How to Get Your Teens to Stop Swearing
Lately my teens have taken to swearing when they think I’m not within hearing distance.
Fact: One of the symptoms of motherhood is that all senses (including our sense of guilt) become bionic. It’s why many people often refer to mothers as “demi-gods.” (Or possibly that’s just me.)
So how do I react to my teens’ newly formed “behind-my-back-swearing” habit?
I’ve programmed my sense of hearing to automatically bleep out all words that begin with “f”, “sh” and “b”. Why? Because if my personal experience as a teenager taught me anything, it’s that the term “do the opposite” is THE preferred mantra for anyone between the ages of 13 and 19. Or 12 and 22, depending on what part of the country you live in.
Let’s face it. Teens will come home with new ideas . . . opinions . . . words . . . and they will test us. That’s what teens do and that’s why we have them -- so that we can excel at being adults. Teenagers are our very own, personal INCENTIVE to grow up.
And since I have my black belt in parenting, I’ve discovered the perfect way to nip the swearing bud in the butt. You can try this at home because there’s no actual nipping involved.
The two-step process for getting your teens to stop using swear words:
We all know that swear words are a healthy part of a balanced vocabulary. They help alleviate frustration and serve as triggers for eliminating stress. And since we all want our teens to grow into healthy adults, the secret is not to eliminate swear words, but to replace them. And you can do that with this simple two-step process.
Introduce new words.
Make new words sound really cool.
To help get you started, here’s a list of swear words and terms with suggested replacements:
What the fuck? - BECOMES - What the what?
Jesus Christ! - BECOMES - Cheese n’ rice!
Stop talking shit! - BECOMES - Stop talking junk!
You can also use one word to replace all cuss words. Here are some examples with the word “Fish.” (Let’s see if you can figure out what the original terms were).
Go fish yourself!*
Shut the fish up!*
*Use of exclamation mark is optional.
As a mother, you can imagine how proud I am when I hear my teens yelling “WHAT-THE-WHAT” and “GO FISH YOURSELF” to each other. It’s really quite heartwarming.