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How can I get my child to stop swearing?

Young children often don’t know the meaning of curse words but use them because they’ve heard them someplace else. They also take great interest in your reaction. But as a parent, you can help your child break the habit. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you:

  • Ban swearing in your house (you, too!). If your child’s outbursts are said in anger and are directed at someone, send your child to his or her room for a timeout.
  • Avoid overreacting with your own cursing or anger. Don’t wash your child’s mouth out with soap.
  • Ignore it if you think your child is just doing it to get a reaction.
  • Try incentives. Start a nickel jar and place two coins in the jar every day your child doesn’t swear. Remove nickels when he or she slips up. At the end of the week, your child can spend what’s in the jar. He or she will learn fast that having a clean mouth is the right—and profitable—thing to do.