I just came across a funny post on Babble from popular blogger, Kristen Howerton, 15 Stupid Threats That Parents Should Never Use. She runs the popular site, Rage Against the Minivan, in which she writes about life with 4 kiddos in a no-holds barred approach—which is why she is one of my favorite “mommy bloggers.” Oh…did I mention that she is a therapist, too? That makes me like her even more than I already do!
Small Excerpt of her 15 Stupid Threats:
1. If you roll your eyes, they’ll stick that way.
Funny how no one ever says, “Keep blinking like that and your eyes will stay closed … FOREVER.”
2. Move your hand, or I’ll chop it off.
But not before putting down some protective plastic because cleaning your blood off the couch cushions is the last thing I want to do.
3. If you ask to watch TV one more time, I’m giving it away.
Like I would really punish myself that way.
4. You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’.
Unless you are a rapper or poet, rhymed violent threats only come across as playful silliness. That’s why Dr. Seuss did not pursue insult comedy.
5. If you don’t finish that food I’m going to send it to a child in Africa.
My grandmother was fond of this one. I’m sure children in Africa appreciate being brought into this.
I always have to laugh when I read stuff like this because all parents have uttered these types of threats—in one form or another—at some point in their child’s lives. My problem, however, is that I very rarely follow through because like Kristen states in #3, you always feel like you are just punishing yourself and that is so unfair! It’s embarrassing for me to admit this, though, because of how often I preached about consistency in my counseling sessions with other parents! Oops 🙁
I can’t tell you how many times I have declared that THIS is going to happen if you do THAT…but then, I think to myself, “If I tell her that she can’t watch t.v. or go on her iPad or attend the birthday party, she is going to want me to play a board game with her or even worse, cry uncontrollably for hours and really irritate the hell of me!”
I also find myself threatening consequences that would make a horror movie seem like child’s play when the kids aren’t listening or talking back. Sometimes, I will even sit back and think, “Wow…that was pretty scary to tell them.” Nine times out of then, though, they just shrug their shoulders and continue beating each other! Oftentimes, I think that my kids feel it’s worth it to suffer a punishment and get one last blow in, than to listen to me and stop misbehaving.
Do you make outrageous and empty threats with your kids or do you make legitimate consequences that you actually follow through with?