“Quick! Call a social worker, her toddler said a swear word!” said no parent ever. Us Scots are no strangers to a bit of crude language, in fact, some often use a bad word instead of a comma. So, it’s no surprise that almost all Scottish toddlers will say a bad word. As funny as it might be, it’s probably not a good habit for a three year old. So, how do we tackle it?
Holy F*cking Sh*tb*lls
There are two very different types of swearing for toddlers. The first is purely innocent. This is where one might hear your child say “f*ck” when what they are trying to say is “fork” or in my child’s case “Shrek“. See? No cause for concern, although you might want to correct them.
The second is because of you, you naughty parent. Said toddler has now recited “w*nker” because they heard Daddy serving up a bit of road rage. Or even “sh*te” because Mummy has left the iron on all day.
Our Lottie recently went through a phase of “f*cking” being her favourite word. I blame this solely on myself because Stuart rarely swears. She would start sentences with it, arguments involved the term “f*cking no!”, it was a grim time.
One of the funniest stories from around this time though, comes from my sister. Lottie was staying with her Auntie Chloe one day and they decided to go for a bath. Once Lottie was out and all wrapped up in her towel she turned to my sister, said she was “chilly” then ran around the upstairs hall screaming “Shut all the f*cking doors!”.
I honestly wish I’d been there to see that but it’s probably best I wasn’t since I’d have laughed my head off.
Swear To Never Swear Again?
I know you’re wondering what I was doing to try and combat the swearing. Well, Lottie was due to start nursery just a few months after this phase so I was doing everything in my power to stop it.
I tried telling her “no”, I tried the naughty step, I tried no dessert, I tried everything. Except one thing that I never thought in a million years would work.
The best thing to do is ignore it.
It helps if you cut right down on the swearing and try not to laugh at it. But ignoring it does the trick quite fine.
Lottie has now outgrown the second kind of swearing and we’re back to the first. Now anytime it sounds like she is saying “f*cking” she is actually trying to say “thinking”.
If these tactics worked for you let me know! If other tactics worked for you, let me know! Every child learns differently so all advice is welcome.