Today I want to discuss how you handle when your child uses foul language, bad language, or curses at you under his breath.
A typical scenario is this: you give a child a consequence, discipline or say something he doesn’t want to hear, and he grumbles and walks away and uses foul language, bad language, or curse words under his breath just loud enough for you to hear, but mumbled.
The first thing you do any time your child curses at you, when you give the consequence, is you don’t address it immediately. You don’t want to get dragged into a battle over some other issue. You want to stay focused in the thing you are disciplining.
At a later date, if you child used foul language, bad language, or curse words directed at you, you can address it. You tell them it is wrong and give a consequence for the curse. When a child mutters under his breath foul language, bad language a curse word at you, it is the same thing. You hold him accountable for that word he said.
He will come back and say “I didn’t say anything” and you will say to him: “This is what I heard you say. If you didn’t say it, next time you have to speak louder so you don’t get a consequence. If you want me to hear what you are saying, say it loud enough so I can hear it or else what I hear is what I am addressing.”
That way if your child does mumble at you, he can’t get out of it by saying “I didn’t say that”. Because “what I heard you say”, has a consequence. Keep with that and discipline your child for cursing.
Remember, using foul language, bad language, or curse words is not permitted. It is something you have to address. It is something you have to stop your child from doing. It earns a consequence. Even when a child mutters under his breath a curse word, you hold him accountable for that.
I want to differentiate, however, between regular muttering, back talk, shouting back and cursing.
Children shout back, they do that. When you give them a consequence, you’re giving them something they don’t want to hear and they will mumble as they go away angry.
This is normal. They will express themselves as they stomp away.
That you can let go. It is normal for children to do that.
It crosses the line when a child says something that verbally abuses you, such as using foul language, bad language, or curse words under his breath. This is something you must address.
You want to keep the language in your house clean and respectful. Cursing is a violation of that principle.
Again, when a child mutters, it is okay.
When your child curses at you by muttering under his breath… that is not okay. You address that with a consequence, but again, not immediately.
At a later time when things are calm, you address that situation separately from what you were discussing originally.