14 answers

2 1/2 Year Old Swearing

My well articulate son has been learning new words and he has taken to one in particular. I suppose I should be happy that he can speak in complete sentences and repeat things. Well, he took to the word damnit. And he will not quit saying it. I just ignored it at first, no laughing no response. But he continues to use it, and in the correct context. Now that he says it about 40 times a day, I tried to tell him that he was pronouncing it wrong and that it was darnit. Yeah he did not buy that. Any ideas?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I finally took the complete ignore route. Everytime he mispoke, I just walked away from him. It worked much better than trying to correct and I did not want to discipline him for learning things so fast. He does not like me to walk away from him, so he changed his tune real fast. Thanks for all the help.

Featured Answers

A two-year-old does not know they are doing something wrong if you don't tell them. By ignoring it, it has become part of his vocabulary. You need to immediatly tell him it is a swear word and it is not nice to swear. I don't think he has done anything wrong; he didn't know he was swearing.

More Answers

I have 4 older kids who have an interesting choice of words sometimes( they're teenagers) and then I have three younger ones, 5,3 and 8 months. Needless to say this leeds to the same problem in the smaller ones, my 5 year old no longer uses the words and my 3 year old (who talks like a 30 year old)is starting to use them. The easiest way to break the habit isn't soap in the mouth, remember these are just words not the end of the world, when your son uses them just let him know that the words don't make him look like the handsome young man he is, and his ".... Favorite superhero or cartoon" would never use words that can be that hurtful, Be patient most importanatly and in time his chioce of vaocabulary will become non exsisten. Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Okay- haven't had to deal with this yet, but here's an idea: what if you told your clever little boy that damnit meant something else- something undesireable like "no dessert please" or something of that sort. Or, come up with something silly to reprogram him with- for example, our niece likes to say the word "butters" because it has the word "butt" in it, but she doesn't get in trouble for saying "butters"- so she feels like she is getting away with something- but it's not really a swear word. good luck!

Hi K.!
Here's an off the wall idea...My grand-daughter did the exact same thing at age three. Nothing seemed to work. So, Granny (that would be me) came up with a new solution: I started her day with a bowl of M&M's. I showed them to her and said, "See these M&M's?? Well, if you don't say 'damn it' all day long, you can have these after supper tonight. Every time you say 'damn it' I'm taking some out. Let's see how many you keep today." The first day, everytime she said, damn it, I took some out. Needless to say, she recieved no M&M's that day. The second day, I did it again. She only said it once. The third day, nothing. She didn't say it at all. Ok, I know bribing isn't real cool, but I'm a granny and I say, if it works, use it! (within reason) LOL!!! So that's how I solved it. Just another wacky idea from a lovin' Granny!!

Just Me!

Hi K.!

My now 14 year old son went through that phase, at about the same age, using that exact word. I spoke to my pediatrician about it because it was getting out of hand. Since it had gone on for a few weeks, and my son knew by then that he was saying a bad word, he suggested starting with time out each and every time he said it. To my exhaustion, that did not work, alone. However, when my son would say it, we would immediately stop whatever we were doing, pick up all his toys or quit whatever he was playing, put everything away, turn off any T.V.'s or radios and he would stand facing a blank wall for two minutes. My son was a very "spirited" child therefore the quiet, non-stimulating space was very boring for him. I did this for another two days each and every time he said that word and by the third day he did not say it again. I did carry this over as best I could when we were away from home. One time he said it at the grocery store, so I quietly took him out of the cart, we moved to the side of the isle and I had him stand facing the baked beans for two minutes. I could tell he was shocked that I followed through outside of our home but that made a huge impact and I honestly cannot remember having to do a time out with him in public after that episode.

I think the key is consistency. Stick with whatever counsequence you implement each and every time he says that word or anything else your child may do on a regular basis that you want them to stop doing. I am an in-home daycare provider and care for 12 children each day. I had one 5 year old come to daycare and say a naughty word. I explained that his language was inappropriate, I had him pick up all of his toys, come inside and stand at a blank wall for five minutes. He has not said that word again.

Stick with it and I can assure you, it will pass!

