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There comes a time when, no matter how hard we try to do the opposite, our children end up spouting the odd curse or insult. What to do when this happens, do we let it go or correct it immediately?
As usual, everything will depend on the age of the child and the intention with which he does itThe insult of a 2-year-old is not the same as that of a 10-year-old. We teach you some guidelines to correct your child when this happens.
1. Be an example, a role model
In the first place, parents must be positive references for our children since young children learn mainly by imitation. If we, the parents, are the first to insult when we get angry about something, we will hardly have the moral authority to correct our children when they insult.
2. Set clear rules and limits
With regard to insults inside or outside the home, you have to set limits. As parents we must establish the rules of the game that are allowed in our home and this also includes the type of vocabulary and tone that can be used at home and outside of it.
We must explain to the children which words are acceptable and which are not. Why is it not correct to insult and how they should treat their brothers, relatives, friends and acquaintances. We must explain the importance of respect and tolerance, but not only that, they must also see us practice these values with them and with the rest of the people around us.
3. Moderate reactions
Having clear the first premise (which must be basic to be able to correct children who insult) we must take into account another very important and that is that the more we get angry with children when they insult, the more power we grant them. Children soon discover, and depending on our reactions, the power of certain words, especially curse words and insults. So in reprimanding the child who insults we must maintain a firm but not authoritarian stance, explain but not yell, even sometimes it will be better to ignore than to punish.
4. Practice empathy
Try to understand why the child is insulting: is he provoking us, drawing attention or cannot contain his anger? Knowing the answer to this question will help us to better correct these insulting children.
5. Apply sanctions for the recurrence of insults
Sometimes it will be enough to apply a short time-out punishment for the child to realize that what he has said has hurt the feelings of a third party and that this is not allowed. In others, and with older children; the sanction may be related to the withdrawal of a privilege such as going to the park to play soccer with your friends the next day.
6. Look for the saturation of the insult
This alternative, although it may seem controversial, is a strategy to disempower the child who insults to provoke. It is about offering a space and a time for the child to say all the insults he wants without stopping. For example, we will ask him to say 'silly' for 5 minutes if that is the insult he has uttered to us, while we must remain calm by his side.
7. Propose and apply the repair of the damage caused
This is another technique used to repair the damage inflicted by an insult for example to a brother. The child who insults should give his brother a minimum of 3 praise or praise in a sincere way. Applicable to children from 6 years old.
8. Offer alternatives
This is the best of the techniques because the objective is long-term, while the others, although they have immediate results in the long run, work better when the child knows other ways of expressing his anger, rage or frustration or has learned to wait or call us attention without resorting to insults or bad manners. Our role as parents is to offer them models, guides of behavior different from the ones they are using wrongly.
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