how to punish a child for swearing

How to Punish Your Child for Swearing: The Appropriate Ways

Last Updated on August 21, 2021.

It’s a terrible feeling when you find out your child has been swearing. How do you punish your child for swearing? How much should the punishment be? Will the lesson help in the future? These are all questions that parents have about punishing their children for using swear words. This blog post is going to help you determine how to punish your child for swearing and more so that you can curb your child’s swearing habit!

7 Effective Consequences to Swearing

Are you wondering how to punish your child for swearing? Here are 7 effective consequences you can try.

Use a family swear jar.

Implement a family swear jar to stop everyone in the house from using naughty language. Every time someone swears, they have to put a dollar in the jar.

Loss of privileges

When your kids use foul language, they lose privileges. This can be effective because they’re going to want their privileges back. It’s not exactly in line with positive parenting strategies, but some parents find this works in extreme situations.

Write an apology letter to a family member, friend, teacher, etc.

An apology letter can be effective too. Kids tend to feel guilty when they write about their transgression and want to change their behavior for the better.

Work service hours for their wrongdoing

You could put kids to work for their misbehavior! Require extra chores for bad language.

Write a letter to themselves about their wrongdoing

Have kids write a letter to themselves about why they owe it to themselves to improve their language.

Have an honest discussion about what they did

Connection and conversation can sometimes do the trick. If you have a conversation with them about what they’re doing wrong and how it makes you feel, you might be able to encourage them to stop swearing.

Why Kids Swear

It’s human nature to do things we aren’t allowed to do. When children see their parents swearing, they start to think it’s alright for them to swear too. Children are also learning and mimicking all of the bad things that happen in a day–including when you swear at someone or something!

Consider if a Punishment is Necessary

Do you need to punish them for their bad language? How much punishment is appropriate? How will this lesson help in the future?

These are some important questions to ask yourself before punishing your child for swearing. Remember, every parent’s situation is different and what works for one might not work for another!

how to punish your child from swearing
how to punish your child for swearing

How to React When Kids Swear

There are two effective reactions to kids swearing.

  1. Ignore it. Sometimes, ignoring mildly bad language will just make it go away. Kids might be trying to get attention. And if their attention-seeking behavior doesn’t pay off, they’ll give it up.
  2. Keep your cool and be direct. Say “Your language is unacceptable.” And if you’ve discussed a consequence ahead of time, implement it now.

Tips for Keeping Your Cool

  • Know that this too shall pass. You’ll feel better if you can just go about your day and wait it out–even though it might be tough.
  • Take a deep breath before reacting to their swearing. Why not try counting to ten or twenty under your breath?
  • Talk yourself down from anger by telling yourself, “My child is an individual with their own thoughts and feelings. How I react is partly how they will feel about themselves.”
  • Talk to yourself or a friend out loud–anyone but the child! You can vent your frustration without hurting anyone’s feelings.

How to Prevent Swearing

  • Don’t swear in front of your child
  • Establish rules about what’s allowed and not allowed when it comes to language. When things are “off-limits,” they’ll want them more!
  • Know the difference between “bad words” and “swears.” Swear words are phrases that are meant to offend someone. Bad words are usually four-letter curse words.
  • Praise good language. For instance, if your child says “shoot” or “dang” instead of using a swear word, praise them!

The Bottom Line

If you’re tired of hearing foul language in the house, these are some tried and true ways to get their attention. I hope you’ve learned a few tricks on how to punish your child for swearing. But remember: every kid is different so what works for one might not work for another!

What You Should Do Next…

1. Snag Our Connected Parent Challenge

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2. Join Our Free Online Community

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3. Take a Free 60-Minute Parenting Webinar

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