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10 Steps to Keep Your Kids from Cursing

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My 7-year-old had quite a question for me the other day. “Mom,” he said, “is B**** a bad word?” Turns out he had experienced plenty of kids cursing at school. But in particular, he had heard the “B word” from a 9-year-old friend.

If your kids haven’t already heard bad words at school, on TV—or at home—they will. So be proactive with these 10 steps to keep your kids from cursing.

1. Be Realistic

On the bus. In the halls. In class. On notes. Kids curse. No need to hide your head in the sand and think your child is immune to these words. They hear them. Your job is to acknowledge this and help your child filter them out.

2. Set Clear Rules

Make it clear that certain words will not be tolerated. Define the words you consider cursing. State your expectation that they will not be used. If they are, make sure there is a consequence.

3. Set the Example

Monkey see, monkey do. They are listening to you always. If you curse in front of your kids, they are going to repeat it eventually. Set the example for your entire family and remove those words from your vocabulary.

4. Higher Standard

Some people view cursing as a lack of intelligence. That is debatable. However, the English language provides ample choices as replacements. Cursing usually occurs in moments of anger or in vivid descriptions. Set a higher standard by learning new and proper words to describe your feelings.

5. The Cuss Jar

A family favorite. Anyone caught using the words defined in your home as cursing shall pay a fine. Dad may be the biggest contributor. This will help you clean up your act. Take the money you collect every few months and donate it to a ministry.

6. Choice of Friends

Who is your child hanging out with? Do you know them well? Cursing is a possible indicator of even worse behavior. Teach your child to choose friends that hold their same values and lexicon. Peer pressure is powerful.

7. Give Respect

If you curse at your child, it hurts him. The same goes for the reverse. Your child cursing at you will absolutely make you feel horrible. Sit down and discuss the need to always respect each other. Good times and bad. Verbal abuse is not respect.

8. Avoid the Distraction

Kids are smart. For example, you come to your son about a bad test grade. He uses a profane adjective in describing his feelings towards that subject. Suddenly you are in a discussion about the word and not the test. Smart. Do not be distracted by the masking of the real issue. Stay on course and come back to the word used afterward. Make sure he knows he just made it worse.

9. Use the Gadgets

If the problem is persistent with your child, it’s time to use the gadgets. What gadgets? The iPod, the iPad, the iPhone, the X-Box. Those gadgets! Life revolves around those things now. Taking one away for even a small time gets their attention quickly.

10. The Tongue is Set on Fire

Scripture teaches us that our tongue is set on fire with hurtful and obscene words. One of the best ways to quench that fire is to instead focus on using the tongue to build up and encourage others. Practice praise and your children will follow.

Tell us! Have you had trouble with your kids cursing? What did you tell them?

ASK YOUR CHILD...

Why do you think words are so important?

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