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Angry or irritated with something and ready to blow steam?
Cuss and other foul / abusive words should be a strict no-no in front of the kids. They are very quick to pick up words, and unknowingly if you have not been watchful, they can innocently embarrass you in the next family gathering or some social function.
At times such words can also be picked up outside the four walls of the house too, particularly when kids start primary school and use the school bus and their exposure to senior kid’s increases or they spend a lot of their time with domestic help / babysitters in parks.
Our natural reaction once the embarrassment is over would be to quickly admonish or be stern with the child, without realizing that probably we are the ones responsible for them picking up Greek in the first place.
Many a times it may also be prudent to turn the other way and ignore the issue. It may just be a one-off, which, if ignored, may just fall off the child’s radar and not be repeated again. By not giving it importance and reacting immediately may sound risky, but from a child’s perspective since the parents and the other adults in the household have not responded, they may not use these words again. Monitor this for a while, and if it is repeated then the child does need to be spoken with.
Another approach would be to explain that such words are bad or adult in context and should not be part of the child’s vocabulary. If we press too hard, they are likely to wonder and realize that such words have an impact on us and may unknowingly use it to draw attention. Additionally, difficult questions on the meaning of the word should not be ducked, rather, putting them in the bracket of something which pertains to the adult domain may safely close the chapter for some time at least.