My son is swearing and I don’t know how to stop it

My just turned 6 year old has started swearing at home - sometimes in context, sometimes randomly.

I’m devastated. I am definitely partially to blame as have sworn in front of him by accident eg when I cut my finger on a knife or someone pulled out in front of me when driving but I definitely don’t swear constantly. He does it more when over tired / dysregulated but even when seemingly fine, he will suddenly say “f**ks sake”. I’ve tried ignoring it, speaking really sternly to him about it and repeating “we do not swear” and I’ve even shouted at him and told him I’m going to tell his teacher :woman_facepalming:t3: The alarm went off this morning for school/work and he swore having barely opened his eyes.

What else can I do?! It’s an awful habit and I’m really concerned :confused:

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This happened with one of my 5 year olds last summer and I ignored it and it turned out to be a phase and went away fairly quickly. So frustrating though, I do get it. Not sure what to suggest if ignoring it isn’t helping though??

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I’m very guilty of this myself and have been trying to stop myself swearing. My kids haven’t picked it up yet, but I must stop to make sure they don’t. Interested in the advice you get @singlemumof1. Hopefully like @LondonParent’s experience it’ll be a phase he goes through if you stay consistent. You sound like you’re doing all the right things by ignoring it when you can and at times reinforcing the house rules of not swearing. I’m sure if you can stay calm and consistent with it, he’ll stop eventually. Maybe he’s looking for a reaction from you? x

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Thanks @StressedMum. He’s absolutely wanting a reaction from me. Which would suggest he hasn’t had enough dedicated time playing with me or something but I don’t think it’s that?? Really trying to ignore it but it was happening again this morning when he asked if he was going to the childminder or if I was taking him to school. I don’t know if ignoring it is going to work??

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I don’t think you should be yourself up about not spending enough time with him. When ignoring doesn’t work, adding a consequence for swearing can be effective. You have to warn him in advance, stay very calm when it happens but gently say so now you are losing 15 minutes of screen time/not having a 2nd helping at dinner/going to bed 30 minutes early or whatever else it is that he cares about.

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Thank you @Prof_Stephen_Scott, that’s useful to know. I think I’m going to have to proceed with consequences, as much as I don’t want to as it’s just not going away. I’ll keep you posted!

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