Do you wonder where your child picked up the F*** word ?
Created by Gaurima Updated on Nov 16, 2020
"What the f**k!!! Why should I do what you ask me to do?" Questioned my eight-year-old son during a playful tussle. For a moment, I was amused to hear the word coming from this baby-faced little boy. But I was soon in shock as I wondered where he was picking up swear words from. When you hear your child use bad language, the first reaction you might have is to blame yourself for it. But take a step back, and think about all the people who have the power to influence your child.
Role modeling is necessary for learning and growth. Children learn almost all skills, including learning languages through various figures of influence in their day-to-day lives. Children learn language by imitating adults, primarily their parents and other family members till about 2 years. As they grow older and confident about their speaking skills, their curiosity fuels them to pick words from various people besides family members, like the house-help, or other children at school.
How Does My Child Pick Up Bad Language?
- When your child hears an adult use a swear word, he doesn't know or care about what it means. But the tone in which the word is uttered leaves a huge impact on him. The rigor and emphasis in the tone is what he will remember. The next time he is upset, he will remember that to express his state of mind, he can use the same word, and out it comes
- Sometimes it is funny to watch them merely imitate adults using different dialects. But know when to draw the line and when you need to correct your child.During a social gathering my friend's six-year-old son felt miffed with my four-year-old and before thrashing the younger one,hegave him a piece of his mind - "Jyaada shaana mat ban, nahin tou, do kaan ke neeche bajaunga" (Don't act smart, else I will hit you hard under your ear). My friend was furious, and instantly demanded that he reveal where he picked this dialogue up from. 'Driver bhaiya' came the sheepish reply
- The other big source is television and other entertainment media. Offensive content is often hidden in seemingly innocent cartoons or videos. A child shouting at another child or an animal is masked as being funny, and your child will hardly understand that it isn't really appropriate
Why Does My Child Use Words Or Phrases That Are Offensive?
Your child picks words that sound fancy to him, or some words used repeatedly by an adult. And yes, he is not concerned with what the words mean. He uses them to express feelings of anger, or sadness, or sometimes to seek attention. He may want to impress an adult with his new "vocabulary", or feel smarter than another child.
What To Do When My Child Uses Abusive Language?
- Keep calm: Your first reaction may be to lash out and tell him to stop right there. But a child who is upset or angry will not understand anything beyond his own feelings. He may react to the yelling because of fear, but the root cause of his feelings remain unresolved
- Listen: Sometimes, an incident at school, or in the park may have caused your child pain. He might have felt powerless to respond to it then, and in the safe confines of your home, he can let go. Let him cry it out if he wants to. Simply hold him and let him do the talking when he feels like. Once the reason behind his outburst is addressed, you can point out the bad language when he is calm
- Attention or No Attention?: If your child is not upset, but simply trying out a new word he has heard somewhere, don't react immediately. Don't give him the attention he is seeking. Perhaps later at the dinner table, you can gently prod him to find out where he has learned the word from. Tell him in a matter of fact tone that it is hurtful or unkind. He may not register this immediately, but do it patiently and gently every time he uses the word, and soon he will understand
How Can I Make Sure My Child Picks Up The Right Language?
- The easiest and most effective way is to watch yourself. You are the biggest influence in your child's life. How do you behave when you're angry or upset? If your child observes you losing your temper and swearing, he will assume that it's the way to deal with anger
- While it is important to teach your child to not suppress emotion, you must also show him the right way to handle it. Guide him to use appropriate words to express what he's going through
- It may be beneficial to be responsive rather than reactive. While one is guided by thought and logic, the other is guided by raw emotion. When your child watches you responding calmly, being articulate and clear, he will learn to use appropriate language
- Keep an ear open to what songs your child listens to, and what cartoons he watches regularly. Watch with him and make it an interactive session, asking questions about it. This way, you can filter out inappropriate material without seeming controlling or imposing
The impact of words on growing, curious minds is far more than one would imagine. And you, as a parent, are the role model your child needs.
Have some interesting anecdotes or tips to share with us about how to curb a child's use of bad language? Tell us in the comments section, we'd love to hear from you!
| Sep 20, 2017
sometimes these cuss words usage frequentcy increases with increase in parental rebukes and coercive action. even their plea not to use these fall on deaf ears. the reason being child seeks negative attention and enjoys repeating these all the more when he / she is being told not to do without even realizing the meaning and it's impact on the person being used. best way would be talk to the child and without explaining the meaning of these words, make him realize these are bad words and should be avoided. thanks Gaurima for such a wonderful blog.