Q: My 14-year-old unleashed a string of pretty rough swearing when she was fighting with her dad the other day. He did swear first, but she went way overboard. How should we deal with this behaviour?
A: Children learn about the world by watching those around them. Their parents are the people they watch and emulate the most.
It’s important to tell your daughter that her language was way over the top. At the same time, her dad needs to admit he started it and he should also clean up his language. Help her learn how to express her feelings without swearing. What could she say when she’s angry? What could her dad say when he’s angry? Teach her to describe her feelings. She could say that she’s really annoyed (or ticked off or frustrated) when her dad doesn’t listen to what she has to say. If you work together, the swearing will at the very least be reduced.