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Help! My 9 year old keeps swearing

(15 Posts)
PamT Fri 26-Jul-02 09:15:05

My eldest DS is 9 and has suddenly started swearing very badly, as well as using lots of silly toilet talk (everyone is a poo-poo or a poo face etc - very immature, I know). He does it mostly at his brother and sister when he is frustrated or cross with them and I really don't want the younger ones (6 and 3) to be on the receiving end. I generally send him to his bedroom when I hear him now because he has been warned that it is unacceptable on plenty of occasions. I never swear in front of the children but DH does quite often if he is cross about something, though he wishes he didn't and does try to hold his tongue most of the time.

I know from when I was that age that when you first discover swear words it feels 'big' to use them as much as possible so it may well be just a phase that he is going through but I am not prepared to stand back and wait for it to pass.

DS2 asked me what a 'gay-bender' was yesterday, obviously as a result of his older brother calling him one. It was bad enough when DS2 came home from nursery having learned the work f**k and proceeded to shout it at the top of his voice over and over whilst in the garden, but I dealt with this by telling him it was not nice and I didn't want to hear it, then not rising when he tested me with it a few more times. Generally he doesn't swear except in mischief occasionally when he looking for a reaction, he delights in telling me that his little sister has said b****r when it is him who has told her to.

What do I do? Ignore him and risk the younger ones starting it, wash his mouth out with soap and water or continue to give him time-out sessions whenever I hear him?

WideWebWitch Fri 26-Jul-02 09:24:19

PamT, I get this sometimes with (nearly 5) ds. Luckily the only words he knows are bloody and stupid, hence I am a bloody stupid lady if he is trying to wind me up. However, I have heard the f word said under his breath sometimes and it's horrible to hear. I've NOT reacted (learnt my lesson with reacting to "Shut Your Mouth" - he knows it goes down very badly and gets an exciting reaction, don't know where he heard it since I certainly don't say it). When I hear bad language from him I say, calmly that if people hear him say it they will think he has a very limited vocabulary and is not very clever if these are the only words he can think of to use. So far so good for me, seems to stop him but I do appreciate that a 9 yo is different! I don't think you should react too strongly since it will make it more exciting, but I wouldn't wash his mouth out either. I'd be cross about gay bender, I think. I would explain that it's an expression of prejudice and not acceptable. That no-one will appreciate hearing it. Maybe this is all useless since my ds is only 4 3/4 but good luck!

WideWebWitch Fri 26-Jul-02 09:27:52

BTW, I can't get worked up about poo head etc! I just reckon they'll grow out of it (or maybe not considering some of the men I've worked with

threeangels Fri 26-Jul-02 17:15:51

I have not had any major problems with my 12 and 9 year olds using swear words. They will however call each other stupid , dumb and other not so nice words to each other. I would not just ignore it because your ds is old enough to know that using swear words is not exceptable. When my kids start fighting and calling each other names which can sometimes get a little out of control I usually make them both sit at the kitchen table with paper and pens and they are made to write. I make them write I will not call my brother names and the opposite for the girl. The older has to write a little more because of his age. I like to use this for other misbehaving. It works very well and they hate sitting and doing it so I think its great. When I was young my mom use to give me brown paper bags and I had to write so many times for whatever I did wrong. I hated it but it made me learn I guess you could say.

Rhiannon Fri 26-Jul-02 20:01:32

Does he get pocket money? He's old enough now to control his behaviour. Tell him that every time he swears his pocket money will be reduced by 20p/50p/1.00. What do you think? R

Kia Fri 26-Jul-02 21:16:53

I had to practically manhandle my DH out of the house when our teen son called him a w*nker!! I cannot seem to get it through DH's head that he must not react to it. DH always used to tell them not to use words they didn't understand, and this laid him wide open to full descriptions of what exactly dickheads and tosspots were!

But hells bells(!), you've got years to go before it gets to that 'Kevin' stage!!!

