My 2.5-year-old son is repeatedly using a bad word. We have tried so many times to change him but to no avail. What can we do to change this habit? Also, he gets angry very quickly and starts throwing what ever he gets in his hands. Kindly advice.

  • Can you edit your post with details: What have you tried so far? – Stephie Nov 5 '18 at 12:19

From my experience I could say, that the best way is to ignore that words. If that child gets very much attention, by just saying such words, it is very attractive for that child to do so.

I'm also not very happy with that, because the child could think, that word has no meaning at all. But I have no better method.


I know this answer is out of vogue, but it worked when I was that age. My mother grabbed me immediately and washed my mouth out with soap. It happened twice, and that was it.

  • 1
    Wow I'm usually the one that's on the fence with physical/old timey approaches, but this seems just wrong, I mean I'm not sure what they put inn soap these days but I'd be leery of getting it in a kids mouth. For a 2.5 year especially. Is it just my feeling or is this even more aggressive than a spanking? – DRF Nov 5 '18 at 13:59
  • What was common in the 1950's and 1960's is, as I said, out of vogue today, but I don't see any other suggestions yet. It's not like anyone else has even posted a suggestion yet. – pojo-guy Nov 5 '18 at 14:53
  • @pojo-guy I suspect that one of the reasons that there are no other answers is missing details in the question. – Stephie Nov 6 '18 at 5:33
  • What did that teach you? To resolve conflicts with violence? To respect force, and be forceful to earn respect? – André Levy Nov 23 '18 at 0:20
  • It eliminated bad language from my vocabulary. Period. Forever. With one event.I Youll find in my other responses that I am not adverse to using violent action where it is appropriate. I often comment and answer on bullying related questions. I am quite aware of the difference between fear and respect. There are proper places for each. – pojo-guy Nov 23 '18 at 20:14

I think that you have two problems based on your question:

  1. The first being using bad words (the main question)
  2. "Also, he gets angry very quickly and starts throwing what ever he gets in his hands."

Perhaps both can be solved in a similar way. I think that taking things away temporarily whenever these behaviors occur is a good start. Since he is so young, the take away items must be geared with extremeness from his point of view. The take away / punishment must occur right away when the behavior is shown. You must be consistent that whenever he does action A, he gets the result of B, so that he learns if I do this then B will occur so I should not do it.

  • At 2.5 years of age the reaction must be immediate. Taking away a movie later in the night is too far removed from the event to serve. – pojo-guy Nov 8 '18 at 17:44

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