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Is there a potty-mouth living in your house? Clean things up with these tips

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 10-10-2012

Kids say the darndest things, don't they? It seems like the second they can string a sentence together, they're suddenly brimming with things to talk about. And while it can be refreshing to get your little one's take on something, there's always the danger he'll pick up a few choice words you'd rather he not yell in a public space. So if you're struggling with a newfound potty-mouth, here are a few tips to keeping his language clean.

Negative reinforcement
Swear words are meant to do one thing – get a rise out of others. So when you hear your little angel casually drop an F-bomb at dinner, it's natural to react with shock and disappointment, but this only adds more fuel to the fire. You can take the fun and power out of using curse words by simply not overreacting when you hear them.

Swear police
Setting a positive example is a great way to discourage your child from cursing, so consider turning this into a game is by setting up a swear jar – a place for family members to put in a dollar any time someone curses. Encourage your little one to help you make sure everyone in your house avoids these bad words.

Context
Kids are more understanding than most people give them credit for, especially when it comes to interacting with people outside of your family. Explain the damage and hurt that swearing can cause for friends and neighbors by putting not only the words, but the the meaning and attitude behind them, into context. Consider offering up a few alternative words like "darn" or "blast" to help express feelings of frustration.