Fort Worth, Texas,
15:27 PM

'My kid said what?' When your child uses 'bad words.'

What to do when your child uses an expletive

Many parents have been caught off-guard by their child using an expletive. While you may be shocked, your reaction to the word can be one of the biggest influences on the situation occurring in the future, making it important to think before you react.

“Try to react calmly and unemotionally,” said Joy Crabtree, Psy.D., a Cook Children’s psychologist in Southlake. “Discuss what words are off-limits in your family and why those words are unacceptable. Help your kids find other words that are acceptable in similar situations.”

Of course, children who use bad language heard the word somewhere beforehand. Most commonly, children can learn curse words by hearing them on television, video games or – oops – from their parents.

“The more children are exposed to those words, the more numb they become to bad language,” Crabtree said. “Hearing the words frequently makes kids more likely to use those words themselves.”

Parents should closely monitor the entertainment their children are exposed to and be good role models by using their appropriate language around their children. If the child continues to use bad language, parents should consider discipline methods that including taking away allowance, giving him or her time-out or limiting television or game time.

For more information

Cook Children's Behavioral Health services provides a broad range of care that focuses on children from ages 3 through 17, and their families.  As part of family-centered care all of our professionals are qualified both through education and experience to work with children who have behavioral and emotional challenges. Our psychiatrists are board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry and our psychologists and therapists are all licensed independently in Texas.

To access any of our services, please contact our Intake Department. To expedite your call, please have your child’s date of birth and insurance information ready.

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