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how do you handle swearing from a 3 year old?

my daughter recently picked up some LOVELY words from her dad (we aren't together)... i've tried sending her to time out but i think it sends the wrong message since it's "ok" for her dad to say it she thinks she can. i've asked him to watch his language around her but he still slips up and i know he watches movies around her that swear. any suggestions of what i can say or do?


Asked by Ambreelulu at 12:03 PM on Oct. 7, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • My two year old picked up "Kick your ass" recently. I do not swear at home and neither does The Hubbs because as mothers thats all we need is for them to shout it out loud at the local grocery store right? We are thinking she picked up from another relative....I basically tell her to not say it because it's a bad word. But multiple times while Im explaining why she can't say it. WHo knows if the message is really sinking in? I can't offer the best advice. Trying to explain things to a toddler can be difficult. Lots of Luck Momma!

    Answer by cherrygirl87 at 12:08 PM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • You tell them that's not acceptable and that you will not listen to it, then you completely ignore it. Give them NO REACTION whatsoever, pretend you don't even hear/see them when they try using it. They get bored real quick when they get no reaction.

    Answer by AnitaVersion2.0 at 12:18 PM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • I tell my little one that those are not nice words to say. Especially for good girls to say. And that if she wants to be a good girl she shouldn't say them. I tell her that those are grownup words, and grownups shouldn't really say them either. I have said too, "I know mommy sometimes says bad words by accident and I am sorry. That is bad of mommy." She is 3 but seems to understand, and has gotten way better. She now tells me if I slip up "Say, aww nuts, momma" :)

    Answer by evilabbysmom at 1:30 PM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • Kids can understand that there are some things that adults are allowed to make their own bad choices about, but kids are not allowed to do. I've also avoided labelling swearing "bad" because many people that we know that are good people swear, but I let them know that some words (and which words) bother some people, and until they are old enough to know when and where it's acceptable to use them, they aren't allowed to at all.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 2:29 PM on Oct. 7, 2008