Posted in Behavior, Toddlers


My just over two year old will not stop saying the word "stupid". I'm sure he picked it up from his dad, TV, or myself, but honestly there's only so much one can alter in regards to everything said in their lives. Anyway, it wasn't really an issue until he said something was "stupid" while on the merry go round at the park with other children around. A little girl thought he called her stupid (he didn't) so she told on him to her mom. I got dirty looks from surrounding parents, he got dirty looks, and he kept repeating the word because everyone made a big deal about it. Here we are a week later and now he's calling everything "stupid". I've tried ignoring it, telling him it isn't a nice word so we don't say that, replacing it with the word silly. Nothing is working! Anyone else gone through something similar and have a way to correct this behavior?

  • Julie
    May 22

    Hmm. Does he grasp the concept of empathy yet?? Does he know that hitting/biting/etc hurts and to use gentle hands (or whatever phrase you use when enforcing nice touches vs hurtful ones)? If so, I’d maybe try reinforcing the same ideals but with words. Tell him that words like “stupid” are not nice and they hurt feelings and make people sad, just like biting does. So he needs to use gentle words like silly or wacky to describe that rather than use stupid. It will probably take just as long as teaching gentle hands (months maybe) to get him to change the behavior but he will get there eventually. Also it’s so hard but try not to use the word yourself too. TV is one thing but I find that when my husband and I stop a word or behavior our daughter does too. Eventually. Haha. Also, sorry about the playground stares....blah. Some parents just don’t know how it feels till they go through it themselves.