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Ask Denene: Stop the Swearing

Doing that will send the message to your little George Carlin that swear words are okay -- and as soon as he has a foul-mouthed-trucker moment in polite company, you're the one who's going to get the evil eye from the grown folks in the room. So try to extract the cusses from his vocabulary now.

Start by cleaning up your own language, since kids suck up risqué phrases like a Dirt Devil. If you do slip, apologize and reiterate that he shouldn't repeat what he just heard (and you shouldn't have uttered it, either). You might even try substituting curses with words like "dang" and "shoot" when you're upset so he has a list of more acceptable exclamations to choose from. No matter how tempting, don't laugh when your little one blurts out a curse; it'll confuse him. Instead, bend down, look him in the eye, and tell him, "We do not use those words, ever." Soon enough, he'll hang up his sailor cap.

Ask Mom Squad expert Denene Millner your trickiest parenting questions at Parenting.com/momsquad.

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