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AIBU to ignore my 4yo swearing and hope it goes away?

32 replies

yukoncher · 02/06/2011 18:55

I'm really afraid to speak about this one, and me and DH are just hoping no-one notices in public, or at his preschool.

DS has SN significant speech delays, and tantrums with frustration of not being understood. Won't be starting school at usual age 4, undergoing assesment, etc, arg.

He's started swearing :(
It's mine and DH fault, because he's heard us using bad language.

My initial thought was to pretend I didn't hear him say it and not react at all, so me and DH did this and are being really careful not to swear now.

DS is now coming out with some really colourful lines when he gets frustrated, swearing like a trooper, like putting all the bad words he knows together in one line.
I can just imagine some other mumsnetter on here saying 'AIBU a kid swore today in supermarket and mother didn't do anything!!

OP posts:

yukoncher · 02/06/2011 18:57

He's very big for his age too, would look outragious to an outsider!

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BluddyMoFo · 02/06/2011 18:59

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BornInAfrica · 02/06/2011 19:00

Well here's my idea - it's a bit revolutionary but stick with it........

How about speaking to him about the inadvisability of using those words? How about reinforcing that just because you do doesn't mean he can? How about discipline if he fails to comply?

Or you could just let it go on unchecked and see what happens I suppose...........


yukoncher · 02/06/2011 19:00

When he's older and I can explain it to him? :s
Right now I can't even explain to him to use the toilet.

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mathanxiety · 02/06/2011 19:01

Just watch yourselves, and maybe start a swear jar where you put a coin when you swear, ostentatiously in front of him so he might get the idea that it's something he should control if he can.

But I think paying attention to your DS whenever he does it could backfire. Don't know how the SN aspect might affect this situation, but with my DCs they gave it up when it failed to get a rise out of me (was an anxious few months though).

Alternatively, maybe you and your DP could make up some swear words that sound colourful but are extremely harmless? Like dagnabbit for goddammit...


kw1986 · 02/06/2011 19:01

You could try convincing him he's saying it wrong and that fuck is actually fudge etc..

My 3yo DD has only ever said bitch, to the dog btw as she heard me call our dog a dirty bitch so repeats it occasionally. I just tell her, "No, its dirty doggy sweetheart"

But if ignoring it IS working then keep doing it. Bugger what anyone else thinks!


katvond · 02/06/2011 19:02

Well you admitted he got the swearing from you. I suggest you stop swearing infront of your DC. Remember kids pick up on anything you say mine certainly did. The worse our DD said was twat as she heard me say it. We are so careful around her. I suggest you do the same.


yukoncher · 02/06/2011 19:03

BornInAfrica he really would not understand any abstract things at all like rules and theories on life. I don't think?
He can just about get 'pick up toys then have icecream' :/
Other than that, you really can't explain things to him :/

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yukoncher · 02/06/2011 19:04

That's a really good idea, I could loudly say 'oh fudge' over the top of him :)

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rockinhippy · 02/06/2011 19:07

a good tip I learned from a RL Nanny friend when my then younger DD brought a few doozies home from her nursery Hmm, was not to make a big fuss out of swearing, as it can then become an attention seeking thing - but to "correct^ the swear words into something less harmful, even if it becomes "nonsense words"

for example DD took to telling everyone to Piss Off Shock -

I simple said in a feigned surprised voice - "pardon" -

DD repeats Piss Off - me dead pan puzzled face - pardon? --

DD repeats Piss Off again

Me OH you mean FISH FLUFF wonder I couldn't understand you, you were saying it wrong -

Que Dd running around for the next week or so shouting Fish Fluff at everyone - until it was forgotten

it worked with other swear words when she was younger too Wink


rockinhippy · 02/06/2011 19:08

Grin X post with KW - it does work :)


Tanith · 02/06/2011 19:14

My nephew did the same thing. My SIL nearly cried because he said "Bugger!": he also has a severe language delay and it was one of his first words after they'd waited so long to hear him talk.

