|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

How to Stop Swearing

Middle School Expert Advice from Judith Lee Ladd

Q: My 12-year old son is swearing a lot and no type of punishment seems to faze him. What can I do?

A: If you do not allow swearing in your home, your son must know that his language is unacceptable. If you decide to tackle the problem, you must be very clear in describing to him what words or expressions you define as swearing. Sometimes a word that finds its way into common speech on TV and in the community may not seem like a bad word to kids. Once you define the terms, set an appropriate punishment -- but one that is not abusive. Washing your son's mouth out with soap does not help him learn to control his impulsive, bad language.

It is important to figure out why he is swearing. For many kids, it's the thrill of taking a risk (a minor one at that). For some, swearing gives them the attention they want from a parent, even if it's negative attention. For others, anger brings out their worst behavior, which can include swearing. Sometimes, the act of defiance fuels their behavior.

The key things to remember are setting limits (swearing is unacceptable), being consistent in your reaction and punishment, and identifying other words or behaviors that are acceptable when situations bring out the swearing behavior.

More on: Expert Advice

Judith Lee Ladd is a former president of the American School Counselor Association, a national organization of K-12 and post-secondary school counselors.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Zika Virus Q&A: 4 Facts for Pregnant Women & Families
Zika virus is pretty scary. Pregnant or not, learn what steps to take to protect your family from Zika, including travel restrictions and mosquito bite prevention.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

Ommm! 5 Meditation & Mindfulness Activities for Families
Family meditation and mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and promote health and happiness. Learn some fun and easy mindfulness activities for kids, and set them on the path to inner peace!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks