20 Strategies to Help Learners Who Use Profanity

Are you looking for strategies to help students who use profanity? If so, keep reading.

1. Instantly remove the student from interacting with others when cursing.

2. Make sure that you do not curse. If you curse, the student will learn to do the same.

3. Create a rule (e.g., no cursing). This rule should be consistent and followed by everyone in the school environment. Talk about the rule often.

4. Reward other students in the classroom for not cursing.

5. On occasions where the student curses, explain what they are doing wrong, what should be done, and why. For example: You hear the student cursing at another student. Go to the student and say, “William, you are cursing at Kim. You need to use appropriate language when you are angry at someone, or you will offend him/her.”

6. Let logical consequences happen as a result of the student’s cursing (e.g., not being able to take part in special learning activities, being removed from interacting with others, being avoided by others who do not curse, etc.).

7. Make sure that the student sees the relationship between their behavior and the consequences that follow (e.g., being removed from learning activities ).

8. Converse with the student in the manner in which you want them to talk to you. Always treat the student with the utmost respect and do not curse at him/her.

9. Teach the student acceptable ways to express anger, frustration, anxiety, etc.

10. Be firm, fair, and consistent when the student curses. Decide on an appropriate consequence for cursing (e.g., sitting in a specific chair for five minutes) and use it every time the student curses.

11. Separate the student from those individuals who urge or encourage them to curse.

12. Make sure that others with whom the student associates do not use unacceptable language.

13. Separate the student from the peer(s) who encourages unacceptable language.

14. Notify other teachers, school staff members, etc., of the student’s use of unacceptable language to make sure they follow through with discipline.

15. Inform the student of the consequences of swearing before participating in learning activities.

16. Separate the student from other peers who curse.

17. Refrain from those situations that are likely to encourage the student’s swearing (e.g., highly competitive learning activities, extreme disappointment, quarreling with other students, etc.).

18. Teach the student to recognize when they are becoming upset or angry and ways, other than cursing, to express feelings.

19. Do not let the student take part in a situation unless they can demonstrate self-control.

20. Give the student a space to go when they get upset or angry (e.g., a quiet chair, a room, a corner, etc.).

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