Bad Language and Teens – Why Do They Use It?

Lascivious Lingo? Raunchy Rhetoric? Why does my teen use bad language?

Trying to figure out the draw between teens and bad language? First you’ll have to assess whether you may be using some unhelpful language yourself. Coming at your kid with judgmental and accusatory words isn’t going to help. Take a breath and be calm! It’s embarrassing, but it doesn’t have to be your embarrassment, you can let it be his embarrassment. 

Talk to your kid about the meaning behind the words. Words carry weight and power, and your kid may be experiencing a lack of power, and using bad language is an easy way to get it. All they have to do is utter a few words and they can make everyone else feel uncomfortable. Explore those ideas with your kid. It’s important to talk about how these words effect other people. He/She needs to know that those words can hurt others too.

Online Anonymity Could Be Making The Problem Worse

Kids also are growing up in a culture where online anonymity allows kids to say whatever they want with no repercussions. Sometimes kids think the kind of culture they experience online is okay in real life. It may take offending someone they didn’t want to offend to make them see it, but in the meantime, you need to talk to them about it from a place of calm and empathy.

“I’m going through a really difficult time with my 13 year old son. He’s really discovered lewd language and crude humor. This is usually focused around his bodily functions or body parts. Sometimes he says stuff in front of other adults, and it’s really embarrassing. I’ve told him he sounds like a pervert, and that he should know better, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Any advice?”

To read more, please check out another one of Kent’s articles on teens and bad language. 

Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: We love to hear from you!

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If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.

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