Q My 13-year-old daughter has started using curse words in her daily discourse. It's a bad habit which will reflect poorly on her but I don't know how to talk to her about it without making it into an 'issue' which could perhaps result in her using it as a form of rebellion against me.
A Softly does it. Growing up, I was a mildly spoken kid who never swore. Then, at 13, I went on a summer camp with a gang of lads from my class and came back swearing like a trooper. Pretty soon I grew out of it. Swearing is a peer group thing and it is, invariably, a phase teenagers go through. If that's the only sign of rebellion you are getting from your 13-year-old, though, you're not doing too bad. Have a quiet word -- make her think about it, nobody likes a potty-mouth -- but by no means should you threaten her with sanctions or anything like that.