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What is an Appropriate Punishment for Cursing?


My 11-year-old son started cursing about a week ago. When we confronted him, he admitted to it and said it started out of anger. He is a straight-A student and involved in many activities, but I worry that his cursing could be the start of his heading down a bad path. He has came to us on two other occasions in the last couple of years where he slipped while playing video games and said a curse word. He was grounded from the video games for a week as a punishment. He gets angry easily at home and with neighborhood friends, but at school everything's fine. This particular situation makes us feel like we're doing something wrong as parents and to be honest, I don't know what a fitting punishment should be.


Anger is a normal emotion; it's something that we all have within us. We suggest that you take some time to teach your son effective anger management. For example teaching him to become aware of the physical things that happen to him when he starts to feel angry (rapid heartbeat, sweating, getting red in the face) or teaching him ways that he can effectively express his anger. Other coping skills that might help include physical exercise, deep breathing, journaling or taking a bath. Try to get him to have three ready at all times. Tell him that instead of playing video games, you'll be working on anger management. This would be giving him the punishment of not being able to play video games but would also provide the learning that needs to take place as part of the consequence for his behavior.

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