Expert Parent Advice

10 Tips to Curb Potty Talk & Swearing

Butt face, poopie head, or worse!  We all know potty talk and experimenting with forbidden words is a normal part of a child’s development, but when it happens in public or at grandma’s house, it’s unnerving and embarrassing!

I’m Amy McCready with Positive Parenting Solutions, and I’m proud to partner with Kids ‘R’ Kids for the Expert Parenting Advice Series.  Today, I’ll share 10 tips to pull the plug on potty talk and cursing at your house.

1.     Don’t over-react!  This is challenging because we’re usually caught off-guard. However, the more attention and power you give to those words, the more likely you’ll hear them again!  If potty talk and cursing gets a big rise out of you, kids will continue doing it to engage you in a power struggle.

2.     Set boundaries. Be very clear about what words are okay and not okay in your family.  Let them know, “You may hear other kids say that word, but it’s not okay in our family.”

3.     Take Time for Training – Teach your kids the appropriate names for body parts, and use them conversationally to remove the excitement of using those words.

4.     Monitor TV, video, music lyrics, and Internet use. Much of the TV programming marketed for children is filled with potty talk and sassy language that may not be okay in your house.  Watch TV programs with your kids. If you’re not comfortable with what you see and hear, have a candid conversation with your kids. Better yet, make that show off-limits in your house.  For older kids, set strict limits for TV and media time and monitor online activity.

5.     Decide what YOU will do. You can’t “make” a child stop using potty talk or cursing. (You may try, but you really can’t.) Instead, decide what YOU will do when you hear inappropriate language. For instance, let your child know when you hear potty talk, cursing, or disrespectful language, you will turn around and walk away without saying a word. Walking away without making eye contact or giving verbal feedback, removes the “payoff” (the attention and power) for the behavior. It’s not letting him “get away” with it; it’s saying, “I deserve to be treated with respect, and I choose not to listen to potty talk or swearing.” Our actions speak much louder than our ongoing lectures.

For the rest of the tips, including consequences for potty talk and swearing, check out the interactive that goes along with this video.

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I’m Amy McCready for Kids R Kids, and I’ll see you next time.