Any ideas on

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    how to get a difficult child not to say certain words? I can't control most of what comes out of his mouth. I hate the swearing and the rudeness but the one think that really sets me off is when difficult child uses the "N" word. Often when he is mad he will call husband, easy child or me this word. We try to explain what it means and how inappropriate it, we've tried giving consequences, we've tried ignoring. Nothing works. I think someday he is going to end up getting beat up for using this word.
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Soap in the mouth?

    When difficult child was about 10 she liked the B!tch work and used to call all of us it freely, even when she wasn't really truly mad. I got sick of it and lost my temper one day and wiped some tasty ivory soap in her mouth - amazing I didn't get bitten. I did it a total of three times. Anyway, it worked. As far as I could hear she never said that word around any of us again!

    I know it sounds horrid, but there must be something to it if millions of our parents did it!! I'm just throwing it out there. Not sure how opposed to this method you are.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Yours is 10, ours is 9 and he learned the term " Je*" from this particular young "gentleman" at school (remember: he's in day treatment with a lot of kids with TONS of diagnosis') who has taught him one incredible vocabulary (school confirmed, but could not name names). Problem was, he had no idea what he had said. In MY book, ignorance is no excuse!

    Well, I showed him what he said (I was INSENSED!!!). I took him home, logged in and showed him pictures of the Holocaust on the internet. He actually cried. I explained to him THIS IS WHAT HATRED PRODUCES.

    Log in and surf around for pictures from the civil war on. People have been persecuted for a couple of hundred years so there's material out there that you can expose him to. Then explain to him that he's displaying his own ignorance and that he's too bright to be using such an ignorant term. Again, this is what results from hatred and ignorance.

    Just a suggestion!

    Hope I didn't offend!


  4. Janna

    Janna New Member


    Does difficult child get an allowance?

    Something that worked for us, curse jars.

    I put two jars on the kitchen counter. One was quarters ($3.00 I think), one empty. Every time he said the "F" word I removed a quarter from his allottment and placed it in the "curse" jar. At the end of the week, whatever he had left, was what he could spend. The rest went in my pocket (to go back into his jar the next week LOL).

    I know this kinda stuff doesn't work with alot of kids, just a thought.

  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Beth, your idea sounds great. I guess I was just plain ol' angry and mean.

    I remember when easy child wanted to see Titanic in the 7th grade because all her little girly friends went to see it something like 7 times. I was so upset that parents allowed them to overdose on such a horror. So, I made a deal with her - she had to do a research paper on the titanic and then, only then, would I take her to see it with me. She agreed. We both wept throughout the movie and afterwards she was horrified that her friends would want to see it more than once.

    And when difficult child told all her friends that she was anorexic (she wasn't) I made her do a research paper for me on anorexia. It helped her to have a better understanding of anorexia and bulimia.

    See how I'm desperately trying to redeem myself for the soap in the mouth incident? lol

    Sharon, I like Beth's idea a lot! It makes such good sense.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Aw Jo, soap in the mouth is no biggie. I used it. My kids never cursed in my house, still don't. One time with the soap cured it. Didn't hurt em, but it tasted NASTY, just like the word they used.

    I used a dot of dish soap right on the end of the tongue. Why dish soap? Cuz the first reaction is to wash it off, so when they do they get more bubbles. Lasts long enough to get the idea, yet not even an after effect of diarrhea.

    However I also like the idea of looking up the history/meaning of a word. So many people use words and haven't a clue as to what the real meaning is behind them.

  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I used soap in the mouth. Well, not in the mouth, but on the mouth. I couldn't bring myself to put it in the mouth. It didn't work at all for my difficult child. Just really ticked her off.

    I think this may be more geared for younger kids, but I read one time about making the child repeat the offensive word, one minute for every year old the child is. THAT worked for my difficult child. She was so sick of saying it - and really annoyed that she had to keep saying it - that she didn't say it again after. But, she was about 4 years old. Not sure you could get a 10 year old to do that.

