Letter: Child Returning From Ex-Spouse Using Bad Language

Letters From Readers

Dear Susan:

My son is a delightful child.  When he comes back from his father’s house, he is rude to me and uses bad language.  What do I do?
Jennifer
Dear Jennifer,
This is a tough question because children who live in intact families push the boundaries with bad language too.  You did not tell me how old your son is so I will give you a broad answer.
The first thing I would suggest is to talk with his father. It is possible he has encountered the same thing and together the two of you could come to a resolution.  Now, having said that, you are on TheToxicDivorce  website, so my guess is that a conversation with your ex-husband would not be possible.
What it boils down to is this – no matter what age your son is — you will not tolerate bad language in your home.  Sit him down and tell him that there is no wiggle room with that and there will be consequences for using unacceptable language in your own.  One of the challenges of divorce is the different set of rules in each household.  Stand firm with all of your expectations.
Children want boundaries even if they challenge them.  Stick to your rules in your household with consistency and eventually he will speak in a way that is acceptable in your home.
 Susan