Children learn language in general by listening then repeating, and they repeat the good words and the bad. But a young child may not know what he is saying; he is simply modeling. So we need to be careful with what we say around impressionable tots. Whether we like it or not, they will pick up some of the behavior or even certain words from their playmates and other people that surround them.

If you’re trapped in the “bad language” dilemma, watch your child closely to find out when he says these bad words and what is happening at that time. If you understand why he’s saying these words, it will be easier to deal with the problem.

There are three common reasons why a child uses bad language. Click through the slide show below to learn about them and what you can do when they motivate your own child’s potty mouth.

Learn more about dealing with bad language from our article, "How to Teach Your Kids about Offensive Language."

For more hot parenting issues and how to deal with them, check out these FN articles:


(First published as “Bad Words” for Melissa Fernandez Abaya’s column, Teacher Says, in the Good Family section of the July 2009 issue of Good Housekeeping Philippines. Adapted for use in Female Network. Photo by Stevan Sheets via Flickr Creative Commons.)

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