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How do you teach your kids not to say rude things?

My son has said it all, if you can think of something rude he has said it. Not knowingly trying to hurt someone, he just has no filter. He is now 4 but every example I can think of happened while he was 3. We were in McDonalds one day and a lady who lives near us (she is a large lady) came in with her son and my son made the comment of "why is that boys mommy so big?" Another time, a lady got into our building elevator, she had just had a baby (about a month before) and he asked her if she had a baby in her belly. And then he told a little Japanese boy who was talking to his parents (we live in Japan) in Japanese to speak English. And finally, we don't talk about race and one of my husbands best friends is African American and my son was talking about him one day, in front of the friend and called him, "that brown guy." Ugh...we are not racist or anything! I just don't know how to teach him what not to say!!

Answer Question

Asked by ILoveCade at 8:07 AM on Nov. 12, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 20 (9,476 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • You have to correct him when he says those things and explain why, as many times as necessary, he will get the picture soon enough.

    Answer by older at 8:12 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Most people understand when a child says these things. They are simply asking questions and it takes time for them to understand what is, and is not, said out loud. Just stay calm and help him through these situations and then you can explain to him privately why some things are not said out loud.

    Answer by elizabr at 8:22 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • The brown guy kinda made me laugh sorry. My neighbors are mixed and the little girl will tell you that she's not black she's brown lol. Kids say all kinds of things we just have to be there to let them know what ok and whats not. He will get it sooner or later.

    Answer by mom23ks at 8:33 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Well we were watching one of the games shows there was a black man and my daughter said, is he brown because he ate a lot of chocolate. So my reply was god makes each of us special. She has never asked about god but when I say that to her she says ok mommy. We have also seen people in Wal-Mart and such that have no arms or legs and she looks at me and said god makes us special. My daughter is 3.

    Answer by sta517 at 8:44 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Everything he has said is actually not very rude at all. In our eyes it is because as adults we KNOw that it is unacceptable to say these things. He has to be taught that those are not okay and that they can hurt people feelings. :)

    I always tell my daughter that I will answer her question later, but we do not say those types of things in front of people because it will hurt their feelings. I let her know she is free to ask me anything she needs to in private and I will provide her with an answer. If she says something intentionally rude I tell her those are ugly words and beauitful little girls like her should not say such ugly words because it will make her ugly as well. People do not like ugly actions and words.

    Speaking to her maturely (she is 5 and I've always talked to her like that) always works for me. :)

    You don't have to baby them, just tell them the truth in a way they can understand. :)

    Answer by Memigen at 9:21 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • **When I say to her that it will make her ugly I stress that her actions will make people perceive her as ugly... not that it will mutilate her or anything... lol... just re-read that and thought I should clarify! :)

    And sorry for any typos!

    Answer by Memigen at 9:23 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • I am a teacher and if you know little kids - you know they just dont know to filter that - they dont even know they are hurting our feelings. you just have to tell him why it would hurt their feelings and dont get mad... once my ds (age 3 at the time) hugged my uncle who is balding.. and he said to him - "why your hair like that - so bad?!? " but the kid had never seen a balding head up close before... we talked about it and he hasnt said the same thing again. you cannot blame them - they are honestly so innocent they dont know why it is wrong... and it our job just to explain it --- now if you know he understands that calling someone fat is mean to them and still does it - i would punish him... but be sure he understand WHY it is mean first.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 9:33 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Well the questions he asked were to him honest questions he wanted answered and he probably didn't realize they or he were rude, and just wanted an answer. My Gr-son asked about the brown people in a Hosp 1 day and I was actually glad he said brown, but no one was around. Anyway, you can explain to him you realize he has questions about people when your out, but ask him if he'd like to have people asking question about him that may hurt his feels? Then explain he needs to do it so others can't hear him. He's curious and wants to know but needs to know how to not hurt others as he asks.

    Answer by MyAngel003 at 9:38 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • Regular and gentle correction.

    Answer by Pnukey at 11:33 AM on Nov. 12, 2010

  • You just have to talk to them about this. As others have said its not their fault at 3.

    Answer by Iamasinglemom99 at 7:30 PM on Nov. 13, 2010

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