What is the best way to stop children from cursing? OP tried his best to stop his child from cursing in vain, so he decided to take the punishment a notch higher, which was even received with more resistance. He posted on the “AITA” subreddit wanting to know if he was wrong.
Just a Curious Child
OP and his girlfriend were watching a movie late in the night. It was 11 pm, and their son was supposed to be asleep by that time for a couple of hours.
But then, their son woke up at one time and walked out of his bedroom to use the bathroom. But at that time, a character in the movie yelled, “f***.”
OP says they had put the volume lower than usual, but their son somehow heard the word. OP tried to get him back in bed, but the child kept asking what the word meant. OP just told him it was a bad word and he did not need to know what it meant.
And as you would have expected, telling that to anybody, whether a child or an adult, will only spark more curiosity.
Stop Saying the Bad Word
A day after this incident, they tried everything to “make” their son stop saying the word, but he won’t. They have done all sorts of punishments like “Sit in a corner,” “We’ll take your video games,” and “We won’t let friends come over.”
All these punishments did not just stop him. He kept saying it and asking what it meant.
Upped the Punishment
So, OP and his girlfriend decided to take the punishments a notch higher; they went out for dinner and left their son at home; they usually took him to the family dinners.
They had decided not to take him this time because they were afraid he might say the word in public or to someone or even ask someone what it meant. OP says he did not want to deal with having to explain this to anyone. He insists he does not want to get kicked out of a place because his son constantly says obscenities.
Even More Rebellion
They got a family friend to babysit him for the first time since the child was 2.
Their son was distraught with being left behind. OP told him they would bring him food to calm him down, but the child was not having it. They told him he could watch movies or play with the sitter, but he did not stop sulking.
OP and his wife were only away for two hours, but when they returned, they discovered that their son spent most of the time pouting in his room.
Not Taking the Punishment Well
He then left his room to watch TV but was still visibly upset.
Now that they are home, the child is still mad for not getting to go out, and OP has been feeling guilty about his actions.
Is OP the ***hole?
The Masses Weigh In
Many commenters could not believe how harsh OP was to his 7-year-old. They labeled him the ***hole and asked him to do better.
One said, “This is a normal, age-appropriate part of his development, and you could not have handled it worse, OP. 7-year-olds are still learning. They can’t pull reasons out of their **s. It’s your job to teach him – explain why it’s a bad word and what the consequences of saying it may be.”
A child that age is very curious and still has a lot of things to learn. It is only best for the parent to support their curiosity to facilitate their learning; as one commenter said, “All you’ve done is punish him for being curious and show him that you’re ashamed of him learning and exploring a new language (again, developmentally appropriate for a child his age). What kind of lesson do you think he got from how you’ve treated him?”
Explain Why They Are Being Punished
One commenter thought it was absurd for OP to punish the child without telling him why he was getting punished. They said, “You cannot punish and isolate a child and refuse to explain why. We aren’t born with the ability to understand correlation and causation.”
And finally, “OP, YTA. Kids don’t change their behavior if you punish them repeatedly for something because they do not understand why it is bad. If you do not want him to do something, you need to give him a satisfactory answer as to why. “It’s a bad word” isn’t enough.”
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