What do you do when you hear your kids swear? They are like little sponges, soaking up every little thing they hear, including the bad words. So when your kids are hanging out with their friends and you hear one drop an F-bomb, what do you do (other than die a little inside)?
When my daughter was little, I was shocked when I heard her drop some cuss words in conversation. Admittedly I laughed a little too, because, well, she used it in context (smart kid!) When your 10 year old swears, it is not so cute. So what is a mom to do?
What Do You Do When You Hear Your Kids Swear?
Nip it in the bud
When you hear it, squash it. It’s not appropriate and you have rules in your home right? If the child’s mom (and this is a big ‘if’) let’s her child swear, it is still not ok to do in your home. You don’t need to yell or raise your voice (which might be the knee jerk reaction to your kid dropping the F-bomb) Simply tell the kids it’s not an appropriate word to use and you don’t want to hear it again. You can ask where they have heard it, but chances have it you have dropped it as well and didn’t even notice.
Give an explanation
Sometimes kids say and do things because they have seen us say and do them and they think it’s ok. I mean, we are adults, we don’t ever do anything wrong right? (maybe in our child’s precious eyes!) It’s a teachable moment you’ve got here! Explain that swearing is just not appropriate for kids.
Tell on the kids
Well, that sounds a bit childish, but the reality is you are the adult. If you disapprove, chances have it his friend’s mom disapproves as well. You can casually inform her at pick up in a ‘just letting you know’ kind of way. You might not be the ‘cool mom’ for ratting out the kids, but that’s ok. Sometimes the ‘cool moms’ are actually not so cool, but that’s another post.
My mom used to soap in my brother’s mouth (never mine, because I was an angel). I don’t agree with this. I find that when my child does or says something inappropriate I give a warning. ‘Don’t say it again or else’ kind of thing. Kids like to test us, so he might drop the F-bomb again, just to see if you will do what you said. That’s when I take something away that she likes (iPad, TV, playing outside). You could banish him to his room for a certain amount of time as well. You are the parent, the choice is yours!
Hearing your kid drop the F-bomb might feel like a parenting fail, rest assured you are not alone. Explanation as to why it’s not ok to use swear words, and a warning with a consequence if it happens again is a good place to start! I would also inform his friend’s mom, so she knows it’s not appropriate language for your house (she probably doesn’t allow it either).