An Annoying Child

One of my dear children, and I refuse to say who, is going through a bit of a phase at the moment. This child, though still sweet and loving and wonderful, has picked up some habits lately that I’m not so proud of and in the process become a tad… annoying.

I know, I know, it’s as hard to write as it was to read. This is my own flesh and blood, for crying out loud! It’s so very wrong to admit it, but it’s true. (And, tad was a complete understatement. This child is annoying with a capital A.)

We’ve been ignoring the behavior, hoping it quickly passes and brushing it off as a phase. What else are we supposed to do? The kids grew out of pooping in the tub and out of control pacifier habits and eating nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches, so this must be same kind of thing… right? Lately, however, the possibility has hit me and it’s hit me hard: Maybe it’s not just a phase. Maybe I’m actually raising an annoying child. It’s a horrific thought.

As parents, we work so hard to instill common sense, basic knowledge, and core values in our offspring, but what about their personalities? Is one of our most important jobs really making our children as likable as possible? I’m beginning to think it might be.

I’ve started picturing all of the unbelievably annoying adults I know and realizing that likely their parents are to blame. Parents just like me who naively assumed that the annoying habits would disappear, but instead, they stuck around forever. The children with mildly annoying habits became those horribly annoying adults who nobody ever wants to be around. The overachievers, the center of attentions, the loud eaters, the incessant question askers, the ones who always have to win, the ones who can’t make a decision… All of those horrible habits could have been derailed by well intentioned parents not wanting to overreact.

Well, I may not be able to teach my kids how to dance and they certainly won’t benefit from my mathematics skills, but I’ll do my best to make them likable, dammit. Annoying phases are one thing, but annoying people with my DNA? That’s just unthinkable. Now, I just need to come up with a plan of action, but I know one thing for sure: Things are about to change around here. It’s the least I can do for them.

OK, for me.

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Heather 8 months ago

every thing my 4 year old son does is annoying…help! I think he gets a rise out of annoying people:(

Jessica 2 years ago

There is no date on this post so I don’t know how long ago it was written. But I must know. Did you come up with a solution? I really need some advice on how to deal with my annoying child!

rice warm 2 years ago

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Antoinette Mosley 2 years ago

I thought I was alone in this fight! My 3 kiddos are beyond annoying! My 11 yr old son is exactly like his father and I feel sorry for him lol. He is rude egotistical condescending has a terrible laugh talks non stopand omg if the crying doesnt stop soon imma go to an institution! Like seriously! My 13 yr old daughter constantly argues with me whines over chores and seriously refuses to keep up with her hygeine! My 9 yr old daughter is always talking constantly in my face waving her hands around at me. Ive been abused badly in my life and my.fear is.that when she does that to me I just might freak out and.hurt her! This so has to end!

Juliet McGrath 4 years ago

Ps. I think this site should be re named: “Scared Mother’s and why they should have remained celibate”

Juliet McGrath 4 years ago

I have a 30 year old who got the most love and attention possible from an adoring mother and was the perfect child until she graduated from High School. Then all hell broke loose. Everyone in our family thinks she needs therapy or has a genetic defect (from her father, who I divorced when she was 4. I raised her on my own on an island most people would call paradise). For no apparent reason, she is a bitch with a capital B! I married again when she was about 14 and I now have a 16 year old who, so far, seems normal. But, with what I go through with my elder – well, I expect anything. I believe kids today are simply wicked and I don’t trust not even one of them. They may well massacre us all in our beds 20 years from now. Sorry! But that’s just what I’ve come to believe!

Becca 4 years ago

I’ll be honest – this is a concern of mine. I have a small group of very lovely, good friends, but I don’t gather new ones easily. It’s pretty much because I’m quite annoying. My mother appears to be the same way. I really hope this trait doesn’t pass on to my son.

Lola 4 years ago

Phew, soap is not going to happen in our house. I prefer to use good old fashioned caustic soda – I’ll burn the little mothersuckers tongue right out!

