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The bad language of a 3 yr old

(48 Posts)
ihatethecold Mon 19-Sep-11 12:14:57

In the car park of my local supermarkets , i could hear a child behind me on his scooter,
The mum/ carer askef if he was ok, he replied f**k off !!
I turned and looked at them both and the mum was smiling!!
Not a word was said re his swearing .
Im saddened and shocked by that seemingly normal conversation between them

MollyTheMole Mon 19-Sep-11 12:27:50

YABU when a kid swears the best thing to do is smile and ignore

You are also easily saddened and shocked

TryLikingClarity Mon 19-Sep-11 12:28:31

Is this an AIBU topic?

I too have heard the 3 year old DD of someone I know say, "Oh shit" when she's dropped something or split her food. I was like confused but the mum just laughed.

Basically, kids at that age don't know what is 'bad' or 'good' language, they just pick up what they hear around them and repeat it.

I do agree it's sad though.

spookshowangellovesit Mon 19-Sep-11 12:32:00

i really dont understand this ignore children that swear thing and they will stop. when my child has said a swear word i have informed them it is a bad word and they are not to say it and if they do it again they get punished end of. surely they are much more likely to stop if you tell them to?

squeakytoy Mon 19-Sep-11 12:32:02

when a kid swears the best thing to do is smile and ignore

And people wonder why there are so many foul mouthed children on the streets of this country. confused.

I swore at my mum once when I was about 4, (cant blame it on hearing swearing by my parents, as they never swore in front of me).. and I knew it was wrong, and I also knew that I would never do it again after the stinging slap I got on my backside....

MollyTheMole Mon 19-Sep-11 12:41:46

Squeaky - you did read that the kid is 3 didnt you? At that age its more than likely that kids repeat what they hear, if you make a big show of it they are more likely to repeat it again because it becomes a fun game

Unless you know the parent and child in the OP and can confirm that the kid does infact swear like a trooper all of the time?

MollyTheMole Mon 19-Sep-11 12:43:53

well actually now I think of it, how does OP know the kid is 3? [confusd]

MollyTheMole Mon 19-Sep-11 12:44:06

confused even

Moominsarescary Mon 19-Sep-11 12:45:32

One of mine said dog shit once. He was told it wasn't a nice word to use and he shouldn't say it, if they heard swearing whilst out or if someone accidentally let something slip in front of them I would tell them it wasn't a nice word and that they may hear adults using bad words but children shouldn't.

I don't see how ignoring it will make them stop

Moominsarescary Mon 19-Sep-11 12:47:21

He was just turned 3 when he said shit and perfectly capable of understanding it wasn't very nice when it was explained to him

squeakytoy Mon 19-Sep-11 12:49:13

Molly, OP doesnt say how old the child was.. but if the phrase was used in the right context, then I would say they had a pretty good idea of what they were saying..

And in my experience, if you make a big show of it, by showing it is not acceptable behaviour, the child then understands that it is not acceptable behaviour.. if that makes sense.

MollyTheMole Mon 19-Sep-11 12:52:24

actually I think it depends on the kid. My DS is a bit of a terror and I know if I pulled him up on a swear word he'd think it was a great laugh so when he does come out with "oh shit" or whatever I ignore and thats that.

When he can understand I'll obviously explain that its not nice to swear. I obviously wouldnt say its best to ignore it forever.

MollyTheMole Mon 19-Sep-11 12:52:54

Squeaky - see thread title for the age

ihatethecold Mon 19-Sep-11 12:53:01

I cant be sure the child was 3 ,
But after having 3 of my own kids . I would presume he was about 3!

Surely if you smile when a child swears then the child will think its ok and carry on sad

squeakytoy Mon 19-Sep-11 12:54:24

oops.. sorry Molly.. I managed to miss that bit... I scrolled back to the posts and saw 3yo mentioned by the second poster... blush

Yes though, as you say, how does the OP know the age of the child...

Marymaryalittlecontrary Mon 19-Sep-11 12:55:15

She might have been embarrassed and was trying to laugh it off in public while cringing inside.

My SIL once told her 3 year old to say happy birthday to a classmate before they all went home from nursery. In front of all the other children and parents he shouted out "happy fucking birthday!" My SIL was mortified but I think she tried to laugh it off in front of everyone (not what I would do - I would have marched him straight home without another word and then sternly told him to never say that again, but then I'm horrible like that!)

squeakytoy Mon 19-Sep-11 12:56:05

I do agree with you OP, even if a child had some sort of speech disability, bad language should not be ignored, as ignoring something to a child is the same as accepting or allowing it. How does a child learn that they are doing something wrong unless they are told...

ihatethecold Mon 19-Sep-11 12:56:18

Does it make any difference if he was 4 ?
Because he definately wasnt 2!

MollyTheMole Mon 19-Sep-11 12:58:53

I dont agree that if the phrase is used in the right context they automatically understand what they are saying.

eg. I forgot myself and said screamed "arrrgh for fucks sake" when I dropped a cup on my toes (oh the pain). Maybe a few days later DS dropped his juice and said "fuffs sake" exactly copying my tone of voice. I am certain he had no idea what he actually said as he must have had a million other opportunities to use that phrase before he dropped his juice, but he connected me dropping the cup with him dropping his juice and just repeated something he had heard in that situation. I ignored, he hasnt said it since even though he has, unfortunately, dropped his juice a thousand times on my new carpet <sigh>

worraliberty Mon 19-Sep-11 13:08:51

Mine were always told off the first time and punished the second time (if indeed there was a second time)

I don't understand why anyone would smile and ignore a swearing child.

Actually, I feel very sorry for any child whose parents smile and ignore them cursing like that because you can bet your life the teacher certainly won't when they start Nursery/School.

heleninahandcart Mon 19-Sep-11 13:12:31

Why are you saddened and shocked? You don't know the background, you don't know if that is her way of dealing with it ie to ignore it rather than give in to attention.

If it was the mother that said fuck off, then yes it would be a concern.

YABU to put this on AIBU

SwingingBetty Mon 19-Sep-11 13:15:24

lol at ignoring it, yeah thats a great way of addressing the issue, hide your head in the sand

he needed telling off severely the first time he did it, the next time he did it, wash his mouth out with soap. But he has learned that at home, where else would a child that age learn behaviour, no wonder the mother didnt bat an eyelid

ihatethecold Mon 19-Sep-11 13:15:30

How can anyone not be saddened by hearing a young child swear?

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 19-Sep-11 13:15:52

At that age mine have tried out a couple of instances of bad/inappropriate language. I've ignored the first once or twice and almost always they haven't said it again because they were just repeating something they'd heard recently and if it wasn't reinforced it passed out of their vocabulary as quickly as it entered it. If it happens several times then I've had a chat and redirected without making it seem like a big attention-getting deal (for example DS went through a phase of "bloody" and I went for "that's a bit silly, DS, it's not covered in blood, is it? Much better to say 'silly' or 'annoying' if that's what you mean", and he stopped doing it).

It's actually now that he's pushing 7 that I think there's more of a need to crack down on bad language first time.

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 19-Sep-11 13:20:11

My word, yes, ignoring it has been a terrible idea. How could I ever have imagined that, just because my children don't swear now, it is an indication that my strategy of ignoring the very few occasions that they did it when younger had been successful? Clearly if I'd told them off severely and washed their mouths out with soap they would swear far less than... um... not at all... hang on, there's something wrong with that argument somewhere, just give me a moment...

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