Help! My Son Has a Potty Mouth

My son has three favorite words right now: poopy, stupid, and dummit (and, as I’m sure you can guess, the last one is his version of d*mnit, oops!)

He calls his sister, me and my husband, even his friends these words, basically repeating them over and over throughout the day, usually when he’s frustrated or upset about something.

But he also says them sometimes when he’s trying to be funny, or, I also think, to get a reaction out of me or my husband. And we have absolutely no idea what to do about it.

We don’t know how to curb the habit he has developed of saying these words. I really don’t like hearing them coming out of my son’s mouth, and I feel bad when he’s playing with other little kids, who may not even have these words in their vocabulary yet. He is definitely making sure by the time were done playing, all the kids around him are well acquainted with these words.

Honestly, to me, it’s embarrassing when your kid uses bad language, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Especially because I rarely use that kind of language myself (except for an obvious slip at some point in front of my son!) In fact, the more we try to stop him from using those words, the more he seems to say them.

So far, we have tried putting soap in his mouth, but I really didn’t feel okay about that, and it didn’t seem to make a difference. I’ve also tried using vinegar, dipping my finger in it, and then putting it in his mouth. He really doesn’t like that, but again, it doesn’t seem to have any impact on lessening his use of the words.

Sometimes I just ignore it, because I know there are times that he’s just trying to get a reaction out of me. But then, his sister tattles on him and proceeds to say the offending word over and over and she’s telling me what her brother said.

So lately, I’ve been saying, and telling my daughter to say, to him, “We don’t say that word in our family.” So that we are not actually repeating the offending word itself.

And, I’ve also been trying to give him other words to use, and ways to express himself. We’ve talked about instead calling his sister stupid when he gets mad at her, he can say, “That makes me mad!” And he can even growl or make some kind of noise to express his anger if he wants. But that seems like a little too much for a two year old to process in the moment, and stupid is still his default.

So, what do we do?  Do you have a solution or suggestion that worked for you in curbing undesirable language in your toddler?

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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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