The first day of my senior year in high school one of my teachers gave one major rule for his class. He said, “No cursing.” I was a little surprised he zeroed in on that one because I thought it was common knowledge that swearing in class was frowned upon, even in Philadelphia. But he brought it up to make a point. He said, “Anyone who needs to use curse words to communicate is the sign of an ignorant person.” I’ve never forgotten his challenge.
Over the years I have grown an appreciation for words and their power. Too often curse words are used in a lazy attempt to achieve some sort of shock value or emotional response. The sad thing about defaulting to curse words is not their offensiveness, but that there is language that can communicate the point on a much deeper level. We need to help our kids develop a command and range of words. Part of that starts by moving them away from defaulting to cursing. These 10 ways will teach your kids how to stop cursing.
1. Be Realistic
Kids curse, whether it is on the bus, at school, or hanging out with their friends. No need to hide your head in the sand and think your child is immune. Your job is to acknowledge this and help your child filter them.
2. Set Clear Rules
Make it clear that certain words will not be tolerated. Define the words you consider cursing. State clear expectations. If the line is crossed make sure there is a consequence.
3. Set The Example
They are listening to you always. If you curse in front of your kids, they are going to repeat it eventually. Set the example for your entire family and remove those words from your vocabulary.
4. Higher Standard
As stated above, there are a wide range of descriptive words and arrangements that communicate more effectively. Set a higher standard by learning new and proper words to describe your feelings.
5. The Cuss Jar
Anyone caught using the words defined in your home as cursing, shall pay a fine. Dad may be the biggest contributor. This will help you clean up your act. Take the money you collect every few months and donate it to a charity or ministry.
6. Choice Of Friends
Who is your child hanging out with? Do you know them well? Cursing is a possible indicator of even worse behavior. Teach your child to choose friends that hold their same values. We are affected, good and bad, by people we spend the most time with. [Tweet This]
7. Give Respect
If you curse at your child, it hurts him and vise versa. Sit down and discuss the need to always respect each other in good times and bad. Verbal abuse is not respectful.
8. Avoid The Distraction
Kids are smart. For example, you come to your son about a bad test grade. He uses a profane adjective in describing his feelings towards that subject. Suddenly you are in a discussion about the word and not the test. They’re masking the real issue. Stay on course and come back to the word used afterwards.
9. Losing Privileges
If the problem is persistent with your child, it’s time to take things away. When kids lose privileges like iPads, iPhones, and video game units it gets their attention quickly.
10. Focus on Building Others Up
One piece of wisdom in Scripture is that our tongue is set on fire with hurtful and obscene words. One of the best ways to quench that fire is to instead focus on using the tongue to build up and encourage others. Practice praise and your children will follow.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why are the words we choose so important?”