How to manage children swearing

Posted by iChild, May 08, 2019 11:10 AM

By Next Best Thing to Mummy

Hearing a child swear can make you chuckle,  feel embarrassed, or really angry, depending on many things. Older people may be angry, whereas young people may find it quite amusing. If you are the parent and it happens in a public place, you may well be embarrassed.


In my experience, as both a parent and a registered child minder, from time to time children will swear, curse and use unpleasant language. The best way to manage this is to ignore it. If children don’t get a response the chances are they won’t repeat this behaviour.

I recall my youngest coming in from helping his dad put the bins out on a winter's day. He sat down at the breakfast table  and said, “it’s f*** freezing out there!”

He was only about 3 years old, so his brothers looked at me in horror. I mouthed don’t say anything at them. It must have been the right thing to do as I never heard him swear again until he started school.

Cheeky child-GettyImages-83663455

I picked him up from school on his first day, and and as we prepared to drive home he told me, “Mummy, I heard a naughty word today at play time.”

"I don’t want to hear it,” I replied

"Can I just whisper it to you? Dick,” he whispered into my ear.

"Dick can be a person's name,” I told him, feeling relieved.

"Not when you put head after it!” he beamed.

My response was to tell him that I didn’t want him to ever say that again and suggested that he didn’t let his dad hear him say it. Again he never repeated the words (or not for another 20 years or so).


One day, as we were walking, a child that I was child minding told me: "my mum says that is a crap school.”

I calmly told her that crap wasn’t a nice word to use so she should say rubbish or not very good instead. She seemed quite happy about this.

Children pick up words that are undesirable from school, but often they hear adults using them. So be aware of what you say when children are within ear shot!

A friend’s child loves using "toilet talk" such as "pooey bum” and  "fart, pants”. She then laughs out loud. I advised  my friend to take no notice and just ignore this phase her daughter was going through.

Hearing children swear can be quite funny , but try to resist laughing at it, as this will only encourage the unwanted language.

Girl Shouting GettyImages-200158889-001

By Next Best Thing to Mummy
(She has also discussed this topic on her own blog.)


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Thanks for sharing my post, I am always looking for topic suggestions or requests

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