Q&A: How Can I Teach My Kids to Stop Cursing?

Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on ways parents can curb foul language in their tweens and teens.

Q. I have 12-year-old twin sons who use foul language constantly. My husband and I have tried all types of responses from taking things away to ignoring them, but nothing works. What should we try next?

A. Unfortunately, it's not the responses they're blowing off— it's you. For kids this age, saying bad words is a way to push parents' buttons. So sit the boys down and explain that swearing offends other people, and that it's your job to teach them responsibility to the community.

Then, if the cursing goes on, immediately remove the offender from wherever he is and bring him back home to do extra chores or stare at the wall—anything not fun. Now, you'll have to do this at least 10 times if not 20, but if you keep following through, you'll get results.

Originally published in the April 2009 issue of Family Circle magazine.