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?

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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

My almost 4 year old has also picked up some "potty" words from preschool. Not bad words, but poop and dumb, which the school does not like. Every time I hear it, I let him know that we don't use those kinds of words and suggest a different word for him to use(these words don't really bother me as much as the school :). You will have to be really consistant and have a talk with the older son as well, because as we all know, if one isn't going to stop, the other probably won't either. My son is definitely old enough to know "good" words from "bad" words for the most part, so starting to correct it right when it starts is the best way to go and again, you have to be consistent.

1 mom found this helpful

I'd get his focus away from those words as fast as possible. Either use nonsense words like "okay, but PLEASE DON"T say fudge!" and of course he will jump to say that. Then have playful gasping and say 'well PLEASE DON'T say ohw!" and so on. You could also switch to a whole different group of words like "PLEASE DON'T say lovey-wuvey!" and playfully daring him not to do it will be like bees to honey. He will, of course, and then be so proud of himself -- forgetting about the bad words in the process.

Getting him off track of the bad words and forgotten has been my best tool.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm in a similar situtation except my 3 year old picked up the word "Stupid" from Charlie Brown. My 4 1/2 year doesn't even say it, but my sweet stubborn 3 year old will look me in the eyes and yell it out when he's mad. I just don't know how to get through to him. I've tried a lot of the suggestions...telling him we don't use that word, completely ignoringing it, making up a silly word instead...nothing seems to work. I'm hoping it's a phase and and one day it will just stop, but he's got that personality that I have a feeling it may only get worse!!! I wish I could offer some help suggestions...just wanted you to know you're not alone! :)

Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

There are so many solutions for this problem and it all depends on tour childs tempermrnent. My youngest who is 5 by not in school yet until the end of this summer dropped a HUGE one on me. I was complaining about something stupin and he non chalantely looked at ne and said EXACTLY this "zwhat the f*** is your poblem". I fell off my chair!!! We are a middle class respectable family we don't live "inthe hood" or anything. I corrected him immediately with as my kis call it "the mad face" and said that we do NOT say that word EVER! That is all it takes with my kids. But I statted the ad face and stem comment when they werevery littlte. The trick is not to use it unless yo absolutely have to. No with my teens is they want to lip off a bit of foamed up ivory soap on their toothbrushes like my parents did to me, works evry time. ;)~

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