If your child curses`at`you, what you need to understand is that they`re trying to hurt you, throw you off balance, or suck you into a fight. Families should have clear rules about cursing. There shouldn`t be any discussion about it when it happens. There`s a difference between kids cursing in general or cursing at you or another family member, and calling you rude names. But either way, families need to establish rules around it. Often kids curse because they`re frustrated or angry about being asked to do something that`s hard for them or that they find boring, or maybe they`d rather be playing video games or hanging out with their friends. Understand that this is a way of solving the problem of being frustrated, but in a very immature way. In these instances, when things calm down, kids need to be taught that cursing doesn`t solve their problems`it adds to it. Because not only do they have their original problem, now they`ve got an extra consequence on top of that, whether they lose some of their allowance or they forfeit some video game time.

There`s No Excuse for Verbal Abuse Parents need to establish a zero tolerance policy for verbal abuse in the home. Verbal abuse is differentiated from cursing because it is an attack on a person. Cursing is using an expletive when describing a situation or their own frustration. When kids curse at their parents and siblings and call them names using sexualized terms, when this kind of attacking name-calling happens, this is verbal abuse, not just swearing. It is damaging, not just obnoxious. It has to be dealt with in the same way you`d deal with any kind of abusive behaviour.

Make no bones about it: this behaviour needs to be dealt with very strongly. If your child is grounded for 24 hours as part of the consequence and he happens to be involved in sports, make him miss practice for a day as part of the consequence of his actions. Don`t let anybody manipulate you by saying they `need to be there.` The most important thing here is that kids understand that there`s no excuse for abuse. I promise you as a parent, missing one day of practice is not the end of the world. What`s more important is not letting your child call you or his siblings those foul names. If your child is not involved in sports, then have him lose his electronics for a few days. The best way to handle that is by saying, `You can`t have your phone back until you don`t call your sister those names for 24 hours.` If your child calls his sister a foul name again six hours later, it becomes 48 hours without the phone. And he has to go to his room and write a letter of apology. It should include an apology, but also, more importantly, he should make a commitment not to do it again.

Don't overreact.`No matter what age your child is, address it immediately and calmly. Kids age 6 and under, tend to think in black-and-white terms. Start simple: say "No swearing ever." Once they realize they said a bad' word, they will most likely feel shame and remorse. For older kids, who can think more abstractly, you should explain why swearing is not okay. Just remember, at some point, every kid will curse. Your goal is to make sure to help kids express their feelings, to talk and present themselves in the best way -- as well as to set boundaries.

Nip it in the bud.`Some parents believe that calling attention to a child's inappropriate words will only encourage the behaviour, so they choose to ignore these transgressions. parents should respond promptly to such behaviour, observing that "We can't assume kids know how to act unless we teach them. If you talk to them, they will get the message that there's a better way to respond." Ask your child first whether he or she understands the word. If the answer is "no," explain that the word is offensive, that it effects how others receive you, and that it is not acceptable. If your child`does understand the word, give him a similar speech, but know that this might need to become part of a larger conversation.

Find new words.`Sit down with your child and brainstorm new, non-offensive words or phrases to say when she feels frustrated, upset, or angry. More often than not, children say these words when name-calling. Use this incident to discuss your child's feelings toward an acquaintance or sibling. Encourage her to use other, different words to describe how the person makes her feel. This can expand her vocabulary and help turn a bad moment into a bonding one.

What about Kids Who Swear at You under Their Breath` Some kids swear passive aggressively, under their breath. But let`s face it, even if it`s under their breath, it`s the same thing, and you should give your child consequences for it. They may say, `I didn`t say anything. That`s not fair!`

You can come back with, `I`m sorry, but that`s what I heard you say. In the future, speak more loudly, or there will be consequences.` In other words, don`t let muttering curse words under his breath become a way for him to manipulate so that he doesn`t have to develop self-control.

For Younger Children It`s helpful if you don`t curse in front of your children if you expect your children not to curse in front of you. One thing we see very early on is that kids mimic parents by saying words they don`t understand. In that case, the best thing a parent can do with their younger children is calmly and pleasantly correct them, and try to teach them that what they`ve said is a bad word. The way I say it is, `It`s a bad word because people don`t like that word.` If your child says, `but you use that word,` you can say, `You tell me `no` when I say it. Tell Mommy, too. Remind me that it`s a bad word.` And when they remind you, say you`re sorry and use a different word.

It`s also very effective to have an age-appropriate schedule and structure at night that lists how much time your kids can spend on video games, the computer, and watching TV. Say for example your child has an hour free time to play video games, but the way he gets that hour is by doing his homework first.`If he curses, that extra chore you give him is done during that hour, and he loses part or all of his free time.`That system should be in place, so later on when your child calms down and wants to deal with the issue because she wants her cell phone back, you can say, `You know the consequences for cursing and name-calling.` And they should get a different checkmark or extra chore for every time they curse.

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