Do Empty Threats Work?
At some stage or another, most parents have made empty threats to their kids. At the time, you really mean what you say. You have every intention of sticking to your word. However, it’s also true that at the time, you are feeling emotional and that emotion is usually anger and disappointment. This is when you are tempted to threaten a form of discipline.
Firstly, it is important not to discipline when you aren’t fully in control of your emotions and especially anger. Proper discipline must be fair and the objective is to teach your child a better way or the right way. Discipline is not a tool to be used against a child in a personal way. It is always essential for a parent to remember he or she is in a powerful position.
However, it is when a child breaks the rules that many parents feel they are being disrespected and disempowered. Even if you are feeling these strong emotions you must keep a clear head.
You must fully understand what your child has done and why it was done. Only then can you decide on a fair form of discipline.
Once you have decided on the punishment you must make sure your child understands exactly what you expect of him or her. Your child must also understand why he or she is being punished.
The final step is explaining to your child the consequences if the rules are broken again.
Once you and your child understand one another regarding the punishment then it’s up to you to make sure it’s carried out to the letter. If you back down even one iota it sends the message you don’t mean what you say. You can be sure your child will expect you to back down every time you threaten to discipline.