How do I stop my two year old from cursing?!

My beautiful daughter - My daughter at two years old. She is hard to take a picture of without it blurring. I got lucky with this shot. I love my babygirl.
United States
September 6, 2012 10:05am CST
My nine year old had ODD and some other behavioral issues. Needless to say her mouth was a toilet! My two year old was exposed and is now repeating the behavior. I'm not sure weather to ignore it or reprimand her for it with time outs. How does this work if she is only two and doesn't know the words are bad? She uses it to get attention just like any new words she knows but this is not good. Everytime she sees her sister, her bad behavior and bad words escalate. We are about to start therapy but I still would love to get some advice from fellow parents or anyone that has experienced this hurdle. Thank you for listening.
4 people like this
11 responses
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
7 Sep 12
I know that you might not think that your two year old really realizes that the words that she is using are inappropriate, but truth be known, more than likely she really does know that the words that she is using are words that she should not be using because she is aware of the reactions that she gets from other people when she is using those words. With that said, just always make sure to tell her "No, we don't use that word," whenever she uses dirty words and that will be something that will eventually get the foul language to stop.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Sep 12
She just doesn't. Soon she will. As a mother you just know about your children. Just like when they are ready to potty train. There are signs or cues to see she sees its wrong or right. I have been testing it and when I say no then she repeats it. I am being very careful what I reprimand her for and what I am rewarding her for. I don't want her to be reprimanded for speaking and have her never speak or be shy. I dealt with that as a child. I see now these couple of days that if I distract her or replace her words with others it has worked but as everything with children it is a repetitive process :/ As soon as she knows the difference I will try the method you recommend. Thank you
@blebchel (249)
• Philippines
7 Sep 12
your children is so lucky to have you tangled. i wish my mother had the same attitude as you in those times of my childhood years. I am a shy type of person and now i know that i've gotten this personality because my parents weren't aware to a good parenting.
• United States
7 Sep 12
Thank you so much blebchel! That made my day, that is always nice to hear. :) It is hard to be a parent. I heard that even a deaf childs coos but if no one responds then they stop. It is a hard to decide what to do and what not to do as a parent. If I pay her attention for bad things, will she become timid? If I ignore the bad behavior, will she have no confidence? It seems like every choice is a consequence and we have to just try and try to find out what works with each child. I hope I do what is right by each one of my children. I'm currently trying replacement and not reprimand. I thought ignoring it would do something but it did a few times but then it had no effect sometimes and it seemed to upset her. It was clear that ignoring was a form of reprimand for her. It is like a scientific study and you must observe the effect of the variables.
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
7 Sep 12
But where did your 9 year old get those dirty words? I know many ODD children who don't even know a single bad word. How sad! Indeed your two year old is talking like her sister and that is most likely to happen because a child learns from people around him. The best thing is for your to talk to your two year old. She is still young so it is still very easy to change her. But of course you should be a good example and also all of the others that live with her. If you will teach her that bad words are not good and then you will tell her that this is the reason why you yourself is not speaking bad words and all the others in the home also don't then it is very easy to correct that 2 year old. Tell her not to talk and behave like your 9 year old because she is normal while her sister is special. Let her understand about the fear of God at such early age. You have to train up the child as early as possible. It is alarming if she keeps that habit. It will be very hard to change her once she is already old.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Sep 12
I chalk up the bad language to public school and her relatives from her father's side of the family since those are the only times she is left unsupervised by myself. What have you known about ODD children? I know very little and am just learning. Could you give me any advice on how to deal with such behavior? Unfortunately my two year old is too young to understand what she is doing is wrong or the fear of God. I wouldn't want her to fear God as I was raised that way and it was wrong, I would raise her to respect God as she should. It is about actions at this age. So she understands sign language more than words. If I say no and shake my finger or head she knows it upsets me by the frown on my face. The same for when I smile and she knows I made her happy. She repeats both actions either good or bad just for the reaction. The only thing that works is playing with her constantly as a form of distraction. You see our lives have been turned backwards recently and it is just her and I in the house. Her father and 9 yr old sister are not in the home at the moment. She is used to more interaction and she hasn't been to daycare or anything such. The park and my constant interaction is what she craves.She gets bored and upset if she doesn't have someone to play with. I recognize this in my 2 year old as abnormal and not like my eldest as a "stage", a "phase" or "just children" or "terrible twos". I will help my yuoungest as soon as possible. My eldest I believe will never lead a normal life and I fear for her but we pray everyday and hope for much more. Thank you for your concerns, they are warranted.
