Potty mouth

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by agee, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. agee

    agee Guest

    So, difficult child talks CONSTANTLY. If he is not talking he's humming or singing or clicking or whatever. And he loves, loves, loves to talk about his butt, poop, etc. He loves to have his hands down his pants (the rear),smack his rear and yell "you want a piece of me?" and call all of us names.
    He doesn't know many bad words now, but the ones he knows he uses liberally. I CAN NOT WAIT 'TIL HE'S OLDER. (kidding)
    (13 days 'til the neuropsychologist...not that I'm counting or anything,
  2. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Fun, huh! Unfortunately I have to tell you that the potty mouth phase goes on a long time...sigh.

    I think you will make more progress with him if you just ignore it, praise him when you are having a civilized conversation. Getting angry and punishing him is not likely to produce good results, as I am sure you have already discovered. Easy to say, hard not to do.

    Hang in there.

    What do you know about the neuropsychologist? Do they have alot of experience with complicated kiddos? We've had good and bad experiences. It helps to know what questions you specifically want them to try to answer and whether they have the training and experience to do that.

    Good luck.

  3. agee

    agee Guest

    I do try to ignore it, unless he's calling names. Then he needs to go somewhere else - we have a "naughty step" - the bottom of our stairs - where I have him cool off. That generally works to stop the namecalling for a little while.
    The neuropsychologist is an ADHD + developmental diabilities + brain injury specialist and he is the clinic's founder. He is also the father of internationally adopted children. That doesn't guarantee he knows about adoption issues but it seems like he should at least know the basics. I didn't choose him. I just started calling around and I went with the first clinic that called me back and gave me an appointment. I figure this is a starting point, anyway. We've had some nice doctors up to this point, but they've just been guessing. I'm ready for some better answers.
    Hey - I looked at the link you sent me for Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), and I it fits and it doesn't. The behavioral stuff fits but not of the intellectual. When my son can't do schoolwork, for example, it's not because he is incapable or can't remember - it's more that he starts out with an attitude of NO. Combine that with no attention span and it's rare that he can finish one page of homework (I'm just coming off that homework page so it's on my mind). He needs my help to stay on task but me being there also means that it's an opportunity to engage me and try to push my buttons. He is always looking for a reaction.
    We really just need to figure out how to help him. What can be helped? What must just be endured?
  4. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Sounds like you have stumbled across a good neuropsychologist. He should know where to send you.

    My son is cognitively well within the normal range--his issues are mostly attentional in nature. Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) is a spectrum disorder.

    Good question on what you help and what must be endured--I think with much of what we deal with it is both. You can help, but there are no quick fixes. Endurance is the name of the game. If there is something that can be medicated one can see a quick fix--with both of my kids finding a medication that helped made a huge immediate difference. But there are things that medications haven't helped, and they are a slow process of maturation, good parenting, and sheer endurance.

    Getting your school on board is really key. So often they aren't willing to adapt to the child's challenges--they make you feel like a bad parent for sending in a kid with problems. One thing the neuropsychologist should be able to definitely help with is to suggest what accomodations and strategies the school should be putting in place.
  5. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    My son is the same way. Non stop talking, with lots of potty talk. I notice that this is causing him some problems socially, too. He doesn't understand when other kids stop thinking it is funny.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What worked for us - appeal to his intelligence and his desire to fit in. Due to likely poor social skills, he probably got into this habit from other kids at school but never got out of it.

    We handled it by saying sadly, "Oh really! That is so infantile. Only babies talk like that." We generally played it down. Don't react with shock or horror, boredom is much more effective. Little kids do the potty mouth thing to shock other kids and any adults within earshot. They usually learn fairly quickly that it loses its shock value. But while it HAS shock value, they will use it.

    The other thing that always works for us is to inform the child. We explain what a word or phrase means. So when easy child was four and was coming out with a certain nasty four letter word meaning excrement, I told her that was what it mean. She thought about it and then said, "So is that why you use that word when difficult child 1 has a dirty nappy?"

    As for the hands down the pants - we still have that at times with difficult child 3. And he's 15. We don't smack (although as a short, sharp reminder it can be useful) but instead we simply said, "For pete's sake, take your hand out of your pants. It won't run away if you let go, you know."
    With younger boys who keep playing with "it", my sister used to tell them, "Leave it alone of you will make it sore." (I think that was out of Dr Spock).

