It just sounds very wrong to hear a child swearing and cussing at anything and anyone. While some children learn may not have learnt the use of foul language from you their parent, it is your prerogative to nip it the bud before it becomes a habit.
See how these Mums handled nipped this bad habit in the bud….
Kemisola Adigun (Accountant), mum to Morayo (4) and Folarin (18 months old)
To me a good mother is one who hears, listens, cares, prays for and with her children and creates as much time as possible to bond, understand them better as well as spot and correct ill habits like the one in focus here.
The very first time I heard Morayo say, ‘CRAZY SHIT!,’ I thought I hadn’t heard right. I was surprised! Where could she have picked that from? I asked her to repeat herself and when my innocent baby did, I think I must have fainted and woken up right back. I actually had to process it in my head for a few days to come to terms with the fact that she uttered those words.
Of course, I rose to the occasion after she repeated the words. I asked her where she learnt it from and she said innocently, “My friend, Sofia, says it all the time.” I told her the fact that her friend says it all the time does not mean it is right and she should not say it again. I also asked her to tell her friend not to say it again and each time her friend said those words, she should tell that’s dirty. It took a few weeks after this before I could get to stop uttering the words completely.
There were times she tried my patience and I was really moved to apply my usual ‘ifoti,’ ‘iladi,’ and ‘iforun’ approaches (spanking). However, I have since learnt that this doesn’t really work. Basically, I got her to discard those vocabularies through repeated corrections, telling her sternly, and nicely at other times, why words those kind of words shouldn’t be used by a lovely and decent girl like her.
Though she’s stopped using those words, we still have talks about dirty language. Because she’s still quite young and can easily pick others she might never get to utter in my presence, we do an appraisal of new words she’s learnt recently and where she’s learnt them from very often. While I correct her, I encourage her to do same with her friends. So far, I’d say she’s not doing badly.
Hearing your child utter words you never, even in your wildest dreams, thought they could utter could bring up lots of emotions in you, but having the patience and understanding to guide them in the right direction pays in the long run. It’s important also for us to spend plenty of time interacting with our kids to be able to spot and eliminate the usage of these words. We should also be loving, yet firm and consistent in our approach.
Adedoyin Arow-Ibraheem, (Self employed), mum to Adunolami (5)
My daughter used to say ‘shut up’ and ‘don’t be silly,’ even to adults. I had a lot of unanswered questions until I confronted her. I wondered how and where she picked those words from knowing we are careful not to use such words with or around her. She told me she learnt them from school. I took time to explain to her why she shouldn’t speak like that either to adults or to her classmates. I also added that if she used such words again, it would attract consequences.
It took a while for her to stop. After several punishments and talking to, we eventually recorded success. I must say it was quite irritating having to correct the same thing repeatedly. There was even an instance she caught me off guard with, “but my friends say them and their mummies don’t punish them.” I had to be cautious and patient with her.
Finally, I’d say no child is too young to be corrected and the moment one hears words that are not appropriate, steps should be taken to correct them immediately. Spanking a child always may not be the best way to solve such issues; try talking to these kids and make out time to listen to them. Find out how they learnt such words and take decisive steps.
Enitan Akinsanya (Travel Consultant), mum to Olukolade (11) and Olakunle (7)
My kids had a knack for saying ‘SHIT!’ A word they picked from television. I punished them, talked to them that it was bad, told them why it was and started monitoring what they were watching on TV as well as listening to on radio. It took a while to help them eliminate that word. I came to realize it’s a process.
Initially, they started becoming very cautious around me, then they settled in to understand why they shouldn’t use such words. I still monitor the movies they watch (we watch together most times), initiate talks with them and listen discreetly to their discussions with friends, on phone, and so on. I even eavesdrop sometimes. Yes! I’m guilty of that and very smart at it too. I keep tabs on their activities and interactions.
Parents should understand that they are just as successful as they raise their children to be. Most importantly, parents need to live by examples to make the needed impacts.