We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.

safe space


Nearly every kid will experiment with a curse word

There are multiple reasons why kids might start experimenting with a curse word…or two…or three. It might be because the word sounds funny, or they’re imitating their parents (oops), or because they’re trying to vent some intense feelings and that word seems to feel right. It’s all part of exploring language.

But even though this phase is innocent and natural, it can still make for some pretty awkward moments for adults.

For Tina Midkiff, that moment came while teaching daycare. Midkiff was “trying to resolve cussing issues” with a young girl in her class, especially since Midkiff didn’t want the other kids hearing it.

Getting creative, she found the perfect place for her adorable pottymouth—the bathroom.

In a video posted to Midkiff’s TikTok, we see the plan in action. Midkiff tells the girl “we’re only going to cuss in the bathroom. We’re not cussing anywhere but in the bathroom. And we’re not going to give the finger anywhere but in the bathroom.”

Midkiff also confirmed that this was a “mother approved” strategy for getting it out of the little girl’s system.

The little girl complies with sweet little “otays,” and is clearly ancy to let it all out. As soon as her teacher leaves the room, the expletives start flying.

Mid rant, Midkiff asks “are you unfinished?” but the little girl yells back “No!” and more F-bombs pour out in a clandestine whisper.

Then as the end of her swear session approached, the little girls instruct herself to only use those words in the bathroom.

“Did you get it out of your system?” Midkiff asks as she comes back in, to which the girl replies “yeeeeaaaah,” before frolicking off to her class.



Mom approved post!

♬ original sound - Tina15

Nearly 15 million people watched Midkiff’s video, and found the clip kind of precious, if not incredibly relatable.

One viewer quipped, “Me when I’m rehearsing fights in my head.”

Another added, “Her whispering her bad words is so cute.”

Just about everyone seemed in agreement that the little girl did indeed simply need to let it out.

“She needed to release this, daycare buds getting on her nerves. Lol,” one person commented .

In a follow-up video, Midkiff explained that she posted the video to highlight the importance of giving kids a “safe space” to express themselves. In this case, it proved to be more effective than punishment, which the little girl wasn’t responding to.

“We had to go outside the box…to see what was the best [thing] for the child,’ Midkiff said, adding that sometimes adults can get stuck in a rut of redirecting or doling out punishment, which keeps the situation from actually being dealt with.

Other adults seemed to agree with Midkiff’s reasoning.

One person wrote, “This! Every child is different. You made it work for her—you didn’t shame her. You let her express it so she can move on with her life.”

Another added, “I will now use this method for my child. Thank you Ms. Tina.”

Just as Midkiff was able to find success by uncovering why this little girl felt the need to cuss, so too can others find a solution once they know the specific underlying motivation of their own kid. For instance, if the curse words are to get attention, it might be recommended to ignore the pleas as to not encourage that kind of behavior. If it's from repeating what’s heard at home, then perhaps being more mindful of your own swear habit is key.

Bottom line: kids are individuals, and might need an individual approach. Even when it comes to expletives.