Pauline 4 years ago

I have a 24 year old, an 18 year old, and a 7 year old, all with different personalities. It’s been tricky business deciding which parts of my children’s behaviors make them unique and which ones are socially ostracizing. For example: my 7 year old wants me to watch him do everything, from drawing a cartoon character to jumping on his pogo stick. I’m fine with that; he likes knowing I have his back, even though it’s a little annoying that he calls my name frantically to show me his new high score on a Wii game. However, turning around during a hockey game to ask if I saw the shot he just saved from going into the goal is not ok. His teammates flipped out on him because he left the goal unattended and a shot went in the goal. Social banishment. That shiz has to change!

Lollie @FortuitousHousewife 4 years ago

Everybody’s somebody’s annoying, there’s just no avoiding it.

Landon Altidore 4 years ago

This is a nice post. I loved reading it. These happens with my kids as well. They can be very annoying at times, and their mom has a hard time handling them.



Jadzia@Toddlerisms 4 years ago

This is what I call the “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be D-Bags” school of parenting. And it is one to which I wholeheartedly subscribe. Their future spouses and colleagues will thank me, and so should the kids themselves, although I am not, as they say, holding my breath on that one.

    Ruby Roberts 2 years ago

    Haha, yeah. Totally! I am in here laughing because my little guy is being super annoying today. Now I will feel like a better parent when I call him out on his behaviour! Who wants their child to grow up and become a douche? Great quote, mind if I borrow it?

Marta 4 years ago

I think you’re completely right. You have to nip this in the bud!

Also, does this mean I need to address the fact that my 18 month old could pretty much out eat anyone? No I think that’s still too early.

Terri 4 years ago

Both of my kids can be annoying, frustrating and just downright crazy. But they come by it honestly- they get it from their father.

Sarah May 4 years ago

My son’s decided he wants to be a Health and Safety Officer when he grews up.

My battle is lost.

MB Mommy 4 years ago

my almost 5 DS acts annoying entirely when he feels disconnected because he wants my attention.
Yup, soap on the one use of the f word (not Facebook). Yup no potty talk.
Adult words are for adult mouths. It gets me off the hook.

I have just classified the “whatever” as rude and not allowed.

Maria 4 years ago

Hilarious. Lucien’s only 1 1/2 so still trying to see which of his personality traits is going to stick. He’s already so stubborn, it is unbelievable. But yes, I would hate to have an annoying kid be the product of my DNA. I am way to cool for that 😉

Kerrie Mac 4 years ago

yeah, i’m in the nature/nurture camp of 50/50 … so it’s only half my fault and half God’s fault. i know i am perfect and that my parents spanked anything annoying out of me .. haha! no, i’m afraid i am the only child who grew up as the “center of attention” you talked about … interrupter, loud-talker, selfish. crap. it’s cool, even annoying people have friends.

Nathalie 4 years ago

My daughters jokes are corny to the fifth degree. I love her so much and I pretend to laugh at times but they are horrible and she tells me jokes all day everyday. That’s her annoying quirk and I guess I have to live with it. Maybe she gets it from me and I am really the corny one…lol. Needless to say i hope she never persues being a comedian.

Mom Taxi Julie 4 years ago

I’m pretty sure you can’t change someone’s personality. It’s just engrained. All the annoying things in my kids I see in my husband, since I’m perfect 😉

Amy 4 years ago

True but funny… “Annoying phases are one thing, but annoying people with my DNA? That’s just unthinkable.” shake it up!

tracy@sellabitmum 4 years ago

I do try to make sure my kids are likeable and not annoying. Somedays it seems like it’s working and other days I just lock myself in the closet so they cannot find me.

Odd Dad 4 years ago

Reading this post and the comments makes me worry for the future. My kids are 5 and 3 and so far are not so annoying. They have their annoying moments, but there are no phases in place right now. I keep telling people that the Terrible Threes are the ones you have to worry about and not the Terrible Twos, but then someone always says, “wait until you have teenagers, you’ll wish they were three again.”

