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How to censor your preschooler

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Preschool children are like little sponges. They absorb everything around them. Whatever they soak up is liable to leak out at any time, whether it is in actions, words, or pictures.
Remember the old saying, “Monkey see, monkey do?” Wow! Is that why so many preschoolers have stuffed monkeys and monkey shirts and go to Monkey Joes? What a great marketing philosophy!
Everything a preschooler hears is fair game to repeat. They may not know what they are hearing or saying means, but they may repeat it. Also, most preschoolers are not equipped with the judgment of what to put a filter on. For example, they may blurt out everything they think without considering the perspective of others. It is the job of the primary caregivers to teach young children what is appropriate to say and what is not. Children should not be scolded for their innocence; they should be corrected.
How do caregivers appropriately do this? That depends upon how the preschooler is exercising their first amendment right. The freedom of expression of a preschooler may be to pop up their middle finger after seeing someone else doing it and ask what it means. Without getting into unnecessary details, a caregiver can simply say, “That is not nice and we do not make that sign with our hands.” Of course, then the question of “why” comes up and that is where the old fashioned statement, “because I said so,” can be used.
Comments that preschoolers make, such as, “she is fat,” can be turned into opportunities for them to learn how to recognize the perceptions of others. A caregiver can ask, “How would you feel if she said that you are fat?” Let the preschooler think about how they would feel and ask, “Is that very nice to say?”
With guidance, young children can learn to make their own judgments and put a filter on what they are saying and doing. Avoid exposing young children to violent and profane video games, television shows, and environments so they will not repeat the negative things that they are seeing and hearing. Teach them to make good choices and decisions by modeling what is right and correcting them when they are wrong at an early age. The longer young children are able to continue to negatively express themselves, the harder it will be to get them to change their habits.

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