How can I get my 22-month-old to stop using a bad word?
Congratulations, your son is learning about the power of language! Unfortunately, he's learning a little too well.
The first step in solving this problem is to recognize what's going on. While he doesn't know the meaning of the word he's using, your son knows that it's powerful because it gets a big reaction. (Even the time you spent patiently explaining why he shouldn't use the word taught him that using it brings him extra attention.) Power is important to toddler
s, so he'll keep using it as long as it works.
So what you've got to do is ignore the behavior. When you do this, the word loses its power and is no longer fun for him. But there's a catch. Because it's worked so well in the past, you can expect your son to feel frustrated and to start using the word much more for a day or so. Just keep ignoring it. (You may wish to keep him at home that day as well, so that you can do this more easily and with less social pressure on you.)
If you ignore his use of this word, and give him extra attention when he uses words that you like, such as "please," the problem will disappear in a few days. Just remember to ignore it 100 percent of the timeif you give him extra attention for using it every so often, he'll keep saying it and the problem will be more difficult to get rid of the next time.