Jack@TheJackB 4 years ago

My kids have grown out of annoying habits and adopted new ones. I don’t know if they will last or not, but I honestly don’t worry about it.

I do my best to help them and hope that time/maturity works out in the right direction.

In the interim I am an expert at ignoring things that irritate me, comes from having grown up with four sisters. I shouldn’t say this out loud, but I think I can tune out any female voice with little to no effort.

It comes in useful in all sorts of situations.

Practical Parenting 4 years ago

The ignoring thing does work well for food. Sadly, that’s about it. Label it. Identify the behavior for what it is. Call it out in a non-threatening I’m just saying it’s happening right now kind of way. I’ve found that kids don’t really know that their behavior is annoying…sometimes they need a little lesson on annoying versus not annoying (without using that word, of course) 😉

Thegirlfriendmom 4 years ago

I’m no expert (I’m just a girlfriend mom) but aren’t all kids annoying in one way or another? But yes get to it and fix it before its too late!

The Flying Chalupa 4 years ago

Please let me know your plan of action. Because I need a plan of action too. This post came at the exact right time of the realization that my son is also ANNOYING. And many other adjectives. I find myself so disheartened that likability is proving difficult.

    Juliet McGrath 4 years ago

    I don’t like my elder daughter because she has become the type of woman I despise. Vain, selfish, dishonest and just plain Bitchy. If you asked me a year ago, “Could you ever dislike your daughter?”, I’d have said “No way” and been VERY offended. Now, after much pain and tears, I’ve come to realise – it’s not anything I did wrong. It’s choices SHE made. So. My advise to you is this: Try to be a good mother, and if he turns out rotten – IGNORE him for the rest of your life. It’ll save you a lot of heartache!

Regina 4 years ago

I don’t know if it’s the moon or what, but I have an extremely annoying child right now.

I hope it gets better or maybe we can ship them off to an island where they can fight among themselves.

Hang in there.

Galit Breen 4 years ago


They won’t *really* keep their annoying habits, will they?!

    Juliet McGrath 4 years ago

    Depending on the age: More than likely!

sarah waldin 4 years ago

Oh boy! (yes it’s the boy in my house …) I hear you all loud and clear and thank goodness for honesty. The one in my house is that whole list of things in paragraph 5 – not just one of them, the whole freaking list! It’s school holidays so that doesn’t help at all!!!!!!! but wow – I lie awake at night wondering what I am doing wrong and how to put it right before he is one of those adults described too.
Back to the books and the drawing board and the bag of tricks I go.

dusty earth mother 4 years ago

I’m all about working on personality. I don’t mind “odd” or “offbeat” (otherwise I never would have married my husband), but no way am I letting my kids be bizarre and off-putting. It’s not fair to them.

Jube 4 years ago

It’s so hard to know what’s a phase and what needs to be dealt with. My poor older son never got away with anything, because as a new mom, I didn’t know what he would grow out of and what was a normal developmental phase! The annoying habit we’re trying to get rid of now? Interrupting people when they are talking. It’s important (and seemingly impossible) to get him to realize that he is not the center of the universe.

Michelle Saunderson 4 years ago

My teens are at a stage that they think I am annoying…hahaha. I am guessing they will get over that when they move away and realize everything I do for them.

    Juliet McGrath 4 years ago

    Good luck with that wish!

Jennifer Rath 4 years ago

My annoying one actually told me that I was annoying!

Amy at Best Baby Strollers 4 years ago

Tinne – I hear your concerns loud and clear! I also cringe when I hear my sweet innocent boy coming home from school spouting out words and phrases we don’t use in our home.

