, that is something you must avoid at any cost. You could binge-watch all you want when your child is asleep.

Most importantly, as a parent, believe that you have the right to restrict digital violence and its influence on your toddlers.