    We did sit the boys down and tell them that it is simply not polite to have your hand down your trousers like that. People don't like seeing it especially when you will take tat hand out of your pants to reach for food, to open a door, to shake someone's hand and then whatever is on your hands gets shared around - would YOU like to share other people's bottom germs?
    and after that we simply kept gently reminding. "Take your hand out of your trousers."

    It's an anxiety thing, especially with boys - part of it is the self-skin contact (you see anxious or scared kids hugging themselves or with folded arms) and part of it is the feeling comfortable/nice. I've known of some parents who choose to not inhibit their children and who therefore allow as much of this "self-pleasuring" as the child chooses. Those children then grow up not knowing what is socially acceptable or not. I do think kids need to learn manners. And that is what this boils down to.

    So explain the reason for the need for manners and especially THOSE manners, and then keep reminding.

    It's about all you can do.

    Information and support works best.

  7. agee

    agee Guest

    I am thrilled about this possibility. I am hoping that he'll get pull-out services based on what we find out. That (plus medications that actually do something) would help him and his teacher.
    His current teacher doesn't make him "feel" bad, but he also doesn't follow the recommendations of the 504 plan that we set up last year completely. He is a really nice guy and very good about meeting with me but I'm not sure difficult child is getting all the help he needs to learn. That said, he's just about on grade level. I have a sneaking suspicion difficult child is pretty bright - all the other stuff gets in the way.
    And this was great advice as to how to deal with the potty mouth issues. Believe me, we have done all of that. The only time we punish is when names are being directed at us or his brother over and over again. That, in my humble opinion, is bordering on abuse and I will not put up with it. But the constant potty talk we just put up with. It's almost like a compulsion with him, though - he has to say something so that's what he says.
  8. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    This may be a really bad idea and has the potential to backfire. So be free to put the idea where it belongs if needed. But one idea is:

    He needs to develop a better understanding of when such language is appropriate and when it is not. You also need to be responsive to his interests and personality. You might try sitting down with him and talking about good and bad times for the potty language. State that if he is consistent with using only good language in appropriate situations you will reward him. Then if he is good get him a Captain Underpants book. (He will absolutely love it, you will hate it. They are terrible!!! Underpants and potty humor run ramped).

    The idea is to teach him that in his room, with the book(s), he can be free to enjoy his own humor and relax and let it rip. But, in school, with company ect. He needs to develop control and to be mindful and respectful of those around him. Teach when it is OK and when it is not, and reward successful efforts.

    The backfire part exists, because if he cannot control himself, Captain Underpants will give him lots of new material to use. On the positive side the book series are the only reason my two youngest learned to read.
  9. agee

    agee Guest

    That's a great idea - you are actually talking with an elementary school librarian/mom to difficult child and a easy child older boy so I am very familiar with Captain Underpants. We've read all of them. Tra la la!
    He does not say bad words at school.
    He doesn't call teachers or friends at school names.
    He probably talks no more about his rear end or poop at school than the next 7 year old.
    It's all for US US US! It's what he does when he is relaxed. He's not even doing it for effect because we don't react strongly to it at all. It's just so tiresome...
    I appreciate the thought, though, Rewards do work best for him when we can find moments to reward. And a fun book is a great reward.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Maybe all you need to do is say. "Stop!" and then give him some alternative words to say. He sounds like he's needing to express frustration - so get him to say, after you, "I am so angry! I am so frustrated!" and then show him that you WILL respond to this to try to help him around what is making him angry or frustrated.

    Sometimes it takes coaching and rehearsal of some surprising things.

    As for him feeling more relaxed and letting you have it the worst - that's a common finding, the kids try to hold it together when they know they have to, so they tend to behave worst with the people who they know love them unconditionally.

    As for the teacher not following all the things you agreed on - I'm not the least bit surprised. It was always a common reason for us, for the failure of difficult child 3's various learning plans or behaviour plans.

  11. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    This can backfire with funny results sometimes. Something Marg hasn't mentioned - we've been so successful with difficult child 3's cursing that he doesn't use those words at all.

    When he curses he (literally) says things like "Well I'll be bleeped". He ACTUALLy uses the word 'Bleep' or makes a sound like a TV bleep. Did we say that he is an incredible mimic?

    Marg's Man
  12. agee

    agee Guest

    Ha - this has happened to us, too.
    I have been called a bleep-hole before. That, and an a-hole. He has never called me an actual swearword (usually I'm an idiot moron butthead) but his brother has been called the real thing.
    Thanks everyone. It helps that I'm not the only one going through this!