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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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When a child uses real bad words all the time, as, you, (8

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When a child uses real bad words all the time, as asshole, f**k you, (8 yrs old) what can we do to help end this?
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

Putting him in time-out is o.k. but a better thing to do is to provide positive reinforcement or a reward when he becomes angry and copes with the situation, without swearing. You would review with him what he has said in the recent past (last couple of days or at most, one week) when he got mad or didn't get his way, so he understands that you see (and he sees) a relationship between his feelings of anger and frustration and swearing. So you review a few examples. Next, explain that if he had done something else [explain what you would have RATHER have him do when he is upset], you would have not put him in time-out and would have done [you name the reward] You would think about these issues in advance involving these examples i.e., tell him something specific he should have done differently, and what the outcome would have been if he had not sworn. This might be a treat and a verbal compliment and hug for 'not swearing when you were mad'. Then, you create a chart to put on the refrigerator and give him some likely examples when you know he is likely to swear; explain that you will keep a record with him of some specific things that might happen in the next few days (e.g., maybe he swears at school when he gets mad or the teacher tells him to do something) and that if he gets mad and doesn't swear he gets to [whatever the reward is]. Now you may want to allow him to earn all of his video game playing time, or TV time, or snacks/treats, or (????) But you'll need to make a list of things that are truly rewarding for him, and make access to them contingent on NOT doing the behavior. This is much more effective than reacting to the behavior with time-out. However, you can use both. The spraying stuff into his mouth won't do much except make an angry, disruptive, disrespectful kid more angry, disrespectful, etc. This poor kid as obviously had all of this behavior modeled for him by his parents or caretakers, or boyfriends of his mother (I don't know what his living situation was, but it was obviously completely inadequate; his mother or whoever was caring for him is quite unskilled, inept and generally inadequate as a parent, as you probably know.

What do you think?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I agree with everything you have said. This boy was rejected by his month at 2 mo. when she left my son for another woman. We have found that she is bipolar and used drugs before Chris was born. My son later married and the stepmother has given nothing to Chris and has had two more children. We never saw any love or concern for him. He is so damaged at this point that she told my son if they didn't do something with Chris she would leave him. They were prepared to sign him over to the state of Louisiana to be put in foster care when we stepped in an took him. He has been with us since January 1, 2012, but has been a handful. We love this kid with all our heart. He cuses and hits us and throws tantrums. We are looking for help locally and we will get him help from a mental health specalist soon. He really is damaged but we do not

know if reversible.

The best hope for him is a very consistent, stable home environment, and consistent rewards and consequences for his behavior. I think over time, you can help this boy through your consistent parenting practices.

Let me know if I can be of further help. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
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I see you viewed my last post. Please feel free to comment and get back to me with a follow-up if you wish. Alternatively, please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.!