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 4 years ago

I don’t now what frightens me more: that my girls will be bullied like I was or that they will become bullies or mean girls themselves.
Right now the eldest is annoying as hell, but then again she is three and the basement is well stocked with wine…

Mrs Catch 4 years ago

I’m a firm believer in the power of nature over nurture. Completely the opposite from what I thought when I had no children. HAH! My kids have had very definite natures, right from the beginning. As a parent, I set boundaries and make decisions for my children. But, as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. I truly believe a lot of our “lessons” don’t sink in until they have their own kids. Good Luck.

Mark 4 years ago

What do you know! A parent who actually wants to parent. Good for you!

Headacheslayer 4 years ago

I think all kids are annoying some of the time. It’s when they cross the line into all of the time that you better nip it in the bud.

I love Star Wars. Really. I still have stuff from childhood. I’ve watched it bazillions of times. But OH MY GOD if my son talks about it ONE MORE TIME I think my head will explode like the Death Star (original version or revamped, take your pick).

Or Legos. Or Beyblades. Or hexbugs. OH MY GOD SHUT UP!

And yes lately the phrase “Go the fuck to sleep” has been used. I think this is why I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Because he is a black hole of energy suck. (kidding. sortof).

My daughter–16. Less annoying than you’d think until she starts acting like she’s “one of us” aka “adult”.

The good thing…..I hear nothing but nice stuff about their behaviour from teachers, friends, etc. So at least for now they’re only picking apart my sanity.

Elaine 4 years ago

I have a terrible whiner. TERRIBLE. WHINER. If he carries this into adulthood I can promise you NO woman (or man) will have him. I just hope he doesn’t stay living with me…

Hope it is just a phase! (on both counts, yours and mine!)

p.s. how long do phases typically last? years? ;P

Tammi 4 years ago

It’s tough being a mom. While I think that we should be raising our kids to be likable, being likable isn’t the end all and be all in life. We should be raising our children to be smart, loving, moral…

If they are too worried about being ‘likable’ then peer pressure might prevent them from standing up when no one else will. We need to raise leaders…not just followers.

Beta Dad 4 years ago

Mine are often weird, and very often frustrating. I don’t thing they’re old enough (2.5) to be “annoying” yet.

Remember that old Robyn Hitchcock tune? “Uncorrected personality traits that seem whimsical in a child may prove to be ugly in a fully grown adult”? Wise words.

Here’s a link to the video in case you’re unfamiliar or feeling nostalgic

Lisa 4 years ago

*gave* not *have*. Stupid wine.

Lisa 4 years ago

This too, shall pass. My darling middle son spent an entire trip to Wal-mart saying “Jesus” or “GEE zuz” over and over and over….including while we were near the heavily religious book section of the store, much to the chagrin of the older lady looking at Bibles. What to do, what to do? After asking/begging/pleading for him to stop, I have up, shrugged my shoulders and said “Huh, I don’t know where he heard that from.” She “tsk-tsked” me and I walked on. At least he didn’t say the f-word. Could have been worse. I don’t think he ever uttered the word in that context again. Remember, if we can’t laugh about it, we will really lose our minds.

Valerie Hartman 4 years ago

Friends dropped by for dinner this weekend with their kids. My fifteen-year-old daughter begged to sit with the grown-ups, then dropped an “F bomb.” At least I can say her usage and connotation was well done. Talk about annoying! I let her know if she pulled that shit again, she would be sitting with the kiddos forever. :)

No Drama Mama 4 years ago

Aren’t all children annoying? Mine sure is. It’s a good thing she’s cute.

Motherhood on the Rocks 4 years ago

and just when I thought my work was done by keeping my kid alive. You mean I actually have to shape them and mold them too?? le sigh

Her Inner Voice 4 years ago

I hate to admit it, but I have a few of the tendencies on your list, and I didn’t have even the slightest clue for a looooong time. And yes, that’s on the long list of things I blame on my mother. It doesn’t do our kids any favors to let them think they can do no wrong.

cheryl 4 years ago

Well my 9 year old son is what we call “The Debater”. He will debate, disagree, argue, and annoy to the end of time!! About what you ask? Literally any and everything you say. For example I say to him “honey I don’t think there is a V-28 engine in a car” and he says “yes there is, I’ve seen one on Tv” I try to say” I googled it and the largest is a V-16 ” he replies “no mommy your wrong there is a V-28” and will continue telling me how he knows he’s right and I’m wrong. This kid drives me crazy sometimes!

