News Karnataka
Tuesday, September 27 2022
Know Your Child

Why children use bad words and how parents can respond to it?

know your child
Photo Credit : Pixabay

Many parents have witnessed embarrassment at one point in time, when their children use bad/mean words to others or to them. They seem to have fun while using those words, but it questions a child’s moral values.

This is more common in preschoolers, when they get in touch with new group of friends when they get to hear many new words and thus start experimenting with it. While using these words they may not know that it is a bad word, instead it can be considered as inappropriate words which are used in inappropriate times.

The private body parts (penis, breast), bathroom words (poop, potty, pee) religiously significant words (God, hell) sexually charged words and some other comments (You are fatty, You have grey hair which I don’t like) would be considered as inappropriate words. For instance poop is not a bad word, but when used as nickname or being called by that name would be inappropriate. There is also chance of embarrassment parents’ face, when children pass direct comments at inappropriate situations. For instance when a child listens to a long lecture in a function and if someone asks how was it, the child would say It was boring. Despite being honest, here situation is inappropriate to use the language.

So, why do children use bad words?

There are many reasons behind this. The foremost reason is to get attention from parents, and also they model these behaviours. Children use these languages when there is lack of sense of respecting other’s feelings.

Here below few examples of how children use mean/bad words and how parents can respond to it.

When children say “I see your butt ” and giggles

How parents can respond : I can see your hand, feet, arms and I can giggle too. This is how you are normalising the usage of these body parts. In extreme cases when children point out others private parts, it is important to make them sensitise about how others would feel and tell try not repeat would be helpful.

When children say “You are bald, so I don’t like you” to an oldman

How parents can respond: People come in different size and shape, just like our all fingers are unique and different. Making fun of physical appearance is considered as normal until they are unaware about it. But once they know, they stop.

So, when children use mean words, try to figure it out how are they getting it and try to stop them using those words, without putting pressure on them. Also learning a new language is fun, but in an acceptable manner.

Image by Bessi

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Ramya E.

The author is a counselor and lifeskills trainer who has trained over 2000 students. She holds an M.Sc. in Psychology.

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