Ideas for not educating children with threats

Many parents resort to threats as a last resort when they don’t know what else to do in difficult situations, such as saying things like, “If you don’t clean your room right now, you can forget about going out this weekend.” But often these types of threats are empty of content , which causes the level of credibility towards parents to drop considerably on the part of children, and at the same time they end up becoming threats that affect the whole family, such as sacrificing the quality leisure time together.

Throwing threats that we cannot or do not really want to carry out is common when acting under the control of anger and anger. In fact, many times these threats or punishments have nothing to do with the behavior as they are the result of “acting hot”, and therefore they end up not taking themselves seriously. So when we declare that we are going to carry out a penalty or consequence, it is better that we make sure that it is something that we can actually comply with .




On the other hand, it is good to keep in mind that these types of threats do not encourage the cooperation of the little ones , and what is worse, sometimes they increase the level of challenge. That is, instead of acting as a deterrent to inappropriate behavior, the child may hear the threat as a challenge provoking even more to see if it is finally met or not. In addition, resorting to things such as not reading a story, not going to the park or not having dinner are coercive measures that are not going to benefit a child’s education at all, so they should never play the game of threats or threats. punishments.



Effective phrases and tricks to end threats


  • The dreaded lunchtime. Especially in those cases in which children eat poorly, mealtime can become an ordeal. Try, in any case, to replace phrases such as “You are not going to get up from the table until you finish those lentils” by “Today it is important that we eat because if we want to play we must have a lot of energy”. This way of acting allows them to choose with awareness and knowledge of cause and effect.
  • Complaints and more complaints. Children often complain, often as a result of their lack of ability to handle stressful situations, frustration, etc. That is why adults should put the smart note in these cases and forget phrases such as “If you complain one more time I will take away your sticker book” and use other tricks such as: “I would like to listen to you, but when you speak angry I do not understand what you are saying ”. This will let them know that you are really interested in what they are saying, but that they should speak calmly and normally.
  • Outputs and consequences. If, for example, you go by car and one of the children starts screaming, a tense situation will be created that can endanger the safety of all those who are inside. That is why it is important not to fall into the shouting game and say phrases like, “I can’t drive while yelling because it is very dangerous, so I am going to stop until you have calmed down.” This way of speaking will allow children to realize the serious effects that a certain behavior can have.
  • Let’s go to the supermarket. Going to the supermarket, especially with active or nervous children, can be very complicated, but even so we must avoid phrases such as “Stop running now or you will not watch television when we get home.” Try introducing others like, “Can you help me find the cereals you like so much?” This way the little ones will not feel bored or frustrated and will feel that they are part of an important and beautiful family project.




  • Save and order things. We have all resorted to phrases like “If you don’t pick up your toys or clean your room, don’t have snacks / dinners”, however, punishing with not eating cannot be something that teaches us , so we can try to use other phrases in this kind of cases, like “I’d like you to pick up your toys and put them in their box. Do you want to do it before or better after lunch / dinner? ” This will make expectations clear, but will also give you a choice.
  • Time to brush your teeth . Start avoiding phrases like “If you don’t brush your teeth, there will be no bedtime story” and more positive ones like “It’s time to go to bed. What should we do first to prepare? This type of tactic, more effective, allows you to better understand what a daily routine is and to be able to follow it with ease.
  • The dreaded bedtime. Try substituting phrases like “If you get out of bed again tonight I’ll be very angry” for “After I go to bed tonight, I hope you stay and sleep very well in your bed.” In this way you express what you really want in a clear and calm way, and you do not generate anxiety in the child about a problem that can already generate enough in itself, and it is the complex matter of learning to sleep alone.


Remember that an irrational threat , or one that is out of proportion to what happened, does not teach children anything about the realistic consequences of their behaviors. Instead of using words like “yes” or “if not”, try trying other “as soon as” or “when” words, as these words will help you stay rational and positive and not punishing , they are also easier to do. follow. For example: “As soon as you put your toys away we can have ice cream” or “When you have hung up your jacket we can play a game.” This, added to the previous examples, can be very useful to put aside the severe or empty threats of content and change them for something much more didactic and effective.


The change is in our hands!


Thank you and a thousand thanks you are very helpful in my home and with my children who are still very young and do not understand

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