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Swearing and name calling often has nothing to do with anger but is used just in fun or as an attention getter or may be to just fit in with his peers. The exposure to T.V. and Radio really limits the parents to control completely what he hears and sees.

How to control swearing


Don't make a major issue
Keep it cool. Don't focus too much on this behaviour or threaten to punish him. He could be just swearing as an attention getter. Make him realize its wrong and not to do it again. If you get angry, you're playing right into his hands


Set a good example
Make sure you're not setting a poor example yourself. Many adults use name - calling or foul language to express their annoyance and they may do it unconsciously, the children are almost conscious of it rather use sentences like "You're making me angry", "This is not the way you say"


Don't Encourage
Initially, when kids swear it may sound cute but by laughing at it you are encouraging it. Explain to your child that a word that you find unacceptable can hurt peoples feelings, just like using their hands can hurt their bodies


Choose your battles
Show him more socially acceptable ways of dealing with confrontational situations like saying "You are making me angry", or choose not to play with a child who bothers you


Enforce certain rules
You will probably want to set some absolute limits on bad language at home



Past History 
Swearing is a form of verbal violence. Many a times it goes unheard of, as expressed between the lips. It is used usually in appropriate surroundings.

Payal, a young child of five, had picked up bad language at home. She had picked up words and expressions from adults at home. She stayed in a big joint family of 10-12 people. Very often, Payal wrote some words on the back of her book and on the walls of the bathroom. She usually used them, when she was angry or irritated. She had learnt it from adults, who used these words frequently as a part of their daily language. In school, these words were commonly heard e.g. " shit, damn, hell, bum, etc".

Payal at first used it as fascination words, but soon it became part of her daily language skills. She often did it also, to provoke and manipulate the adults at home.

She was taken to the child guidance clinic. It was made clear to the parents that Payal was using a lot of imitation strategy and that it was better if they controlled their language swearing at home. Also, little attention was to be given to her, when she tried to gain attention.

It was explained to Payal, that her language offends people. Everytime she said a bad word, she would be missing out her favourite T.V program.

She was asked to make a chart, where she would give herself stars or coins the day she missed saying her bad words. In this way, Payal became more conscious of her language and it was possible to deal without hypocrisy, without situations like swearing in front of visitors. She learned to control her anger, by rationalizing with the situation rather than swearing in between her lips.

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