Originally Posted by Triniity
Okay, thank you! Than it is probably "just" his impulsiveness. He does not have any tics, at least, I did not recognize any.
Any ideas how to stop that kind of behaviour? It is rather uncomfortable to walk around with a swearing four year old
Is he ever able to go out and not swear? If so, I would "catch him" doing it right - praise him, drawing attention to the positive response he gets from others when he doesn't swear. I would also look at what happens before he's swearing or not swearing (the antecedent). Is he tired, just up from a nap, hungry, fought with his sister etc?
Do you do behaviour mod? This behaviour may respond to being incentivized/disincentivized. Figure out his currency (one:one time, a game, candy whatever) and figure out a realistic and meaningful strategy for him. Personally, I don't do well with super structure like charts etc, so what I would have done would be to sit down and tell him that the behaviour needed to stop with some example-based reflection on why it needed to stop (how does it make others feel etc), and that there would be consequences and rewards for his performance (in four year old speak). So, we'd be going to the grocery store and I would remind him as we approached that he was not to swear, and that if he could get through the shop (and it would be no more than 10-15 minutes) without swearing, we would get an ice cream. And to help him not swear, I would have provided him with a small toy or fidget that he could squeeze, and advise him to put his swearing energy into the fidget. Do not initially do this with your older child present, because if he's not successful how do you manage the older child getting a treat in front of him, or explain to the older child that she's not getting ice cream because of her brother? (ask me how I know this!) The idea is to provide him with alternatives (ie fidgets), external motivation to resist the impulse (ie ice cream), and manageable challenges that grow over time as he's successful.
It may take a while to extinguish the behaviour if it's impulse driven, because impulse by its very nature is hard to manage. With ADHD impulsive kids, you're trying to teach them to insert a pause between impulse and action, and that comes with maturation and practice. It's very frustrating, but even if the swearing continues he's likely to be trying. It can be very confusing because sometimes kids look gleeful when they're being "naughty," though they'd much prefer to be in your good books but just can't manage their behaviour. IME, that giggling and oppositional disregard for your preference and direction can actually signal that they're not in control - if they seem a little manic, they're probably not in control.
My son went through quite a swearing period at four. It was pretty awful. It went away over time using the above methods, and he's a lovely, non-swearing kid now who has developed some pretty remarkable self-regulation skills. I did a lot of "I guess we're finished here for today" and we just left. Hard to do in a lot of circumstances, but whenever I could, I did. Natural consequence of being unsociable is to go home or sit in the car while your sister's in a lesson. I didn't behave angrily, just matter of fact, with a debrief about why we'd left.