Deric Longden once wrote in Lost for Words that it's a really easy word to say when you've lost the power of most of your speech. He was talking about his mother, who'd just had a stroke. I think a lot of swear-words are the same and that's why kids pick them up so quickly.

I don't think you're unreasonable to ignore it until it goes away. I think the more attention you give it, the worse it'll get.
I think mathanxiety is spot on and that's what worked for my nephew. You need to make sure that whatever alternative word you think of is just as easy to say, though.


jubaloo22 · 02/06/2011 19:14

I was about to say what Rockin said! It worked with ds1 when he had a habit of said Bugger..... Oh you mean burger Grin


exoticfruits · 02/06/2011 19:15

You will of course have to stop using bad language in front of him. DCs do as you do, not as you say.


yukoncher · 02/06/2011 19:21

Thanks so much mumsnetters!

I'll sit down with DH tonight and make up some replacement swears for DS, lol. And for us I think!

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ZombieWhirl · 02/06/2011 19:22

From the Playful parenting book, we made up a word, then accidentally-on-purpose said it in DS's hearing, then made a huge fuss whenever he said it........was a bit boring for a bit but he totally forgot about the 'real' swear words

(although I overheard him saying 'that bloody thing's in the way' to himself in the bath yesterday Blush )


troisgarcons · 02/06/2011 19:24

I think it depends on the swearing (F and C = big no-no) but a bugger it and bloody in context is get-away-able.

Although we are a classless society Grin - you will find the real upper classes swear worse than navvies in everyday speech, so again it depends what circles you mix in. It's only the middle classes that are pretentious with language.

But "Big Ups" to you OP - you admit you use the odd ripe word or two! Don't we all! And, you willfind, once your lad starts school - his language will be riper still! Mind you that is no consolation at all!


LaWeasel · 02/06/2011 19:29

One of my DDs first words was fuck. (I hit my head really hard!) Extremely embarassing.

We went for the 'duck' approach and it worked quite quickly.


bluebobbin · 02/06/2011 19:35

I would definitely try the

fuck = duck
shit = ship


Most people understand that as parents, plenty of us do say this stuff in sheer frustration. Not everyone will be wearing judgy pants!


youarekidding · 02/06/2011 19:58

Oh for fucks sake in this house = oh for five minutes. Grin

shit = ships ahoy

When I feel the urge to swear I usually say 'oh get a grip'. That reminds me to get one and tells DS to get one and stop the behaviour too. Grin

I think if your DS has SN then its harder - yes they have to learn behaviours but if the understandings not there it is much harder.


LeninGrad · 02/06/2011 20:02

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mathanxiety · 02/06/2011 20:02

My mum still says 'suffering catfish'.


rockinhippy · 02/06/2011 20:04

around here we had -

fuck it = fluff it, for fluffs sake etc etc

bugger = sugar

twat = mat

bastard = bar stool

piss off = fish fluff

cunt =cant

& I forget the rest right now - but it must have worked - a few years down the line DD is a total prude & HATES swearing & will quite happily tell people off for it - & I mean ANYBODY off


ihatecbeebies · 02/06/2011 20:08

We started using gosh golly, gosh sake etc around the house so DS replaced the few swear words he'd picked up with those words instead, my favourite was 'oh freckles', it was extremely cute and he thought he was being sneaky swearing when he thought we weren't listening, then when his understanding was a bit better I explained that some words upset people or made them angry so he shouldn't say them and that worked really well too.


cannydoit · 02/06/2011 20:12

no offence but i swear around my kids try not to but it comes out, but they no that there are words grown ups can use and that children cant and that there are consequences if they were caught saying those words, ignoring it will not make it go away. all children probably say bad words at some point whether they get it from their parents or school its usual a bit funny at first and then you sit them done and explain to them, that its not appropriate and if they do it again they will have to be punished.
it worked for me and if i do swear round my kids i usually get told of by them and i have to apologise. i am considering a swear jar Grin

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