Teens will use their potty mouths and filthy language usually among their peers, maybe to be cool, maybe because they are hearing it at home. Many have it witnessed it on their social networking pages or even participated in texting profanity. Again, they need to be reminded of who may be reviewing their social networking pages. Whether it is college admissions or potential employers, they need to learn to keep it clean.
The best way to do this is by never getting into the habit of starting it.
Generations earlier parents used to threaten a bar of soap to their younger kids when they heard that language or back talk. It’s something you can’t do with a teenager.
Insights for parents:
- Experts agree that if offensive language is part of a pattern of aggressive behavior, there’s a problem. But in most cases, it’s just the way teens salt their language in a perceived desire to sound older.
- Perhaps swearing is part of growing up. Yet another part of growing up knowing how to speak with adults and in formal situations. As most parents come to recognize, teaching good judgment is not a one-time event; it’s a process.
Parents who want their teens to stop cursing must clean up their own language as well. It sends a mixed message if parents use profanity or seem to enjoy movies with foul language. Make a clear rule that certain words will not be allowed in the house. Set consequences in advance.
- Talk with your children about what cursing says about them to the outside world (college admissions officers and possible employers, for example). Ask children how they believe others will view them if they use profanity. Explain that cursing can reflect a bad attitude. It can signify a person who lacks maturity, intelligence, manners or emotional control.
In reality everyone uses profanity now and then, however it is important to recognize it is not good behavior and be sure it doesn’t become a habit. Especially when it comes to your social media profiles – that is something that lives online forever.
Be an educated parent, you will have smarter, healthier and safer teens.