PamT Fri 26-Jul-02 23:20:59

Kia, he is already a Kevin. We already use grounding and no spending money as a threat for bad behaviour to the point where we can go a couple of weeks in advance. I am hoping that the time-out thing will have an effect and he will also be warned that if I ever hear him or hear of him swearing whilst out with his friends he will be grounded. I think it sounds terrible when young children swear for the sake of it.

Threeangels, I used to love doing lines at school but I was a goody goody and hardly ever got them, much to my disappointment. Dumb seems to be one of DSs favourite words too along with anything containing 'poo'.

I hope he calms down a bit whilst we are on holiday and he spends more time with us and less with his friends.

mollipops Mon 29-Jul-02 03:10:04

What about a swear-box for both your ds1 and dh? Keep it somewhere handy and visible, and if either one swears (whether anyone is there to hear them or not!), they have to put 10p in the box/jar. I have heard this can work really well, for adults too!

As for the toilet humour and name-calling, it is probably his idea of funny at the moment, plus being attention-seeking of course, esp as he knows you don't want the younger siblings to pick it up. Tell him he can go to his room and say it all he likes, but not in front or to other people. HTH!

Tortington Fri 02-Aug-02 23:40:58

my children did it when they were much younger, .... sorry guys n gals not much P.C.ness in my house i took him to the sink put a drop of washing up liquid on his lips and told him to wash it off, he cried a lot, then i told him ( no , not a discussion ..... i dont discuss !) i told him that was unacceptable, i did the same with my youngest when he started about 5 or 6 years old, and now we do not have that language from teh children in the housethey are 9 and 12

tigermoth Sat 03-Aug-02 09:16:55

We have this problem at times, too. I've tried everything suggested here, except the writing lines and washing up liquid idea. Have so far declined from offering advice, PamT, because I haven't got any!

I have noticed that my son's swearing goes in phases, closely linked to what CD's his father has been playing in the car. He will parrot the most awful lyrics.

Dr Dre and Eminem and others of that ilk are amongst dh's collection. Even other milder mouthed lyrics contain phrases that sound really inappropriate from 8 year old lips. Dh is fairly hot on censorship ( especially with the more explicit eminem songs) but sometimes doesn't realise what words have been picked up till I tell him. Taking the offending CD away does help improve my son's language. Also, I've noticed he's more foul mouthed with certain friends he plays out with so I limit his time with them.

But, it's a difficult one, because it's all to do with growing up and bravado. An unstoppable process. My son is like a sponge - put him in non-swearing company and he is fine, so the more of this I do the less he swears.

Now confession time, I just can't stop myself swearing at other motorists when I am driving with him. Even my toddler has picked up on my in-car swearing and has repeated my words in company. Ever wished you`could press the rewind button?

ionesmum Sat 03-Aug-02 13:16:01

I think that swear boxes are great - have just started one for dh! If dd ever needs one I think that I will actually get her to hand over the money in person at a charity shop; then she will really realise what she is missing!

PamT Mon 05-Aug-02 21:56:17

I can't afford to have a swear box in our house - unless the money comes straight back to me. DH has had a tense time this last week (a rainy week in a caravan with all 3 kids) so it would have cost him a fortune.

I am pleased to report that DS1 has apparently stopped swearing for the time being but there are still lots of 'poo' words. I'll see what happens when he starts playing out with his friends again. DS2 did repeat some of the words he heard his dad saying, but I think he was just testing the water and it doesn't seem to be a problem. I wish DH would bite his tongue a bit sometimes.

mollipops Tue 06-Aug-02 13:42:40

PamT - exactly! If you have a swear box, one of the conditions is that *you* get to keep/save/spend the money!!! Might inspire your dh to put a sock in it eh?

bubfobjob Wed 05-Feb-03 17:56:07

most kids 9 upwards swear but usually never say it in front of parents.

Fuckface69 Mon 06-Jun-16 17:47:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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