1 person likes this
@salonga (27955)
• Philippines
8 Sep 12
Honestly I don't know that much. I am no expert when it comes to Special Children but my Church has a School for Special Children as part of its extended ministry and there I have the chance to minister and mingle with special children but I am not a SPED teacher though. All I could offer to them is some sweet fellowship during visitation time. And yes there are lots of ODD cases who are behaving well enough maybe because they have undergone good training and therapies already and most of all they are learning to behave well through the love and fellowship of Christian people who volunteer to teach them about Jesus and His love. Your ODD child should be kept from bad environment. So as much as possible don't let her be with the relatives from the father's side. And by the way the fear of the Lord is not the same thing as fear of ghost, or fear of bad people or bad things, no dear. It is wrong to assume that. We don't fear God the same way we fear ghosts or robbers or killers..no! We fear God because he is all powerful, he hold our life and He has given us all the love and mercy so that he is too good to be defied. Yes it is correct to teach your child to respect God for that is part and parcel of teaching her how to fear God. To teach your child about fear of God is to make her understand how much God hates sin and what punishment He gives to those who refuse to obey Him. Your child should know that God punishes those those who disobey. Teach her how powerful He is, how much God loves us and why He deserves to be obeyed. Spend some time to teach her young mind why God is worthy to be loved, obeyed, respected, served, worshiped and more. Do it little by little but constantly until she learns more and more. She should learn that the eyes of God is everywhere, that God could see every action she does and that God does not approve any of her bad action. She should know that if she will not change, God will punish her someday soon. But despite this truth, teach her that God is very kind because He is giving her enough time to change into the sweetest girl God wants her to be.
• United States
8 Sep 12
I tried to keep her away from the relatives and they took me to court. So they have visitation with her by court order. This is so because they had a prior relationship and her father is deceased so they have ground to have a relationship with her since they would have if he was alive is what was explained to me. They wouldn't give them supervised visits either. I am looking for some parenting skills class to understand her and work with her. We are starting all the paperwork for that therapy etc. presently. I was traumatized as I child about demons getting you so I literally feared God. I don't want to traumatize my daughter. I like how you said how powerful he is versus how scared you should be and how he is giving her time to be the sweet she can be. I hope to bring this across to her when we have our time together. I need to find a good church, yours sounds like a dream for our family! Thank you.
@jenny1015 (13389)
• Philippines
8 Sep 12
Constant correction of her bad habits can help but I guess it would take a while. Even if you go through therapy, same thing will also be told to you. You just need to have a patience with your daughter and always tell her to use a certain word to replace the bad word.
• United States
8 Sep 12
Irespond with my usual Oh My! and she knows something just happened and stops. I have to make a deal of it because it seems like when I just say a quick no she repeats it. Like, "what you mean this word???" And so when I say oh my she stops and I give her the replacement word. I dust my hands together as to say no more and say no more since she was little she understood that. She mimics well. For example at a year old she took over her sisters job of throwing out the dirty diapers in the kitchen garbage. Now she understands garbage when said and to do the action. I have started having her cover her mouth when she says a bad word, that was suggested to me. I do it and she mimics. Everyday we are trying. I'm up for any suggestions. Thank you.
7 Sep 12
Hello tangleddreams. Your case is not an isolated issue. This is now happening to many small children around the world. Children are becoming disrespectful to their parents, arrogant, addicted to vices, etc, etc. Maybe they are just following the trend of evils they hear and see around them. If this will not corrected, it will be a big problem of concerned parents like you. The solution is already given to us thousand of years ago, written by the prophets of God. One example is Proverbs 22:15 and I quote, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the ROD OF CORRECTION shall drive it far from him". Seems old fashioned but who can give an advise better and effective than God.
• United States
7 Sep 12
I go by, "Let no corrupting words come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for buildings others up that it may give grace to those who hear it." Ephesians 4:29 Replacement not reprimand.
