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To think saying your kid learned swear words at school is a cop out?

(68 Posts)
twinklestar2 Mon 08-Jul-13 15:42:52

Long story short: my sister was babysitting our nephew the other day. She said for an hour he was pretending he had a machine gun and was shooting at her and her children saying 'I'm gonna fucking kill you you motherfucking bastards'.

He's 5.

The parents and grandmother came in and didn't tell him off when we told them what he'd said, they said to ignore him when he says things like that.

Is that right, should we?

Then I heard them saying in the kitchen that he must've picked up those words from school, but do 5 year olds really talk that?

twinklestar2 Mon 08-Jul-13 16:25:00

Marmalade - I'm wondering which method is best: to tell him off or to ignore.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Mon 08-Jul-13 16:27:43

That's ok MmeLindor it had to happen at some point best it happens now whilst I'm sitting down

greenbananas Mon 08-Jul-13 16:31:52

My DS has learned a few choice words at preschool. He is only 4 years old, so sometimes I have chosen to more-or-less ignore him repeating them at home. This is because I don't want him to attach undue importance to these words.

I try not to make a big deal of it, but if DS repeats a swear word more than once, I just say something along the lines of "that's a rude word, we don't use that word". When he asks why, I just say "because it sounds horrible", and then I change the subject.

My 4 year old DS has also done the machine gun thing. He is currently obsessed about "making people dead", and has asked some awkward questions about death recently. Again, I try not to make a big deal of it, but of course I am sad about it because I didn't want him to have to deal with this so early in life. It can only have come from preschool (other children playing out what they have seen on violent games and TV?) - I am 100% confident that he didn't pick any of this up at home.

So basically, YABU to blame the parents in any way for this little boy swearing and pretending to have a machine gun. Young children hear all sorts of dreadful things at school, and it's not their parents' fault. How the parents deal with is another matter... but getting cross with the child would be very unfair so perhaps they are dealing with this in some more sensitive way that you haven't seen happening.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 08-Jul-13 16:36:14

DS(6) knows quite a few swear words that he did not hear in our home. It doesn't matter where he learned them, I do not allow him to swear and he knows this.

WorraLiberty Mon 08-Jul-13 16:38:32

Ignoring works with toddlers because they tend to feed off of reactions.

5yrs old is more than old enough to explain they're not to say it and that there will be consequences if they do.

RobotBananas Mon 08-Jul-13 16:39:10

I think ignoring is appropriate with toddlers who are learning to talk, but not in a school aged child.

Mind you, trying to ignore a 3yo who's just said 'oh bollocks' after dropping something on the floor is not easy grin

I've taught DS that swear words are for grown ups - but if we swear he now tells us off! smile wonder how long that will last.

RobotBananas Mon 08-Jul-13 16:39:36

Ah you beat me to it Worra

LadyIsabellaWrotham Mon 08-Jul-13 16:46:07

At 5 years you need to explain that it's wrong, but not over-react because that can feed the misbehaviour. But yes, a 5 year old might well have learnt it at school.

MmeLindor Mon 08-Jul-13 16:50:53

Yes, agree with that - toddlers do it for shock reaction, and should be ignored.

5 year old can be expected to understand that it is not appropriate and told to stop.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Mon 08-Jul-13 16:51:47

Now I'm wondering what words my 5 year old knows!

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Mon 08-Jul-13 16:52:25

RobotBananas I laughed just reading that

WorraLiberty Mon 08-Jul-13 16:52:31

Robot I still remember being 5yrs old and learning to tie my shoes. I dropped the loop and confidently said "Oh 'bollock'" grin

My Mum was so angry but also amused at the singular bollock!

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Mon 08-Jul-13 16:55:26

Loving the singular bollock

formicadinosaur Mon 08-Jul-13 17:16:00

Probably a junior aged child has been subjected to inappropriate films or computer games. I expect the 5 year old has over heard some role play in the playground.

However, the behaviour is totally unacceptable. In my house it would result in timeout. It would not be repeated.

Calabria Mon 08-Jul-13 17:20:42

worse mouth on them than a merchant seaman

I heard more swear words from my school teacher mother than from my merchant seaman father. If he did swear at sea he certainly didn't at home.

RobotBananas Mon 08-Jul-13 17:43:20


It was very funny - I almost wet myself laughing. At least he used it in the right context I suppose! smile

HerRoyalNotness Mon 08-Jul-13 17:46:46

IME, my DS at 5 went to school and learnt it all even though we swear a bit His school has a SHOCKING problem with inappropriate language, but did not ever seem to have a solution other than to tell me every time he said a "bad word". He no longer uses the language around us, but I have reports from others he does when we are not there. Not sure how to cure him of it tbh, we've curbed ours, and when we slip up, he tells us off!

imademarion Mon 08-Jul-13 17:51:09

Your sister let a five year old abuse her and her children verbally for an hour, using the word 'motherfucker'?


JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 08-Jul-13 17:51:58

Not many 5 year olds talk like that, but 5 year olds' big siblings talk like that, or their parents. And 5 year olds at school talk to older children

secondchances Mon 08-Jul-13 18:35:47

Dd is 6. A boy in her class is allowed to watch Celebrity Juice. Naturally his language is appalling & dd often comes home with swear words & phrases involving them. I think it's not a cop out if it's true, if it doesn't sound likely then there's no excuse.

congresstart Mon 08-Jul-13 20:11:23

YABU...mine have learned many horrible things, the school is very small so the year 6 kids mix with the little ones all the time, I have had to have alot of talks about sexual stuff aswell that the DCS don't have an understanding of what they are saying.

Many complaints have been made to the headteacher by parents.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Mon 08-Jul-13 20:16:28

I wouldn't let any primary school age child watch celebrity juice! It's filthy, what are some parents on!

Gooeyhead Mon 08-Jul-13 20:38:05

My DD is only 13 months old so my attitude could change but I've always said I'd rather hear her saying "oh bollocks" or "oh shit" to herself if she did something wrong than call someone names or insult them even if it doesn't include swear words (e.g you're thick or you're fat). Of course I'd rather hear neither but if I had to pick I'd rather hear the swear word to herself than an insult (if that makes sense!!)

Ludoole Mon 08-Jul-13 21:08:12

After the things ive heard parents on the way to school/on the playground saying, Im really not surprised that kids are using inappropriate language.
If I have my children with me or there are children in earshot, I tell the adult that where as they might not mind their child hearing that language, many parents do mind, so could they please refrain from using it when there are other peoples children around.

Twattybollocks Mon 08-Jul-13 21:12:22

It's not a cop out, it's likely true. My ds told me that the older kids teach the new starters swear words so they get told off by the teacher (not seriously told off, the teachers will be well aware of this charming little game I'm sure)
Apparently my ds isn't involved in this at all, as he clearly has wings and a halo. He must think I fell off a bloody Christmas tree. What can I do other than tell him its not a nice thing to do, and if I hear about any involvement on his part, or hear him swearing he will be banned from minecraft for a week, a fate worse than death apparently.

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