27 answers

Help! What to Do About a Potty Mouth.

My 4 year old has started name calling, now her 2 year old brother has caught on and they both joyfully go at it back and forth all day long. I've talked to them about not using those words, I've threatened them with no toys/show/dessert, I've given them time outs. Nothing seems to work to get them to stop name calling. Granted they haven't a clue as to what they are saying...all they know is that it gets a reaction and they think its funny. The 4 year old can understand but chooses not to and the 2 year old joins along for the ride. We don't name call at home, so I'm guessing its something my daughter picked up at preschool. I'm ready to approach the teacher but frankly, if I can't control it within my household, how can I expect the teacher to control it when the children are away from her hearing range.

I guess I need some advice from you ladies as to best handle the situation...

For the record, the name calling is anything with the word "head" (ie poopoohead etc...)

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Wonder Time magazine just did an article about this. As they explained that “potty talk” is a normal part of development for kids in the 3-5 years range. It also talks about how kids that age really don’t have the mental faculties to edit their speech. Any way here’s a link to the online article. http://wondertime.go.com/parent-to-parent/article/potty-t... Give it a read.

2 moms found this helpful

When my daughter was using unacceptable words or tone, I washed her mouth out with soap. I NEVER thought I would do that, but nothing else seemed to work. I explained if her mouth was going to be used for such "dirty" words (or tone), then it needed to be cleaned out. IT WORKED! Now, if she has a relapse, I just have to mention using soap and she quickly readjusts her attitude.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I used to have to stand in the corner with soap in my mouth when I was a kid. I do agree you've got to do something to stop the bad language, because where do you draw the line with name-calling?

I made the mistake of thinking it was "cute" when my older daughter did it. Well, then she said something to one of her friends at school that hurt the little girl's feelings. My daughter's defense was, "I didn't mean it!" I realized that by allowing her to do "funny" name calling at home, I had given her permission to do the same at school, but not everyone thought it was funny to be called a panty-head. And really, if it's ok when they're little, then is it still ok when they are older and it just becomes passive aggressive? I hate when people say something mean and then say, "just kidding!" - they're the same people who were allowed to name-call when they were little, I promise you!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi P.,
My mom used to use soap. She would take a bar of Ivory and scrape it along our bottom teeth and make us sit for 2-5 mins. I started to develop a taste for soap so as I got older she would make me stick my tongue out and sprinkle red pepper on it then make me wait 1-5 mins until I could rinse with water, then milk. I have to tell you that it worked! I would definitely talk to the teacher about it, maybe have her talk to the whole class about how bad it is to name call. While you kids may be doing it for fun, other children may not think it's fun but hurtful and the sooner your daughter realizes name calling can be mean and hurt others feelings the better.
Good luck!
L.
PS Remember that poopoohead is just another word for shithead!

2 moms found this helpful

Wonder Time magazine just did an article about this. As they explained that “potty talk” is a normal part of development for kids in the 3-5 years range. It also talks about how kids that age really don’t have the mental faculties to edit their speech. Any way here’s a link to the online article. http://wondertime.go.com/parent-to-parent/article/potty-t... Give it a read.

2 moms found this helpful

Just had to respond after reading some of the other posts... Of course potty talk is developmentally normal, but at our house, we don't allow name-calling, even in fun like this because someone's feelings will get hurt eventually. It's a standard we've set. So if other methods fail (ignoring, playing it down, even time-outs, which it sounds like you've been trying), if the behavior persists and you want to stop it, then take action. Even if you don't like the "bad taste" idea, do *something*.
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I agree with the bad-taste-on-the-tongue technique. I've called it a "tongue spanking" with my kids and used a tiny bit of horseradish. But whatever consequence you use, make sure it's something that means a lot to your children, and that you are willing to follow through with it. (I notice that you said you "threatened them with no toys/show/dessert." I hope you mean that you actually took those away, and not that you only threatened to. :) And also, if that didn't work, then it wasn't meaningful enough to them.)

Whether you use horseradish/tabasco/etc. or something else, how to start would be to make certain that your children understand what's expected and what the consequence is. Set them down one morning and tell them exactly what they are saying that is unacceptable and why. Then tell them that if they say it again, what the consquence will be and why you have to give it (because you love them too much to let them turn into rude/spoiled/mean... children). And tell them that you aren't going to give anymore warnings about it, because this is their big warning. Then stick with it and follow through with the plan! You will definitely have to give out the consequence, but hopefully only a few times before they give up the behavior. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

this is going to sound crazy but it works. tabasco sauce on the tounge. it's just food and it stings for a minute..i have seen this work with kids that bite too.

1 mom found this helpful

I have read a wonderful book "Creative Corrections" by Lisa Whelchel and it has many different ideas on things like this. I don't agree with all that she has to say, but there is some wonderful material in there. I would definitly not just ignore it. Your 4 year old is old enough to know that she should stop. And if she doesn't there will be a consequance. I think one of the biggest problem is that we as parents igore way too much and let things slide, assuming that it will get better. To a degree it will. But it is imparitive that we teach our children the effect words can have. I have two school age children, and 3 year old twins, all girls. I cannot believe the words that I will hear around the school campus. It doesn't just happen overnight. Also, Emma, one of my twins was brought to tears one day because someone called her a poopy-head. She had no idea what this word meant, but just the tone and situation that it was used in was enough to hurt her. I have never tried soap or anything like that. What I do when one of my kids is disrespetful is get right down to their level, look them in the eye and firmly tell them what they did was unacceptable and because of their bad decision their consequance will be a time out. The key to this is being and staying consistant, which is by far the hardest part of parenting for me. Well I hope that someones posts will be able to help you and you are doing a wonderful as a mother to ask for help.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you have gotten plenty of good responses. I did try the soap thing once with my kids but they ended up liking the taste. Later on I bought the regular strength nasty tasting listerine and did that a few times and didn't have to do that again.

Like all the moms say you have to be consistent with what words are acceptable and what words are not. The other thing is to model that behavior. Its easier to tell kids what not to do and then go ahead and follow your own advice. Make sure that you do not use any kind of word that they may interpret as bad infront of them or while talking to other adults or the one getting your mouthwashed will be you.

1 mom found this helpful

P.,
oh yes. The potty talk. Totally developmentally normal yet, completely frustrating. Do your best to ignore it. I guarantee that the kids say it at school - so talk to the teacher. Find out how they respond and you can use the same language.
Kids silly talk. My 5 yr old boy has come through the silly talk phase recently. We heard variations of head,poop,toilet,eyeballs on a daily basis. this too will pass. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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