@missjahn (4578)
• Philippines
7 Sep 12
i remember one of the content in our review and it was stated like this: the child of two years old saying was fond of saying bad words, was it her fault or not? my answer was wrong because i answered yes. our professor explained that it was not the fault of the child because the child cannot uttered such words if cannot hear it from her elders and that the child do not have the capabilities to point right actions from wrong one. so it should be the elders responsibility to take care of the youngsters as molding one's character or behaviour. let me share this one also. my mother would be so angry with us when she can hear us cursing. we might be angry but could we refrain ourselves to utter bad words. youngsters would imitate us and repeat it after us. so to say, as the child utter bad words, we can explain to her that it is not a nice word to tell until she will get used with it. disallow the people in the house to speak bad words too or do not bring the child to a place where she can hear lots of people saying not good words for surely it might influenced her. i hope this one would might help and you can figure out more what to do to refrain the child herself to utter bad words. it could be imitated from other surroundings or even at your home from your home buddies.
• United States
7 Sep 12
I tried to omit the relatives with bad language from our lives but they took me to court. They got visitation with my eldest daughter and she brought it into our home from then on. Shbe is no longer in our home at the moment so I am trying to train my youngest child to omit these words from her language as soon she will forget all this when she forms her memory from age five on. Thank you for the advice. I tried it but I wasnt allowed to by the courts.
@lovcie (117)
• Philippines
7 Sep 12
i know you were telling your child that said words are bad and you are not acting the same. i agree with other mylotters that children imitates adults. if she is doing it and someone was just laughing and have not told it was bad, children's notion on this is otherwise. they thought that their actions are with adults' approval if they laugh whenever she's doing it. it is really a challenge for us parents in disciplining them specially if there are adults who are used to blurting such words. i remember the toddler years of my daughter and being baby sit by my father who is blurting bad words as expression. i have asked him to be careful not to be a bad example. in any case that he will utter bad words, he will ask an excuse from my daughter and will tell her not to imitate for those are bad.
• United States
7 Sep 12
Did you deal with this at ages 2 or so? What worked?
@rsa101 (16193)
• Quezon City, Philippines
7 Sep 12
Good thing that you decided to have her start some therapy so that you can correct this bad behavior. I wonder where she got those words since I know children usually mimics some behavior from other people. So I hope it did not came from any in the house because if it did then the person who influenced that habit should also be given proper discipline as well.
• United States
7 Sep 12
She mimics everything, she is a sponge! She copied this bad language seeing her sister who has Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and has other undiagnosed behavioral issues we are trying to get therapy for. Her older sister is nine and it has been increasingly hard to discipline her since she was five and regular discipline just doesn't work. I am trying to help my youngest now who is two to stop the behavior but I need advice and the therapy seems slow going as we had to wait for an appointment for early intervention since June! It is now September and our therapy intake appointment for the services that refers us to the ACTUAL therapy is next Monday. I hope and pray this all gets going from then on because it's been years I have been struggling as a mother to get this all understood and now that we know what it is we need all the specialized therapy we can get!
• Philippines
21 Sep 12
Your kids should be reprimanded for saying bad words or from cursing. Babies adapt from their surroundings and it really is not nice to hear a 9 year old much more a 2 year old cursing, right?! Do the change right away.
• Philippines
21 Sep 12
Hello tangleddreams84, I hope your child has stopped saying bad words because it will give negative impact on others hearing her like that. you made the right decision in allowing her to go to theraphy. another thing is that you can disciplined her and keep telling her that those words are bad
• India
20 Sep 12
Children learn bad words in school, neighbor's home and some times own home, the 2 year old might not be knowing the meaning of words she is uttering, it is better you should tell they are bad words, not to be used.. try to tell good stories too, here i had a renter, the family were previously living in a slum colony, their granddaughter just 2 years young came to our home to play with my grand daughter of same age, believe me, she learnt the words, i had to remove this renter.. Professor Bhuwan
• Philippines
7 Sep 12
they would eventually get it over as they mature. but, you could still discipline them at a younger age. those kids are still open to adjustment and you could still correct there behavior, they would change and you need to reprimand both the older sibling that she serve as a model and should watch her language and behavior. so the youngest would not copy cat her behavior. as much as possible as a parents it is your obligation to reprimand them about there attitude and teach them the meaning of right and wrong. so they could identify it and instill it in thee mind to keep a good attitude is being rewarded.