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How do you discipline your child when they curse?

My 3 and half year old has been saying motherf*cker lately. Time outs weren't effective so last time he said it I gave him 1/2 a tsp of vinegar. It seemed to do the trick. A friend of mine seemed to think it was an "unorthodox and mean" punishment. It's not like I put soap in his mouth.

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Asked by Anonymous at 7:08 PM on Feb. 28, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (12)
  • luckily you're at least using a food BUT it's acid and can cause an upset tummy anyways.

    I pop mine in the mouth though. not hard, just enough to get their attention.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:10 PM on Feb. 28, 2010

  • I agree that was awful, where do you think he learned it?? You most likely, so clean up your language and anybody elses around you, then you explain to him that those are not nice words and he should never use them, that nobody should use them but they are bad and do. He is too young for that kind of punishment for mimicing adult behavior.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 7:10 PM on Feb. 28, 2010

  • you should punish whomever is saying that in front of your child first.

    Answer by Christina2135 at 7:16 PM on Feb. 28, 2010

  • All you should do is say that's not a nice word.

    I agree with punishing whoever is saying that around your child.

    Answer by Gailll at 7:20 PM on Feb. 28, 2010

  • The vinegar is to much and dangerous. It can cause serious stomach problems. Before you tried timeouts did you talk to him first, explain that it was bad language. If after a god talk he keeps saying it then start taking away his favorite toys or things to do. My kids love there psp so they are the first thing to go when they aren't listening.

    Answer by bugandsmiles at 7:26 PM on Feb. 28, 2010

  • yeah vinegar is a dangerous mommy. My son came home and said f**k.. Now to say "punish whoever is saying it" isnt exactly the answer that case. I would need to talk to the parents of the child who said it and then hope THEY change thier language.

    In my sons case when he said it I took him to the park and made him run laps. When he was done I told him as winded as he feels is exactly how it feels for mommys to hear thier babies say awful words like that.

    He hasnt said anything like that since.

    Answer by 4xsthetrouble at 10:22 PM on Feb. 28, 2010

  • DH and I do not cuss and we do not allow anyone to cuss around DD, so luckily we have never had this happen. But if it would, I'd just ignore it. Your reaction is what makes it funny for them to where they want to continue saying it. And with my DD loving being the center of attention, she would run with it and it would be a nightmare.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:04 AM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • My three year old has yet to use profanity. I think I would fall over....from laughing initially. The "worst" thing he has said is STUPID and now he has become the stupid police. No one can say it in his presence without him telling them it is a bad word. When I worked with a lot of kids I would often get a teacher or someone who would get on this band wagon of telling on the kid for profanity and expect me to do something about it. What I told the kid behind closed doors: There is a time and place for swear words. School, church, the bus, and home - not the place or time to use them. You know that if you are at the lunch table, in the bathroom, or on the bus some kid is going to rat you out for the enjoyment of seeing you in trouble. So if you use words when it is not time/place you have a consequence. If you are hanging around friends in the neighborhood riding your bikes and you let one rip....well okay then. 


    Answer by frogdawg at 8:46 AM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • Just be careful who is around, a snitch lies in every corner. We spent a lot of time on appropriate time and place. As far as this "no one uses profanity around my kids" shit...and it is bullshit, almost ALL children (there were several studies done) world wide know and understand how to use profanity by the time they are in preschool. What was the bottom line: all cultures need "forbidden" words and all cultures have them. Face it, stubbing your toe and yelling "Oh Sugar!" isn't as satisfying as letting the F bomb go a few dozen yells while it stings. When stressed us humans reach for the real good forbidden words. It actually makes us feel better. I would stick to taking a favorite toy each time it "slips" and continue to teach/educate over and over like a broken record why he can't use it - right now.  Also a family swear jar....catching mom and dad is also fun.


    Answer by frogdawg at 8:52 AM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • My daughter and I have a different kind of parent-child relationship. I've never really strived to punish her, I give her options. One time she said "Holy Shit" so I sat her down and told her " We don't say holy shit in this family, but you can say holy moly" it worked for her. She seems to be more happy and content when she is given an option.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:17 PM on Mar. 1, 2010

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