    So, other than that, I like Beth's and Janna's ideas.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I think that your difficult child has so very little understanding of this word & how hurtful it really is - he cannot comprehend at this time the harmfulness, the danger in using this word.I doubt explaining or giving difficult child a history of what is behind this word will make little impact.

    And in saying that, I have very little to offer other than consistent consequences each time difficult child uses this word.

    I would bring in every team member that works with difficult child & have them use whatever consequence is decided upon. Everyone (teachers, tdocs, psychiatrists, family, friends of the family) needs to be in on this one. And it's going to take a while for difficult child to understand the cause of using this word & the effect of the consequence. He may never fully understand the reason for not using this word.

    You cannot control what difficult child says outside of your home, you can, however, in your home. Wish I had more to offer.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks Ladies,

    Jo-When difficult child was little we tried the soap thing-didn't work and he is so on the edge right now he would get violent-but we did try it-don't feel bad about the suggestion.

    Beth-We have explained what it means but I like your idea of showing him.

    Janna-The allowance idea is a possibility. I was going to do something like that once. Right now difficult child is so on edge that it could cause him to get physical but I will keep it in mind for the future.

    Lisa-Interesting about the dish soap. He doesn't understand the meaning (although we have tried to explain it) and just uses it for effect.

    Heather-Interesting idea-not sure what difficult child would do with that-might be interesting to try.

    It is just so frustrating, he truly doesn't get it. He uses it for effect. He doesn't even get the fact that he is African American and how offensive that is. We have all tried to explain it to him-even easy child who is furious when he uses it (she too is African American and understands the meaning).
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The day is fast approaching - already here in some parts of the world including ours - where soap in the mouth is considered abuse. So we need to put thinking caps on and come up with something more acceptable and if possible, more effective.

    Gleaning from everybody else but putting in my 2c worth as well:

    1) Look up the meaning/etymology/history of the word. Wikipedia makes life a lot easier these days. This is a useful punishment because it involves a lecture; time spent 'studying' and having to learn something; having to ace the outcome and find a better way. It also makes for a much more knowledgeable child (and parent?)

    2) Sit with the child and find a better alternative word. Part of the rationale here - using the same old swear words as everybody else is unimaginative as well as offensive. The point of swearing is to have something you can utter as an outburst which helps relive tension; there's nothing in the rules that says it has to be offensive.
    I'm told that some other languages are very satisfying to swear in - German is good, I'm told Yugoslav is brilliant. French is useless for swearing. Although "merde" was the substitute swear word easy child 2/difficult child 2 used for some time.
    I remember saying "sugar!" instead of sh**. The problem with that was I sometimes uttered "Sugar!" with such vehemence, it was clear what I was THINKING. So I changed to "Schweppes!" which works well too.
    If you can find an imaginative alternative you next have to practice saying it, until it becomes automatic. That is another aspect of swear words - they have to be automatic. And it really does feel weird to be practising swearing. But it does work.
    Instead of "f***" I've substituted "far out!" or "for crying out loud!". If you pause on the "f" long enough, you can train your brain to substitute. Or you can take a leaf from the Two Ronnies and substitute a certain naughty phrase with "far canal". Although that is still perhaps too obvious. We have a suburb in Sydney called Kurnell. It, too, is also far away. Far Kurnell. They are talking about putting a desalination plant there. The public response - "far Kurnell!"

    I hope this helps.

  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    although the soap in the mouth is a tried and true method for mother's everywhere, my first thought about that and your difficult child was "he is so physical he could hurt Sharon if she attempted that!"

    I have to agree with Linda regarding difficult child understanding the meaning behind the word. You have to have empathy and understanding and I don't think your difficult child there yet. And, given that his is so "on edge" right now, you may need express your displeasure, let him know it's not allowed in your house, and leave it at that until he is more "stable".

    I am concerned for you guys that he seems to be going downhill right now. I hope much of it is hoiday related. I know you are exhausted and that easy child's recent antics haven't helped.

    I certainly wish that all four of you are able to unwind and really relax with the upcoming break. Perhaps a recharge is needed for everyone.

