Every parent is horrified when his or her child says a bad word or speaks lashon hara. But before we run to get the soap, we should realize that children learn from a young age to repeat events, stories, and words they hear, and to report all the happenings in school. As the child gets older, he may not have developed the sensitivity to know when to guard his tongue and when to speak.
Since parents are obligated to teach their children that it’s forbidden to speak lashon hara, this education should begin as soon as the child reaches understanding. How can this be achieved?