Page 28 - Baby Society Magazine Issue 32
P. 28

(Family Features) If your little one has ever caught you off guard by dropping a verbal bomb or your young child struggles with separation anxiety, you’re certainly not alone.
It’s important for parents to recognize inappropriate language, separation anxiety and attention-seeking behaviors are all normal and expected parts of early childhood. Just as important is understanding their root causes and steps to take to curb these undesired behaviors.
To help parents looking to tackle these issues, Dr. Lauren (Starnes) Loquasto, senior vice president and chief academic officer at The Goddard School, and Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School’s Educational Advisory Board, provide this guidance and reassurance.
Inappropriate Language
The use of foul or inappropriate language by children is typically learned by hearing adults in their lives use these words or by imitating language overheard on handheld devices or in television shows or movies. The best way to prevent this is to buffer exposure to such language.
If a child uses a curse word, pause before giving the cursing immediate attention so the word isn’t unintentionally reinforced. Next, ask the child how they are feeling or help the child label their emotion. For example, “I think you are angry and hurt because you hit your toe on the step.”
Suggest alternate language and label the word that was used as “not nice,” “bad” or “not OK.” Then ensure this is modeled by adults. If a child hears adults use the language again, they are likely to repeat it, too.

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