    Mary 4 years ago

    He will either make a good teacher or a good lawyer.

Gigi 4 years ago

Stop it now. Don’t ask me how but do it. It’s like I always told my son – I will NOT tolerate any child of MINE being a brat/annoying/snotty, etc.

He seems to have learned the lesson pretty well.

Karlas 4 years ago

My 12 year old recently picked up “baby talking” It drove me and the whole family over the edge!! We were able to cure it by assigning dish duty every time we heard it. We made it his choice to use it but he had to pay the consequences. After a week of dish duty he quickly stopped all on his own.

    Amber 4 years ago

    I do similar with my kids. They need to learn that everyone doesn’t think that kind of behavior is funny or cute. Every choice as a consequence or reaction to it. If we as parents don’t teach our children this now then how will they deal with it as adults. I don’t think it is harsh to tell your children that something they are doing is annoying or that others will find it annoying as well. It can be a sort of wake up call to them. Children need to have the capacity to see how things reflect on their behavior. Whether it is denying them of something they WANT to do or a toy/tv etc that they truly enjoy, it will get through that way.

zipporah bird 4 years ago

I have one who is very adorably annoying, but still reminds me of a gnat. I’ve been considering finding some kid-friendly books on etiquette. One that I looked at describes etiquette not as irrelevant victorian niceties, but as a way to show that one values other people as much as oneself. Best of luck to both of us!

    Jadzia@Toddlerisms 4 years ago

    I’m not sure where you live, but you might want to look up Beverly Hills Manners, an “etiquette school” that takes this approach. The lady who runs it is not stuffy at all! And has pretty much the approach to manners that you describe.

Anna 4 years ago

What if the annoying behavior isn’t that terrible? I have an 11 y o daughter that tags along, repeats things too many times, and doesn’t seem to have an original thought. She is kind and smart, but gets on my nerves!!! She has lots of friends but they tolerate her in doses. I’m worried she’s going to be “that” kid that everyone hides from. She would be heartbroken if she knew I thought this about her, but I do entertain the idea of “working” on her personality a little. Is that wrong?

tracey 4 years ago

Best of luck to you. I am of the belief that those annoying adults are just people with undiagnosed social disorders. All of our kids that are ADHD/Executive Functioning/etc? Yeah. Our kids will be that adult that drives other people crazy. It is what it is. I love my own annoying child, but he is, well, ANNOYING. Too high maintenance and not at ALL the person I thought I’d be raising. How’s that for a confession?

Seriously Sassy Mama 4 years ago

I will do everything I can to make sure my kids is not “that person” who drove us all nuts in college, because they would say just what the teacher had discussed, but in the form of a question.

Whitney 4 years ago

I don’t have kids, but I have to sit and watch a lot of them in places where I wish parents had the common sense you do- like the laundromat. I totally agree- DNA and personality are one thing, but everything can be molded. Sadly, most people don’t realize it can be changed and you get the annoyances that run into you when you have an armful of wet clothes.

Sweety Darlin 4 years ago

For the record, I think it is perfectly acceptable to tell yourself and others the truth about your own child. I personally have been burned by parents that think their little angel could never do anything wrong, and would likely defend them if they murdered someone.

My girls get annoying. They also get bitchy and difficult and snotty. When they do, I tell them so. It is my job as their mom to bring to their attention little quirks and faults in their personalities that they need to become aware of. This makes them better people and less annoying to the general populous making the world a better place.

DOn’t bury your head in the sand. Nip it in the butt now!!

Cassie 4 years ago

My little brother always says “What the…”. We all know where he is going with this, but no one says anything. A couple of weeks ago, he spent the night at our house. All I can say is….. he may say it elsewhere, but at our house, he knows better.

