Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Parent to Parent: Potty Mouth
First they walk, then they talk. Toddlers are little experts at learning a language. But sometimes their nice words turn naughty. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Dr. Valerie shows us how to deal with a child who is talking trash.
WSVN -- These days, 2-year-old Lara de Armas always has something to say.
Isabel: "She's a little parrot. She's just mimicking what we say."
Like all moms, Isabel loves hearing her talk. But sometimes Lara learns some words she shouldn't know.
Isabel: "Sometimes it slips. I think I'm careful with it, unless I loose my temper. Then I might slip."
If you hear your child repeating a four letter word, the first thing to do is nothing. 7 News' parenting expert, Dr. Valerie, says reacting only gives your child an easy way to grab your attention.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "The child is having fun with the language. But, if you don't want them to use it, don't smile and don't get angry."
You should really only be concerned if the bad phrases are used with bad behavior. Once your child begins saying the word while hitting or throwing, step in with discipline.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "If it's a very little child, remove them from the situation temporarily to show them there is a cost for using words like that and not listening to you."
If, on the other hand, your teenager talks trash, try reasoning.
Explain a bad mouth doesn't make a person sound more mature.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "A smart person doesn't necessarily use bad language. They have a very good vocabulary. I would want to stress those things as opposed to punishment."
It's also important that parents police themselves.
As always, they must set a good example. If you do slip up, quickly correct yourself, and try to emphasize an alternative phrase around younger children.
Dr. Valerie goode: "It's not that they pick it up if you say it once, but if you use the same kind of phases over and over again the child is more than likely to use the same phrases."
Isabel is making sure to set a good example at home.
Along with her ABCs, she knows little Lara has a lot to learn about language.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Even when you think they're not paying attention, they are kind of absorbing everything."
When you want to talk to your child about language, Dr. Valerie says parents should choose their words carefully. Angry language will almost always block communication. Instead, try to foster an open discussion.
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH, E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode
7711 SW 62 Ave.
Miami, FL 33143