#AtoZ Parenting

How threats damage your child’s personality and self-esteem

At some point of parenthood, we all have used threats. Parents use threats to keep their children under check. 

Parents use threats as a way to get the job done, but are they useful always and easy?

What are these threats that parents usually used for their children?

Let’s explore a few examples –

  1. If you don’t listen to Mumma, I will hand you over to the police.
  2. Witches will come and take you away if you don’t listen to me.
  3. If you don’t listen to me, I will not talk to you.
  4. If you don’t complete this, you will not get that chocolate.
  5. No holidays for you this summer, if you don’t get the work done.
  6. If you don’t listen to me right now, you will not be allowed to go down to play.
  7. I will give you away if you don’t eat this right now.

Are threats the best way of getting things done or are there alternatives we should seek? Ever wondered besides getting things done, what harm do these threats actually do?

There are a few classic ways in which these threats have an impact on the children.

For example:

  1. Because I am threatened and things are under YOUR control, I will cooperate. But the day your threats don’t matter, you will lose complete control.

    Threats work with a child only till the child is independent.

  2. When we continue to threaten our kids to get things done, one day, sooner or later, kids will turn around and say “Do what you want, I am not going to listen to you.” That day, you have lost the special bond with your child, forever.

    The day the child faces up to your threat, the relationship is scarred.

  3. Threats make the other person believe, “I am not good enough, therefore punishment is the only answer my parents have”.

    Parents use threats that create complexes in children.

Compliance because of threats is a very short term. It always has repercussions. Therefore, it may not be worthwhile at all.

Instead of threatening, talk to your child with respect. Children are very sensitive, hence, giving them respect builds their self-esteem. Parents use threats, destroy self-esteem.

Stop threatening your child for anything and everything. If a thing has to be done, think about creative ways in which you can get things done.

Can you think of some ways?

If not, hold on, we have some for you:

  1. Inspire children and get the work done.
  2. Can you playfully get it done?
  3. Can you get it done as a special request?
  4. Appeal to the nobility of your child and get it done.
  5. Can you make the work interesting and get it done?
  6. Can you mention of an invisible peer pressure, help you to get it done?
  7. Maybe, you can get the work done as a favor to you?
  8. Lure the rewards/recognition and get the work done by your child.
  9. Can silent treatment get it done?
  10. Can appreciation get it done?

Finding ways to get it done may irritate you. We completely understand that. However, in the long-term interests of your child, our strong suggestion is, respect your child in spite of everything and focus on innovative ways to get them to cooperate and get things done.

Once you get the knack of it, it is going to super excite you. You may lose the ability to threaten. You will love yourself for the same.

Long story made short,

Give up on trying to ‘control’ your kid. Establish a relationship of understanding. Explain the concerns, the errors, the practices necessary and set boundaries. Have a no-nonsense approach everywhere required.

However hard it is, respectfully discuss issues with your child and set mutually amicable boundaries. Respect, don’t threaten. Discuss, don’t order. Guide, don’t control. Convince, don’t threaten.

Learn through our blogs or access the complete WOW Parenting course on your phone.

The Author

Ria Banerjee

Ria Banerjee

A writing enthusiast who aspires to be a novelist, Ria has been writing content for corporates for over 5 years now. She combines her education in Liberal Arts with her inclination for writing, to build delightful content pieces.

Ria is an avid reader, interested in technology, politics, travel, and food. She’s a travel enthusiast. Backpacking around Europe is at the top of her bucket list. If you don't find her in office you can find her in the nearest cafe munching food while she is reading a book.

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