Christina Rodriguez | The Diva’s Home 4 years ago

Don’t the annoying babies in the animal world get eaten first? just wondering…..

Adrian 4 years ago

Yes, I have one of those too. Maybe two of them. The interesting thing is with kids nearly 10 years apart is that I can see how the story plays out, especially when they have nearly identical personalities. People say their kids are like day and night. Not mine. Mine are like afternoon and later that afternoon. My 13 year old will interrupt you at any and all times of the day or night. It doesn’t matter if you are sleeping, reading, on the phone, watching TV, or in the bathroom. If he has something important enough on his mind, he WILL bother you – and he won’t give up unless you physically make him leave the room. I count that as a VERY annoying habit. Sadly, my 23 year old is almost the same way. He knows enough not to bother me in the bathroom or when I’m sleeping, but any other time is fair game. The good news is they probably will make fabulous sales people, so they can support me in my old age (which is scheduled for next week!). The bad news is that with these two around, I can’t get a moments peace, ever in my life!

    EC MOM 4 years ago

    You are FUNNY! Good luck!

Arnebya 4 years ago

I try to ignore too but sometimes my face balls up and I can’t unball it. It is hard to admit. I don’t even want to admit it, but here I am: I have one too. I won’t say which, but I am fairly certain that it is unconscious for her. If she were to read what I just wrote, she would not immediately think that I was talking about her. Oh, but I am. And it’s been going on for a while, but is intermittent. It’s brought out at the most inopportune times and isn’t constant. But when it’s shown OH HELL NO. Let’s us have ourselves a lil’ talk.

But I will say this: our kids can simply be tenacious little creatures and no matter how hard we try to counteract they will do what they will do.

lynne kemmer 4 years ago

holy mother of god (old Irish expression) my 5 yr old has e*v*e*r*y annoying habit you mentioned except eating loudly [replace with talking, more like spitting, with mouth full]

Erika Marie 4 years ago

Pretty sure all kids are annoying at some point. I was possibly the most annoying kid ever in my mind. lol Somehow, people still like me… I think?

Stephanie 4 years ago

I give the whole thing no power. Seems to work everytime with my daughter. Best parenting tacticI have when they are acting out. I do believe annoying adult get it from their parents.

Joanna Ciolek 4 years ago

There’s only so much we can take credit and blame for as parents. Don’t beat yourself up too much.

Life with kaishon 4 years ago

I always tell kaish, please don’t grow up to be a jerk : )

Kelly 4 years ago

I know kids with multiple symptoms, you described and their parents think they are raising “fabulous” kids. Problem is, the parents are just as annoying as the kids and think they are “fabulous” too. I tell my 11 year old that there’s a difference between funny and annoying and when she (and my husband too,for the matter) reaches annoying, I call them on it and then ignore it, it usually goes away and the episodes are few and farther in between.

Theda 4 years ago

SO glad to know I’m not the only one. But terrified, just like you are, that it’s not just a phase. My daughter is 6.5. I won’t admit the annoying things she does. LIke the other mother said, if you figure out a way to stop this, please inform us.

I decided it’s the kids at her school, not me. So I kept her home one day as punishment to get her back on track. She did do better the rest of that week. Being at home all day with just me is NOT her idea of fun. That’s my current plan. Threaten her with staying with me all day…she gets so bored with me that she literally cries.

Good luck to us all, and if we fail, good luck to society when they encounter our annoying kids.

Loukia 4 years ago

Ah, motherhood! My kids can be pretty annoying, too….

Recovering Supermom 4 years ago

Hooray for social skills education!

    Vivi 1 year ago

    How ??
    I am cryingggg!!!!!


Isla Cunningham 4 years ago

You are hilarious and oh so right!! We should all try a little harder to raise likable children and stop offending with our DNA. This is a lesson in evolution and I love it! Good luck!

