Mummy, will you stop threatening me? I'm just a 1-year-old kid..

Posted by ~Summer~ on September 02, 2011
in ,

I don't like it when people use threats against me. This is probably what I would do in face of threats.


Boyfriend: Dear, you'd better let me go watch the Liverpool game next weekend if not I'll be mad and not talk to you for a week.

Girlfriend: Of course, let me go with you and let's cheer on together.

Me: Sure, go ahead. *finds the game tickets, hides them and feigns ignorance* Oh dear, I'm so sorry your tickets got lost. Such a pity.


Mummy: Girl, please finish up your homework or you won't have any sweets to eat today.

Daughter: Yes, mama. *obediently does all her homework*

Me: Ok, mama. *Leaves the homework undone and takes coins from piggy bank to buy candy, ice-cream and lollipop everyday*


Boss: You'd better do up all these excel charts by end of the week if not you have to be prepared to work OT on the weekend.

Employee: Yes, boss. *diligently skips lunch every day and works till midnight on weekdays to get the job done*

Me: Sure, boss. Leave it to me. *hacks the office computers with a super deadly virus and no one can work for one week*


Ok. Of course I am not so evil. Not by far. Don't worry dear, your Liverpool game tickets are still in your pocket.

The point is, I really don't see why people love to use threats so much. Don't they realise that threats are counter-effective 99% of the time? Moreover, using threats is addictive. Once you start using it, it becomes a powerful weapon and you keep resorting to it time and again just to get your way.

Much as I hate it, I realised I've succumbed to this method of disciplining my baby on some occasions. And I really hate myself for doing that. Just ask yourself, when is the last time you said something like:

"Krista, finish up your rice or else you won't have any Barney to watch today."

"Nicholas, stop leaving your toys on the floors if not I will throw them all away."

"Ida, stop digging your nose or mummy will beat your hand."

"Ty, you'd better put on your shoes now if not we'll miss the bus and your teacher will be mad at you for being late."

"Jaslyn, you'd better hold on to mummy's hand when we are on the streets or mummy will take you home right away."

My most common line: "BABY, STOP CRYING! If not, mummy will get angry and not care bout you!" Which, by the way, only makes her bawl even louder.

I can go on and come up with a list of at least 100 commonly used threats. What many of us might not realise is that they are actually threatening statements and while they may work in getting your toddler to behave in the manner you want them to, it instills a sense of fear in them for doing otherwise. They are scared of losing your love and of facing the punishment, therefore they might choose to obediently follow your instructions. Ok, some kids who are more rebellious might not even accept any of your threats. But in my opinion, one of these threats will work in your favour some day or another.

But, is this really what we want? For our kids to blindly listen to us and do as they are told? I don't know. I honestly disagree with using threats. Sometimes, all it takes is a twist in the way we put our words across, to make a threat into an incentive instead. That, in my opinion, is much healthier to the parent-child relationship. Rather than punishing the wrong behaviour, it rewards the right behaviour instead. By the way, it need not be a physical or material reward all the time (ice cream will make us broke!), it can be as simple as praising your child for being a good girl and mummy loves her for that. While this might make her feel a little smug like Angel does, the most important thing is that it reinforces her right behaviour and she knows she should do the same thing next time. For example, we could easily change our wordings and make the same points across:

"Krista, if you are a good girl and finish up your rice, we'll be able to watch Barney later.or else you won't have any Barney to watch today ."

"Nicholas, can you be a good boy and keep your toys away so that mummy will not step on them and spoil them accidentally? stop leaving your toys on the floors if not I will throw them all away."

"Ida, stop digging your nose, it's dirty and you look so much prettier when you don't. or mummy will beat your hand."

"Ty, please put on your shoes now so that we can catch the bus and you can have a fun time in school with your friends. you'd better put on your shoes fast if not we'll miss the bus and you won't be able to go to school on time."

"Jaslyn, you'd better can you hold on to mummy's hand when we are on the streets so that mummy can keep you safe from the cars and we can have a happy time at the playground later, ok? or mummy will take you home right away."

"BABY, STOP CRYING! If not, mummy will get angry and not care about you!"
"Baby, you know that mummy loves you no matter what, so if you can stop crying, come over to mummy for a kiss and hug."

It's definitely much easier said than done. Yes, I know it. Sometimes when I get really upset and frustrated, I can't help it but say words in a fit of anger that I would after that regret. That is why I always remind myself to STOP THREATENING MY 1-YEAR-OLD KID. She doesn't deserve any of it, and just think, she's really too young to understand the things I am saying sometimes and all she can tell is that "mummy is angry, mummy doesn't love me, mummy doesn't want me."

That is the last thing in the world I want her to feel. No matter how bad a day I had, even if she pulled out all my hair, peed on the new duvet, munched on my favourite novel and flushed down my TV remote, the fact is I love her more than anything in my life and I always will.

I'm not saying that we cannot scold or discipline our kids in a strict manner at all. I'm also not saying that we shouldn't teach our kids right from wrong. Of course we should, but in a loving manner. All I'm saying is that we should not use threats against these defenseless, innocent little beings. No matter how powerful this weapon is, it is a sword that will eventually harm your relationship with the one person you want to protect most in this world.


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