20 Ways to Teach Learners Not to Use Profanity

Are you looking for ways to teach students not to use profanity? If so, keep reading.

1. Make sure you deal in a socially acceptable way with situations that may be upsetting.

2. Teach the student to verbalize feelings before losing control (e.g., “The work is too hard.” “Please leave me alone; you ‘re making me angry.”).

3. Observe the behavior of others to make sure they are not teasing or otherwise stimulating the student to become upset or angry.

4. Teach the student ways to deal with conflict situations (e.g., talking, reasoning, asking an adult to intervene, walking away, etc.).

5. Watch for the warning signs (e.g., arguing, loud voices, etc.) that the student is getting upset or angry and intervene to change the learning experience.

6. Make sure you approach the student with words and phrases that offer support rather than stimulating antagonism, anger, etc.

7. Repeat rules and expectations before learning activities happen that might result in the student becoming upset or angry.

8. Make sure to intervene early when the student does curse before cursing becomes an established part of their speech.

9. Make sure the student knows the consequences of cursing that will be delivered in your class (e.g., loss of privileges, loss of chance to associate with those with whom he curses, loss of freedom to be left alone with friends, etc.).

10. Make sure the student knows that other teachers will not stand for cursing, the student should expect to be embarrassed, and may be prevented from interacting with others.

11. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Highly competitive learning activities may cause the student to become upset, angry, frustrated, etc.

12. Do not inadvertently reinforce the student’s cursing by laughing, smiling, ignoring, etc.

13. Stop the student from becoming frustrated to the extent that cursing results. Intervene to help the student in those situations that may result in frustration and cursing.

14. If highly competitive learning activities contribute to the student’s cursing, either lessen the student’s involvement in those learning activities or make sure the student knows that cursing will result in the loss of chances to take part in those learning activities.

15. Show the student successful persons who actively take part in an assortment of learning activities without cursing.

16. Make sure the student is taught those words that are socially appropriate to use in place of cursing (e.g., “dang,” “shoot,” “darn,” “heck,” etc.).

17. Using profanity is not a behavior that should be ignored. By ignoring the student’s cursing, you send the message that it is acceptable.

18. Talk with the student about ways to deal with unpleasant experiences that would typically cause them to use obscene language (e.g., talk to the teacher, go to a quiet area in the room, visit a counselor, etc.).

19. Embody using appropriate language at all times (e.g., use appropriate language to express disappointment, unhappiness, surprise, etc.).

20. Address the student calmly and deliberately rather than in a manner that would show evidence of shock and surprise.

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