My 2 year old has started swearing.
Yes I know, I can practically see the look on your face now as you read this.
But before you judge me, can I just say that it’s really not my fault, I lay that blame firmly at the feet of my husband who uses the phrase “Bloody” or “Bloody Hell,” more than he realises.
So of course the toddler has picked up on it and over the last couple of weeks has been uttering the words “Bloody Hell!” or shouting “Bloody …. (insert appropriate word – book / toy / fork etc.)” in a fit of rage.
When she first said it, I was stunned. “Did she really just come out with what I think she did?” I couldn’t quite believe it. So what did I do? I did absolutely nothing. I didn’t tell her off, I didn’t get cross I just let it go.
Then about a week later she said it again. And despite my husband’s insistencies that he was sure that he’d only muttered it a couple of times in front of the children, she said it again. She said it in exactly the same context as before – when you would expect to use this phrase because she was cross or frustrated about something. And once again, I was a bit shocked and didn’t know what to do exactly, so I let it go. AGAIN.
How to Deal With It?
Last weekend, a couple of friends popped in to borrow some tools (yes, Rock and Roll I know) and whilst we were drinking our tea (told you), the toddler who had been playing nicely with her toy garage, threw a car across the room and furiously shouted “That Bloody Car!”
There was a stunned silence as said friends looked at me and whispered “Did she just say…..?” I quickly confirmed that, yes she had, and proceeded to tell Eva to “Calm down and not to use that word.”
At which point Alice, my 4 year old piped up “Don’t say what word mummy?”
And herein lies the problem. How to deal with stopping the toddler from swearing without:
a) Drawing attention to it being a real problem or being “naughty.”
b) Making them do it or say it even more. I don’t really think the trick of using reverse psychology on a toddler will really work in this instance. (I have a bizarre image in my head whereby I’m swearing or encouraging her to swear in an effort to make her stop).
c) Alerting the eldest daughter to this word and starting her off swearing. Having one child that swears is bad enough, but having them both F’ing and Blinding could be a bit embarrassing.
But you see now I’m stuck with a bit of a conundrum: If I don’t tell the toddler off, I can’t let her carry on with her potty mouth. (This pun would have worked so much better 8 months ago), spouting out swear words everywhere we go because quite frankly WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK OF ME?!
How Does it Make Me Look?
Fortunately my friends laughed about it, but I’m very aware that it is only a matter of time before the toddler has a melt down in a shop, or in her sister’s classroom or in the street whilst chatting with my elderly neighbour and could easily scream out “Bloody Hell!” at any moment.
And I can just IMAGINE the look that I will be given by the shop assistant, teacher or elderly neighbour when this happens. It will be one of horror. Because let’s face it WHO let’s their 2 year old swear and WHERE could they have learnt it from?
I’ll have to try and placate the shop assistant, teacher or elderly neighbour and persuade them not to phone social services. I’ll have to reason that the toddler doesn’t really come from a bad home full of swearing, drug taking parents, but instead has a photographic memory for using words that she has only heard once or twice, yes really.
This Cute Face Hides a Foul Mouth
Nobody really wants their kids to swear right? Especially in a child so young, it looks horrible and …. well… kind of sordid. But even more than that, I think I’m a little bit terrified of being judged by other people. Family and friends I can get away with by blaming the husband, but ordinary members of the public will start to wonder just what sort of mother am I.
So please don’t judge me! I might mutter swear words to myself when the kids are driving me up the wall but I do it behind my hand or in the toilet or with my head in the fridge. I truly am not to blame for why my 2 year old suddenly has a foul mouth. I’m furious with my husband for starting all this off and then jollying off to work on a daily basis leaving me to suffer the rude consequences.
If anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it, because I really am unsure what to do next. Leave it and hope it goes away? Or risk her saying it more and more often whenever she gets cross about something? And seeing as she is 2 going on 3 I can only see this happening more frequently!