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Sticky-Situation: Kids and Cursing

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You heard your child's friend saying a bunch of bad words when he was at the park (and thought you weren't listening). Should you discipline other people's children and later tell the parent their kid was cursing?

First, consider the language he used. Did he say “crap” or “dammit,” or actual four-letter words? Then let the kid know you've heard him. Consider Jen Singer's approach: “I clear my throat and glare in the kid's direction. Usually that's enough to make it stop,” says the author of You're a Good Mom (And Your Kids Aren't So Bad Either). As for telling the kid's parents, Singer feels it's the right thing to do. “I would definitely want other moms to tell me if one of my sons was mouthing off,” she explains. When you do deliver the news, make sure it's face to face and in private. Focus more on what you did—took the child aside and spoke to him—and less on his misdeed. In other words, don't start the convo with “Cameron said some nasty stuff ….” Instead, try “I want to let you know that I told Cam…”

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