Monday, January 10, 2011

Four-letter Words

The first time you hear your child let loose with a whole string of unacceptable words can be quite a shock! While inappropriate language is more evident with school-age children, even pre-schoolers repeat objectionable words they may hear. Before becoming worried or frustrated, remember that children are constantly learning.

Four-letter words have a magical quality to most children. At a very early age, they learn that these words are different. They make adults react! Children become fascinated with this idea and may try it out in different settings to see what kind of reactions they get.

Parents who never or rarely swear themselves blame television, their children’s friends and other adults for influencing their child’s language. Even parents who often use profane language wish that their child would not follow their example.

This is a good time to check your own speech habits. We sometimes use four-letter words without even realizing it. Listen as you speak. You might be shocked to hear your toddler using your expressions and words in exactly the same way. Next, ask yourself why your child might be using inappropriate language. Some of the reasons include: To be accepted by their friends, because the words are used at home, to express negative emotions, to hurt someone’s feelings, to shock adults and get attention, or to simply find out what the words mean.

Tomorrow I will give you some ideas for how we can keep these four-letter words under control.

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