12 answers

How Do You REALLY Stop a 3 Year Old Boy from Using Bad Words?

My 3 year old has picked up the naughty language of his older brother. We are nice, normal family and it is SO sad to hear and see my child talking this way. Please help with useful suggestions.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

The only way he will stop if he stops hearing bad words. Ignore him when he is using them now. I would make life very unpleasant for the older brother. He would be soooooooo grounded!!

1 mom found this helpful

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we use goofy silly words to replace the bad ones. examples

and make up some that make no sense at all in the sentence kids love working their mouths around strange words

ghastly (not sure why but they love that word)
noddle etc....

2 moms found this helpful

Wow no one said SOAP! I'm gonna wash your mouth out if you say that word again. That is a dirty word and to get it out of your mouth I need to wash your mouth with SOAP! I did it one time to my son and nephew. They were 3 and 4 at the time and were outside saying ____@____.com% over and over. I heard them and did the threat first then it kept happening. I took them to the bathroom got a bar of soap, lathered up my hand and had them open their mouths. They each got a swipe of suds. THEY NEVER SAID THAT WORD AGAIN!! And the rest of the kids didn't either after seeing I was serious.

1 mom found this helpful

I've found the best way (when they are three) is to pretend they got the word wrong and change it to a non-naughty word.

So if the kid says "damn" they you say "you mean 'darn.'" If they say "what the hell?" You say "you mean what the heck."

Don't act all shocked and DON'T LAUGH! Just nonchalantly let them know they got the word wrong. Also, don't tell them "we don't say ____" because that makes the word taboo and then they want to use it more or for shock value. At a very young age it's best to just pretend the word doesn't exist!

1 mom found this helpful

I really don't have much to add other than I love the way you say you're a "nice, normal family."

I'm the head of a nice, normal family and I swear as does my husband. As far as the kids swearing...they don't. Why? Because we tell them we're adults and when they reach certain ages, then they can certain words if they so choose. (For example, when they reach 15 they can s**t...things like that.)

If it's a big deal for you, then ignore it, or give him a substitute. I'm sure the reason he's still doing it is because you're making a big deal about it.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter went through this phase at 3! We had just returned from a vacation where a lot of colorful words were being said on the beach or in restaurants. I must have cringed every time someone said it around me, because my daughter definitely picked it up!

After we returned home, she started saying the "F" word constantly--but only around me! At first, I ignored it, but then I had to make sure she knew what she was saying, so I asked her to tell me what the word meant. She thought about it and said, "Mama Mia!" (her preschool teacher used to say that if she dropped something). I told her that was correct, but that Mama Mia was a nicer way to say it, so that's what she should use. She didn't. She continued to say the F-word. Luckily, it was only around me in the house. She never said it in public. So I continued to ignore it. This lasted 2 weeks, then she stopped. She's now 6, and I haven't heard it since.

Ignore and hang in there!

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1 mom found this helpful

I have a friend who uses what she calls "tounge spankings" lol! If her kids say something they know they aren't supposed to she will put a dab of somthing the hate on thier tounge. I think she uses mustard with her 3yo and i think has upgraded to a tad of hot sauce with her 6yo. It works for her since it is something the kids do not like at all and then they have to taste it. Its not like she makes them eat it or anything just a little on the tounge does the trick for her. Dont know if that would work for your little one but thought id throw the idea out there. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

The only way he will stop if he stops hearing bad words. Ignore him when he is using them now. I would make life very unpleasant for the older brother. He would be soooooooo grounded!!

1 mom found this helpful

Everyone is going to deal with it differently... I already know one mom said to not say "we don't say/use that word" BUT that is what I tell my 3 year old and it is working. If something is taboo in your family then it is fine to let the kid know that we do not use it. I as a parents sometimes slip and my daughter goes naught mommy, she is right, so I say "mommy should not have said that, thank you for bringing it to my attention." This helps because it is not just me telling her no, I get told no too so she understands we do not use bad words. I also do the "you mean darn" and so on but she has pretty much let go of all of those bad words (for now) but for me that is just replacing the swear and meaning the same thing so I try to not do that.

We only have one so no older sibling but I was the oldest and when I would say a bad word my parents said "if we here that word come out of your mouth again you are grounded" after a few grounds my parents said "if you swear again we are bring out the soap." Well of course I swore again and out came that soap (never swear as a child again, this I was 10 when they pulled out the soap thing).

Hope you find something that works for your family.

1 mom found this helpful

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