  12. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I think Beth's idea is a great one. I'm positive this idea would work on my easy child. However, I also think that as others have pointed out, unless your difficult child has empathy for others, it probably won't work. I know that this wouldn't work for either of my difficult children.

    I would have to say that I like Janna's idea. I can see this possibly working on my difficult children because of the fact that there is a reward for them if they don't use the hateful words. My difficult children definitely need an incentive to change their behavior.

    I also like Marg's idea about substituting a harmless word or phrase for the offensive one. However, I don't know if my difficult children would do this. I think my difficult children would use a nasty phrase for the negative impact it has on others. If the phrase didn't have the same negative impact on others, I don't think they would use it. This is just my two cents and my thoughts on my difficult children. As I said, I think it is a good idea and worth a try.

    I'm sorry your difficult child is still in a downward spiral. I hope things improve soon!!! Thinking of you and hoping tomorrow will be a better day. WFEN
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Linda-You are right, he doesn't understand the true meaning and he hasn't understood what we've tried to explain so far. We try to be consistent but it doesn't seem to be helping much.

    Marguerite-Thanks for the ideas-we have tried to sit down and come up with alternatives but the problem is he doesn't want to use alternatives. Wish he would!

    Sharon-I hope a lot of it is holiday related too but I'm not sure. Seems like he has been on this trend since October. I really am hoping for a change come January! And yeah, right now a lot of his displeasure does come out in physical abuse.

    WFEN-Yeah, I did try the money thing tonight-he was fuming and was going to give me the $ but then I told him I would take more if he didn't give me the fifty cents.

    Thanks all-I really do appreciate your ideas and support!
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Since he doesn't really understand the meanings of the words, it makes me think he's doing it because it gets a reaction. I'm not saying that you condone the language, but maybe stop giving him the reaction. In the meantime, work on teaching him why it's so bad.

    You'll have to find things that you feel are age and emotionally appropriate for him. But, there was a series on CNN recently (I can't remember the name of it) on being black in America. I had my daughter watch it with me, but it did cover things such as lynchings and was pretty graphic so you may not be comfortable with that. But they might have some useful information on their website from that series.
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Sharon, I may be off base here but I couldn't get my difficult child to do basic tasks like washing hands let alone research a word. Your difficult child is impulsive, explosive and has disordered thinking. If you think he would actually do this-go for it.
    As far as I can tell when a difficult child is this tightly wound up there is nothing you can make him do.

    It has to be when he is calmer and more open to understanding that you can tell stories of how the word is used. If he likes to be read to, maybe reading a book about hate and how it destroys one's humanity. Allowing words that promote hate to be used freely makes it all the more acceptable. If you think he will be resistant to you or husband reading a story with a moral, then maybe a intellect appropriate audio book where you could make parallels to his life and his behavior. Do role reversals and role play then tell him that his consequence in the future is XYZ.

    He has to understand that it is the parents job to raise a child who won't hurt others. If he dislikes the rules that you have put in place that's fine but you are there to protect difficult child and to protect easy child from hurt even if it's between siblings.

    easy child had a little potty mouth when in 1st grade. Just bathroom talk but we did the soap thing. It worked for him but he is a easy child. I could feed difficult child soap by the spoonfuls and he would never make the connection between his action and my torture. Certainly not at that age.
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Get him some ORBIT gum -

    Dirty MOUTH? Clean it up!

    Sorry - I am no help today! :rolleyes:
  17. lynnp

    lynnp New Member

    I have no answers, just understanding. My difficult child is Hispanic and says really awful things. The latest is the use of the word gay. He has many personal experiences and friendships with both gay and lesbian family friends and I know he values them but refuses to understand how they might feel if they hear him!! His excuse is that it's not what he means. Makes me crazy...we've chosen to ignore it completely. I'm not sure if that's right but it's my hope that when he grows up a bit the neurons will connect. Any kind of punishment, incentive to stop, reaction, conversation only makes it worse. I think we've actually made it worse by all that we've tried. UGH...please, just let them be human occaisionally!! :smile: