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'Bad' language/cheek ... any bright ideas?

(35 Posts)
roisin Tue 12-Apr-05 19:57:42

DSs have been fairly easy with language, but ds1 (about 4) discovered that "idiot" really wound me up, and thereafter used it to good effect. I started ignoring it and the novelty soon wore off. But now they are both saying "bloody hell" and something else similar, I can't remember offhand what.
and ds2 also says "idiot" frequently - including to me and dh

I know they're not 1st degree swearing and in the grand scheme of things not actually "that bad", but it really, really annoys me; especially "idiot".

The general "make it clear I don't like it, but primarily ignore it" approach doesn't seem to be working. So what do I do now?

Can I send him to scary Cod for a week?!

Wallace Tue 12-Apr-05 20:08:45

I use the "I DON'T EVER WANT TO HEAR YOU SAY THAT" approach. Not shouting, but my "really cross" voice

It has worked so far...

roisin Tue 12-Apr-05 20:12:49

I've been saying "I don't want to hear language like that" in my calm but seriously cross voice ... but it's stopped working.

They're nearly 6 and 8 btw, forgot to mention that.

Wallace Tue 12-Apr-05 20:15:38

Oh no - you mean it is going to stop working when they get older (mine are almost 4 and 6)? In that case I have no advice

BTW Our bad words are like yours "idiot", calling someone "stupid", etc

KBear Tue 12-Apr-05 20:31:48


We don't say stupid or idiot or call names generally, just something I would like mine to get used to, that's it's not nice to call names. At your kids' ages I would think a few threats would work!!

paolosgirl Tue 12-Apr-05 20:35:31

I'm all ears on this one. Ds (who has been challenging to say the least) over the years can be horrific when he's in one of his moods. The "I don't want to ever hear that again" has no effect whatsoever, and I'm getting desperate too.

Milliways Tue 12-Apr-05 20:39:15

Try the 5p or whatever off the pocket money for each offence? Worked a treat here.

Milliways Tue 12-Apr-05 21:34:28

Or how about the Desperate Housewives "choose your weapon" option?

roisin Tue 12-Apr-05 22:31:03

Oh thanks for the suggestions.

Please elaborate on "choose your weapon", as I don't watch DH ... sounds exciting!

KBear; In general we find the boys respond very well to positive discipline: praise and rewards. But negatively to threats and punishments ... i.e. it just makes them angry at the time and doesn't actually modify their behaviour in the future!

We always carry out any threats that we do make btw.

I just can't see how we can realistically put a positive spin on this one.

Any more ideas/suggestions would be very welcome on this one!

SoupDragon Tue 12-Apr-05 22:40:59

"choose your weapon" was fab.

3 nightmare boys, lined up for punishment by mother for stealing from neighbour. In front of mother are things like a spatula, belt... basically spanking implements. She tells them they have to choose which one they want to be spanked with and gives them a truly nasty run through of the pros/cons of each implement. Then, when they're good and scared, she gives them the option of apologising to the neighbour as it was a first offence.

paolosgirl Tue 12-Apr-05 22:42:26

LOL Soup!

Christie Tue 12-Apr-05 22:45:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

roisin Tue 12-Apr-05 23:00:28

Thanks for filling me in SoupDragon ROFL!

Thanks Christie! Tomorrow I will stop the ignoring approach and make it into a bit more of an issue and try and make it clear that I won't tolerate it ...

I'll let you know how I get on!

frogs Tue 12-Apr-05 23:14:53

How about, "If you want to use those kinds of words, can you please go and do it in the bathroom where the rest of us don't have to listen to it"?

In our house it has tended to be 'poo talk' type rude words, so I can add the rider, "that's where those words belong".

roisin Tue 12-Apr-05 23:23:36

Oh, that's a phase I'd completely forgotten about Frogs. We definitely went through that as well - maybe with just ds1, hope we don't have to do it again with ds2!

