“If you behave Daddy will buy you ice-cream later.” (Just to keep him/her quiet, hopefully they forget about it)
“Don’t be naughty, otherwise the policeman will catch you.”
“If you don’t finish your food, you are not clever. I only love clever boys/ girls.”
Parents, you are your children’s guide, mentor and number one love in their lives. Your words to your children have a significant impact in their approach to life and their perception of their surroundings. It is especially true for younger children.
When you “bluff” them, it is a lie to them. It is an opening for them to perceive that you are not always reliable and it is sometimes okay to lie.
When you “scare” them, you strike a fear in them and they will stay clear of that fearful character. If your children are in trouble, do you really want them to be too afraid to go to the police?
When you “threaten” them you have but a price on your love for them. They may hear this: “Daddy will only love you if you …..” instead of “Daddy will always love you no matter what”
Undeniably, these wards may be spoken to induce a positive outcome with no ill intention. Yet, your children look up to you and take your word seriously, is it not also our responsibility to watch our words seriously? Educate them and nurture them with kind words of edification and encouragement.
By Danny Teo, Centre for Fathering