While some parents find it adorable when their child utters his first playful insult – ‘poo-poo head’ is always a good one – talk like this can quickly escalate into dirty words or swearing. Using toilet words like ‘poo poo’ and ‘wee wee’ in a silly way is a three- or four-year-old’s way of testing the limits with you and other adults. He is learning that language can be powerful.
Not that you should be worried at all. According to the experts, ‘potty talk’, is part of normal childhood development and like any other unpleasant habits – nose picking, willy-tugging, clothes-chewing – your child will outgrow it.
So what should you do when your child calls you a ‘wee-wee face’? Simple: nothing. Your child knows the words are naughty, and is gauging your response to them, so the less you react the better. Which also means keeping a straight face – the slightest smirk will only encourage rude words. The same goes for swearing.
If your child continues, tell him most people don’t like those words and that you don’t want her to use them. End of story.