WideWebWitch Wed 13-Apr-05 17:53:45

roisin, normally I'd say ignore because a reaction makes it worth saying to wind you up! As you know! (i.e. 'fuck' doesn't wind me up but being told to 'SHUT UP' does, ds knows this unfortunately. Or maybe fortunately!) Could you impose whatever rules you have for other unacceptable behaviour? What happens when they do other stuff you don't like/won't tolerate? In our house it's taking stuff away so I'd try applying that if ds was saying something I didn't like I think - make it the same as any other offence. But appreciate you may have tried this!

roisin Wed 13-Apr-05 18:26:21

Thanks WWW. Part of me thinks it's sort of 'my problem', the fact that "idiot" winds me up so much (and "shut up" - they used to do that with a Scottish accent - from Shrek! - but fortunately stopped). Kids are always very quick to pick up on what pushes your buttons aren't they?

In the past we've found the ignoring policy to be a good one, and it has gone away; but it just hasn't seemed to happen this time.

Having said that today I've only had one "idiot" from ds2! I gave him the third degree, used Christie's phrase about him using it in his own house when he's grown up, and he actually agreed with me and said "OK!"

Watch this space!

WideWebWitch Wed 13-Apr-05 18:53:10

roisin 'you're going the right way for a smacked bottom' said with a Scottish accent and also from Shrek used to get on my nerves too! It didn't last long thankfully.

roisin Wed 13-Apr-05 19:23:10

Yes, we had that too! It's such a good film though!

Stilltrue Wed 13-Apr-05 19:49:09

My ds1 and ds2 (11 and 9) call each other
They also say shut up a lot. I hate it, but at least there are no f or c words uttered by either of them.
I too am at my wits' end, especially after 3 weeks of the Easter holidays. I'm thinking of starting a pasta token jar for them, to try and deal with this verbal unpleasantness. Bad language = removal of token. Their horrible expressions are beginning to infect dd, and I'm worried about ds3 who doesn't say much yet but who will no doubt soon be adding shut up to his little repertoire.

yoyo Wed 13-Apr-05 19:57:14

I usually say "would you like me to say that about you?" and for some reason it seems to work. If it doesn't then I often say "how would you feel if Gran and Gramps heard you speak like that?". That usually does the trick.

Often when we're out the girls will comment on what other people say, e.g. you're stupid, being thick, etc so they are fully aware of what I consider to be offensive. They basically try it on with me just to provoke a reaction (it really annoys them when I don't rise to the bait).

KBear Wed 13-Apr-05 20:59:52

My kids are 6 and 3 so bad language isn't an issue (yet!) and they behave well most of the time so I haven't had to resort to extreme punishments. What do I know?

My suggestion could have been taken a bit more lightheartedness. I will butt out of this conversation I think!

carolou Sat 16-Apr-05 08:34:08

My children are 10 and 8 and I know they come into contact with bad lanuguage at school and with friends. We have spoken about it and I have acknowledged that they know these words, we have dicussed that I would prefer them not to use them. My 10 year old came out with bloody hell the other day and I told her it was unacceptable, and that she had a choice if she chose to use language like that then she would lose a priveledge i.e. her mobile phone, it was up to her. Punishment needs to be resonable and it must mean something, no tv for a month sounds good, but who ends up worse off, you because you have moaning children round your ankles for a month! I like to use choices and consequences for my children, because they then have the choice and they are more likely to stick by it as they feel they have ownership!. (This all sounds like I am quite a resonable, laid back mum, but I can promise you inside I am fuming and shouting when I hear my children use wrong lanuguage!)

LittleMissShy Sat 16-Apr-05 09:34:56

we explained to our almost 4 year old DS that the word stupid is not a very nice one and we don't say it and what happended as soon as he started watching one of his programmes the word stupid must have been used half a dozen times but he did say xxxx is naughty we don't use that word
If we tell him off if he is being naughty he says "don't talk to me like that" and walks off, where the hell is he getting that from?? Must admit to burying our faces in a cushion so he can't hear us laughing, he is such a drama queen,

Lorns Sat 16-Apr-05 11:40:31

We had trouble after certain CBBC television programmes with cheek and answering back, esp. Tracy Beaker, so have now banned them from watching it. Do find it hard with the "stupid, idiot" etc. as rife on TV at school etc.

Praise for good use of language or when they stop themselves from using the "naughty" words seems to work.

Perhaps some of us Mums should bombard the TV networks with e-mails about the language they constantly use - even on Cbeebies!!

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