WASHINGTON — Everything from TV, movies, music, school friends and even parents influence the words children use. So what do you do if those words are bad ones?
“Best advice: Be cool,” says Dr. Timothy Jay, a psychology professor at the Massachuset ts College of Liberal Arts.
“Kids are very sensitive to our emotions, so they’ll know this is an important word by the way you react to it even if you yell at them or you laugh.”
Jay, co-author of “A Child’s Garden of Curses,” says children are like little language vacuum cleaners, and they repeat what they hear. Jay, a world renowned expert in cursing , says children as young as two are cursing. But what they say relates to their age.
“They don’t use insults that adults would use. You have ‘poopie-head’ or ‘scaredy cat’ that are characteristic of preschoolers.”
As children get older, their words change.
Jay reminds parents that everyone swears and knows swearing.
“So every child will learn how to swear. So parents, anticipate it. It’s going to happen.”
When it does, so does the discussion of when these words are appropriate. Jay says he uses the three Rs method — reason, respect and responsibility.
“Think about what you’re going to say – reason, respect other people — don’t call them things you wouldn’t want to be called — and then if you do, then you have to take responsibility for your language.”
H/T Daily Mail.