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"If you don't stop now, then..." (consequences/penalties)

Threats of consequences or penalties

Who doesn't know this situation, your child doesn't listen and manages to push your patience to the limit. In such situations, it is only too human that you lose your patience. It is not uncommon for sentences to be heard such as "if you don't come with me now, then I'll just go without you!"

Of course, this is not a consequence that you would even begin to pull through, and yet it is spoken, your child has heard it, processed it and it triggers something in your child.

Empty threats cost respect in the long run

Imagine your partner telling you "either you clean the windows right now or I'll leave you!"

What will be your reaction to this? Either you make fun of this threat, because you know that your partner will not follow through on this threat anyway, or you clean the window immediately for fear of being left.

The two most common reactions to threats are fear or loss of respect!

Threats may still "work" well with small children, but the older your child gets, the more likely it is that your threats will not actually happen in most cases and will therefore lose their effectiveness.

Remember, with your threat you want to bring about a change in the behavior of your child, but a change in behavior that is based on a threat is not desirable! Behavioral changes should come from a different motivation. In addition, through the "empty threats" your child will learn in the long run that they cannot rely on what you say and therefore on you.

So how can you meet your child without threats?

You can motivate your child to be cooperative, because children generally want to cooperate with their parents. If your child feels that you understand, that their needs matter, and that you really can find a compromise together, your child will be more likely to stick to it. Your child will not "take part" if it has the feeling that its needs are not important or does not feel that it is being taken seriously.  This, in turn, will lead to your child feeling frustrated and reluctant to "cooperate" with you and follow your rules.

If it doesn't work despite mutual compromises with the "collaboration", you can show him consequences, but without threats. These consequences need to be related and understandable to your child. There's no point in threatening your child with taking all their toys if they don't come home from the playground with you now. However, it will make sense for your child if you explain to them that if they keep banging their crayons on the table, you'll take the crayons away for now, since you can't rely on your child to stop doing it. Here is a connection that your child can understand. It is important that your tone is respectful and that you explain the consequences.

Therefore, try to find mutual compromises in which both your needs and the needs of your child play a role.

And remember, everyone has a bad day and you just don't want to compromise. If in doubt, your child will want to rebel, that's completely normal and you should be entitled to it - take a deep breath, these days will pass too ;)

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