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My Baby Uses Slang Language

My Baby Uses Slang Language

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Your child has started preschool and you notice that he or she is using some slang words. Is it something that is short-lived? Or, should you intervene?

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

It’s natural to get worried. But remember that your child is like a “vacuum cleaner” at this age. He or she picks up and uses whatever he or she hears.

Where is your Child Learning Slang From?

Your child will observe and model any behaviour that gets a reward, say a pat on the back, or someone laughed after a particular behaviour.

Whenever your child uses good language, reward him or her with praise, positive comments or a pat on the back. This reinforces correct behavior.

Once children start going out, they learn by interacting and listening to the people they spend time with, such as:

You: You are your child’s first teacher. Your child may have learnt slang from you, when you used it with your friends over the phone.

Peers: As your child grows, he or she starts getting more and more influenced by his or her peers and friends. So your child may start using slang because of them.1

Teachers: Your child’s teachers may be using slang language amongst themselves.

Helpers: Your child’s bus driver, babysitter or helper at home may be influencing your child’s language.

How to Discourage the Use of Slang Language?

At this stage, your child is speedily learning new words. So you must expose him or her to a rich pool of words. Of course, some use of non-abusive informal communication is unavoidable in everyday life. But the use of too much slang at an early age can hamper you child’s vocabulary.

You can Discourage the Use of Slang by:

Being a Role Model: Focus on using positive words and remind yourself not to use slang or abusive language while talking to your child . Even if you use a slang word occasionally, follow it up by using the appropriate formal word.

Reading to your Child: Read books that have your child’s favourite characters and remind the child how the character in the book uses good words.

Using Techniques to Acknowledge Unacceptable behaviours: Your child avoids any behaviour that is not socially acceptable. So if you notice overuse of slang or abusive words, use techniques such as “time out ” or “wash out the mouth with soap”, etc.

Not Applauding Such Behaviour: Sometimes you may enjoy your child’s slang words and find it very sweet. But do not prompt the child to say it again and again and do not laugh or react to it just because it sounds funny.

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