23 Ways to Motivate Your Students Not to Use Profanity

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

1. Give learning experiences that emphasize cause and effect links between behavior (e.g., use of obscene/profane language to express one’s thoughts and feelings) and consequences (e.g., loss of others’ respect, lost communication because the obscene/profane language overshadowed the message, etc.).

2. Organize the learner’s surroundings to encourage chances for self-expression without obscene/ profane language (e.g., seating the learner in front of the classroom for careful monitoring and to prevent task- and communication-related frustration, etc.).

3. Teach the learner ways of working through problems to decrease frustration and stress-related behavior. These include (a) problem identification, (b) goal/objective development, (c) strategy development, (d) plan development, (e) plan implementation, and (f) evaluation of plan effectiveness.

4. Stop peers from provoking the learner into reactive, oral responses.

5. Show an interest in the learner (e.g., acknowledge the learner, ask for the learner s opinion, work one-on-one with the learner).

6. Assist the learner’s focus upon positive attempts to connect thoughts and feelings without the use of obscene/profane language. They need to be able to recognize successes and errors for improvement in self-expression.

7. Help the learner find their own unique set of antecedents to the use of obscene/profane language. For every antecedent identified, help the learner create positive, alternative actions they may move toward problem-solving.

8. Give the learner chances for creative self-expression (e.g., sculpting, gymnastics, writing, drawing, dancing, acting, etc.). Learning activities need to be viewed as an avenue of self-expression rather than a way to reinforce, reward, or earn grades.

 9. Present and keep positive, consistent class management that incorporates a chance to think through consequences before decisions are made.

10. Give students and parents information about stress. Include positive alternatives to lessen and/or manage stress.

11. Advocate for supports and services to rule out or give for organic or physical concerns such as Tourette’s Disorder according to individual need.

12. The learner who is experiencing emotional or behavioral disturbances may respond to stressful situations with abusive or profane language. Advocate for support and service.

13. Watch the learner for changes in behavior. A learner who does not typically use obscene/ profane language but has begun to do so may be experiencing other concerns (e.g., personal crisis, substance abuse, etc.).

14. On occasions where teaching the learner to express thoughts and feelings without using obscene/ profane language, give functional lessons (e.g., interviewing for a job, trying an introduction to a new person, etc.) so the learner can designate pragmatic value to this skill.

15. Address and correct the use of obscene/profane language by talking one-on-one with the learner instead of confronting the learner in large groups. Do this to minimize embarrassment and decrease the chances a learner may have for vicarious reinforcement (e.g., approving statements and actions of peers for using obscene/profane language, etc.).

16. Urge the learner to view himself/herself positively. Make sure the learner knows the use of obscene/profane language represents a poor choice, but they are an “excellent” person. This may help lessen potential crises in which use of obscene/profane language is an antecedent to other undesirable behaviors (e.g., attempts to hurt themselves or others, etc.).

17. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

18. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

19. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

20. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

21. Consider using a socio-emotional learning app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

22. Consider using an emotional intelligence app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

23. Consider using a school counseling app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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