Categorized | Parenting, Toddler Behaviour

What To Do When Your Toddler Has A Potty Mouth

As your toddler’s vocabulary continues to expand, there will be times he will utter a few words that are just too mortifying to hear. Here are some tips on how to tame your toddler’s potty mouth and save yourselves from embarrassment once and for all.

Set A Good Example

One of the best ways to keep your toddler from using inappropriate language is by controlling your own words. Children love imitating people, especially their parents. So if your toddler hears you say it, he is going to try it. Even if you are angry, this is not a reason to curse. Know how to handle your feelings in the heat of the moment so you will not have any regrets once you have calmed down. But in case you unintentionally cuss in front of your little one, replace it with another catchy word. Say “Beep.”, “Peanut butter!” or invent a new word like “Boccalocca!”. Do not forget to say your substitute word with just as much emotion.

Create A Swearing Jar

Whenever mom, dad, your child or any family member utters a swear word, have them drop a quarter or dollar into a jar. This is an effective strategy that will stop anyone’s potty mouth.

Always Keep A Straight Face

A toddler who uses foul words is looking for a reaction from his parents. He may think the word is funny or saying it makes him cool. So if your toddler says “Stinky pants.”, do not laugh nor get mad as this will only reinforce your little one to say the words more often. Turn the other ear. Sooner or later, he will stop cussing because you did not give it the time of day.

Establish Consequences

If your toddler’s potty mouth becomes an ongoing problem, it is time to set consequences - withholding privileges, giving him a time out or washing the mouth with soap. Make sure to implement it. This way, your toddler will understand that what he is doing is not making you happy.


Talk to your toddler. Figure out the source and his reasons for using cuss language. If he heard them on a TV show, monitor the television programs your toddler watches or watch TV together. If he heard it from his playmates, ask him if he knows what it means, but do not correct him. Instead of saying, “Baby, saying you are stupid is not nice.”, say, “Oh my, I heard your teddy using potty talk. What should teddy do instead?”. This way, your toddler is giving a lesson to someone else which helps him better develop empathy.

Provide A Distraction

Play games with your toddler. Dare your toddler to think of words that rhyme with the cuss word. If he keeps saying “Damn it.”, he can say “Bam it.”, “Game it.” or “Slam it.”. Or ask him to think of words that start with the same letter. Ultimately, your toddler will disregard the “word” because he is too preoccupied thinking of other words.

When all else fails, talk to you toddler so you can get to the bottom of his misbehaviour. Your child might have a bigger problem that needs professional help.

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August 2019
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