Angel_DWMW 4 years ago

I’ll take “annoying” if you take “rude.” My oldest has developed a habit of being rude and just plain mean — not just to his little brother (toward whom we would expect such behavior), but also to his teacher! Despite the consequences, he continues. So, please, Trade with Me. I’ll be happy to take annoying.

    Keisha 4 years ago

    I feel your pain. I have one of each, with a 3rd taking lessons from both the older ones. I am not looking forward to this.. LOL

Jacki 4 years ago

My ten year-old son has been especially annoying lately. And he is doing it on purpose. He says he is preparing me for when he is a teenager. I think if this is what he is going to be like, I may just let his dad have custody in 3 years.

    Gigi 4 years ago

    Oh sweetie – I hate to tell you this – but the tween years (at least in my limited, one child experience) was FAR worse than the teen years have been.

    Vivi 1 year ago

    Hahaha so funny I can relate

Carolyn 4 years ago

I think my girls are too young to label, just yet. But I do agree with you, if they do become annoying, I’ll be doing something about it.

Heather 4 years ago

My daughter has been using the word “Facebook” to replace the more obvious swear word and when I tell adults about this they think it’s cute and now I hear the word Facebook at work all day. Not a way to encourage a child at all but it’s getting annoying.

Jessica 4 years ago

Oh God, do I know this well. My 7 year old questions EVERYTHING and when I answer her I am wrong – ANNOYING! If you figure out how to change these annoying traits, please let me know.

Angela 4 years ago

My daugher has been saying “shitty” for about three weeks. All the time when she gets mad. she is four. Tried ignoring it, time out etc. Nothing is working. It is getting bad and embarassing!!!!

    kess 4 years ago

    try putting her toys in time out.

    Karlas 4 years ago

    My younger brother thought it was funny to teach my son the word “shit” when he was about 3. We had the hardest time breaking him of it until one day out of frustration I blurted out “that he should take his potty talk into the bathroom” (we tried time outs, took toys away nothing worked). We started allowing the potty words as long as he said them only in the bathroom. He got into the habit of running to the bathroom and spilling out “shit, shit, shit, god damn it!!” After awhile it stopped. I think once it was not taboo it was not fun. (I was so relived because I was sure he would be expelled from his first day of kindergarten for cussing in the bathroom).

      Jessica 4 years ago

      I LOVE this idea! Adding THAT to the parenting notebook.

    Headacheslayer 4 years ago

    Soap. The most organic out there (or hey you could take your chance with LifeBuoy–a la Christmas Story). I would make my daughter hold it in her mouth–not just for cussing but for being very rude in the way she talked. Used it a few times, and it worked.

    For those who think it’s abusive, WTF-ever.

      Amber 4 years ago

      I’ve done the same when my kids used curse words. After the first time of doing it they didn’t curse again. In my experience the longer you “overlook” or “ignore” the issue the longer it takes to break it.

        Headacheslayer 4 years ago

        Whew, thanks for replying to my comment. Even here I was worried about being honest. Too many people cry abuse when parents are taking a strict position on discipline.

        Now 16, my daughter uses curse words appropriately and NEVER in the prescence of relatives. But my son is a little less restrained so we’re more strict. I’ve threatened him with soap and that’s been enough 😉

          MommaOfTwo 4 years ago

          I use soap whenever I deem it necessary. Bad words, bad attitude, talking back, etc.

    Kellom 3 years ago

    My kids have not had a prob with cussing so I have not faced it, but I cussed once infront of my parents and once only. My mother tanned my hide! Now there is nothing wrong with time outs in gen and I would try that 1st, but if a kid knows they will be spanked they behave better. at least for the most part.

Jennifer 4 years ago

I’m pretty sure my child has annoying in her DNA. She’s a “joker.” (aggravator, picker, teaser) She gets it from her dad. I battle with do I try to change her or or do I just let her be who she is. Right now I’m going with let her be who she is while trying to teach her that everyone doesn’t appreciate that particular personality quirk. (that was the weirdest sentence ever)


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