It was bound to happen and now that it has, I know exactly who to blame: the parents. Ian's parents, that is, Curt and I. I will even say it is more my fault than Curt's. What happened?
All of a sudden, WTF has become Ian's favorite phrase (he does not abbreviate). Whenever he gets frustrated, which is often because he's always into something, he now yells,"WTF".
We knew we needed to quit, but deployment and multiple international moves are not conducive to quitting. Pregnant friends out there, quit now. Quit before the baby is born. it will be easier than trying to quit later.
So, we do we do about potty mouth from an almost 2 year old?
According to Elizabeth Pantley in The No-Cry Discipline Solution:
1. Don't laugh.
2. Don't get angry.
3. Don't express shock or offense.
Any of the first 3 reactions give the words more power and will result in more use, especially from a toddler.
4. Ignore the first offense (he's well past the first offense)
5. Teach your child what is socially inappropriate. Ian doesn't really have a concept of appropriateness. I think he is too young for this right now.
6. Keep an eye on siblings, friends, and other adults (including yourself). We need to stop swearing. Hearing a child less than two say,"WTF" for 20 minutes in a row as he did the other day when I was putting him down for his nap has worked in getting us to stop cold turkey. Yikes!
7. Monitor TV shows and movies. AFN cuts the F-bomb out of shows and movies. Can't really blame tv for this one.
I am also working with him on asking for help, both verbally and through sign. Part of the swearing is language experimentation. The F-Bomb is such a satisfying word to say. It has a powerful hard sound that really helps to release frustration which is why so many people over-use it. I need to teach him some socially appropriate, yet, fun to say words and then use them instead of the F word so hopefully he will make the switch.
Please, pregnant friends, don't find yourself in this bad parent situation that I am in. Quit now.
On the plus side, he is using "please" and "thanks" a lot more lately. A little redemption for the bad parent!