I know that you asked for advice about this subject back in April but when I read this I had to reply. My daughter went through this same thing with the wod bull****! It was strange because it wasn't a word that we used at home even in a fit of temper! It sounded so cute that the first few times she said it of course we laughed! Eventually, it became embarrassing as she was saying it all the time, no matter where we were. She would say it when her babysitter took her to the store, when we were at a restaraunt, everywhere! We tried scolding her, times outs etc, nothing worked. Then I just started giving her any new strange sounding word that I could think of. I found giving her spanish or french words that were hard to pronounce since she is very stubborn she had to master saying them and it took her mind off the other word. Hopefully this might work for you if nothing else will, Good luck!

Hello I had the same problem with mine. And well there was only one thing that stoped him. Trust me on this it worked like a charm. The next time he says it give him just a little bit of vinagar. I know it sounds harsh and nasty but it won't hurt him. It will take him one time and only one time to realize that if he says it he gets the vinagar. As soon as I did this with my son who was at that age and said that word I gave him the vinagar. He didn't like it and gaged. Then I told him that if he said it again he would get it again. After that he never said it anymore. It works like a charm.

I went through this, every time he says it mock him with "garbage" or what ever "bad word" you desire him to use. Oh and the other thing YOU have to say it too when you need to say an ugly word. My niece picked up - good gravy to replace a word with similar syllables she picked up. So since he says damn it you need a 2 syllable word to replace it. It helps if the grown ups around him use the desired "bad word". It takes a couple of days but that should be it. Good luck.

A two-year-old does not know they are doing something wrong if you don't tell them. By ignoring it, it has become part of his vocabulary. You need to immediatly tell him it is a swear word and it is not nice to swear. I don't think he has done anything wrong; he didn't know he was swearing.

Show him what a dam is and how it actually does dam thing sin give him an alternate meaning for the word.

I had the same thing happen with my son, only his word was s**t. I explained that while it was a word he could say, it was not neccessarily a word I wanted to hear. Our deal was that it became a bathroom/bedroom word--he could go into one of those rooms and say the word as much and as loud as he wanted, but when he came out, he was done and I didn't need to hear it anymore. One of our funniest experiences, but also the lack of an audience cured it in about a week.

I have two boys 7 and 6. The oldest has always picked up on bad words. Anything from swear words to just mean words like stupid. When he first started doing it I switched from saying the f word to saying freakin. So then he picked that up and it doesn't sound any better coming out of his mouth. Once I got my dirty mouth under control I started working on his. He gets a drop of hot sauce! Seems to be working. He stopped the bad words but now it is spitting! So now it is hot sauce once again.

He is much older than 2 1/2 though. At that age he said Jesus Christ but it was in church so I totally played it off. I also used the trick that mommy doesn't listen to potty mouths. If he wanted something I simple said, "Mommy doesn't listen to potty mouths." If he said sorry I would grant his wish or a few minutes later after no bad words and if he asked again I would grant the wish. The problem is that after awhile each thing stops working and you have to think of something new.

My daughter started doing the same thing around 2. My husband uses very bad language and would not stop so she was using all of the words he used. I don't swear so I set a good example for her by not doing it and explained to her they were dirty words that made people mad. I told her when you use dirty words your mouth has to be washed out with soap. Just a little soap each time in the mouth and I think it took about 2 days? She's pretty stubborn too. I even told her to tell anybody who swears not too so she tells dad all the time. She doesn't ever do it anymore even though my husband has refused to change. Just be consistent whatever you do.

why not treat it as naughty behavior and use the time place. or if you accidentally slip and say it when he can her, immediately say (something like) "oops, mommy said a naughty word, I am sorry."

We are pretty good at not saying those bad words but when it's occurred we've done this and our kids are 4 & 2 and seem to really understand that that's not something to say. They have never said it and I am within hearing distance most of the time. And I know that if Sam said it at preschool the teacher would let us know.

Well, don't we have a lot in common? Thank's to my 9 year old son, my 2 1/2 year old son learned the word 'butthole'. He said it allllllll the time. Ignoring didn't work, putting him in a time out when he said it didn't work, nothing worked. UNTIL! I started to put mustard in his mouth whenever he said it. He can not stand mustard, so this worked quite well. I have not heard him say that annoying word for a long time now. (knock on wood)

It's worth a try. If your son like's mustard try something else that he doesn't like the taste of. I know some people use tobasco, but I think that's just too cruel. Some other things you could try are vinnegar, lemon extract, horseradish...

Good luck!

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