4.5 year old and "bad words" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-08-2002, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like some advice! My 4.5 year old has been practicing using every bad word in the book lately - I am sure it is "just a phase", but I am at a complete loss at how to handle this with him. He will sing songs and substitute the words with "toilet talk" (Old McDonald had a fart, fart fart fart fart fart.....) You get the idea and that is actually one of the milder words he chooses. I try and ignore it, but it has gotten to the point where for the past couple of weeks he is relentless.

I have explained that these words are not nice and that when people hear him talking like that they don't like it. I have said that it is ok to be silly and make up silly words or songs, but that using swear words, potty talk, penis talk ect. is not ok in public or at pre-school because people don't like it.

Do I continue to ignore him? What would a consequence be when he continues to do this? Is this normal? Is he trying to get my attention? What type of response would be appropriate? Any suggestions/thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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#2 of 5 Old 07-08-2002, 01:58 AM
 
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I know some might think this is harsh but.... my ds who is the same age as yours was repeating bad words even after I had explained to him that they weren't nice... just as you have done. One day he repeated the *F* word, I told him not to say it, that is was a bad word to which he stuck his tongue out at me and repeated it. So I got a bottle of hot sauce out and put some on my finger and asked him to stick out his tongue. He did so hestitantly and I placed the hot sauce on his tongue. Yes it was hot, yes he didn't like it, but he has not repeated that bad word since and if any others come up I tell him they aren't appropriate and if he uses them again he will get hot sauce. He chooses not to use them again. It was a more severe punishment then either my husband or I am use to using but it helped over come the potty mouth. We now joke with him and our friends that he is the word monitor. He will ALWAYS tell us when we or anyone else have used inappropriate words.
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#3 of 5 Old 07-08-2002, 02:52 AM
 
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I have tried not to make too big a deal of it. I think the more we act shocked or upset by certain words, the more children want to use them.

But when it gets really uncomfortable, I ask them to bring their bathroom talk into the bathroom. My kids think it's kind of a funny thing, which is probably why it seems to work.

I personally remember having lots of fun when I was a child hanging out with my friends in the bathroom talking bathroom talk!
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#4 of 5 Old 07-08-2002, 10:56 AM
 
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My youngest (almost 5) has been going through this for a while now. Our rule is that if he feels the need to say inappropriate words, he can tell them to himself in the mirror in his room. However, if he says them around anyone else he loses a priviledge immediately (tv time usually hits home). The words lost their appeal very quickly once there was no audience. He only had to lose a priviledge a few times before he realized that the consequence would be swift and automatic (no warnings) and stopped almost completely. The hard part is getting his older brothers and their friends not to laugh at him - that makes it almost worth losing tv for in his mind!
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#5 of 5 Old 07-09-2002, 01:13 AM
 
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Potty talk has been a big annoyance around my home for the past 6 months or so. My son falls into it when he is 1) trying to impress another child or 2) wanting some attention. I send him to the bathroom where he closes the door and says the offensive word 20 times or until it's out. This has helped a lot. Another thing I did, since he's a pretty cerebral guy, is to demystify the romance of the gross - e.g. explanations of methane, detailed scientific information (like why poop is brown). This removed much of the magic of the words for him and gets him on to a new topic.
The bathroom thing is what's worked best.

A kindergarten teacher told me to watch out for hot-button words. She said he's trying to "get my goat." It works! I try very, very hard not to be neutral to potty talk. I fail a lot in this. ....
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