Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Day 166- "If you don't....., I'll leave you!"

"If you don't....., I'll leave you!"

This is a common used phrase by many parents towards their younger children. And I am guilty of having used it with my son-especially when he was a toddler. It seems harmless because I know that I would not leave him behind and I am only saying these words so that he would come with me. When looking it at it it is actually a scare tactic used by parents to "keep" their children in control.

I recall we were at the store and my toddler son was having fun by a fountain in the store area and we were ready to go but he was not. So I told him that if he does not come I will leave him there. And I walked away (hiding but still having my eye on him). At the time he did not seem to care as he was engaged with the water in the fountain so I had to go pick him up and we left with him screaming on top of his lungs in the whole store. Regardless I kept using this phrase as he was growing and he began to not like it when I said it. He would start crying and still did not end up coming with me. But I am sure this works on many children in one way or another.

So I have not used this in a long time- I realized that what I was saying to him is that he can't trust me. How can his mother leave him behind? Even though he was not realizing that concept (me leaving him behind) when he was younger, he did grow to dislike it.

When you say something like this to your child, what are you really showing them from their perspective of hearing it.- That you would abandon them if they don't follow your directions? How is that building support and trust relationship with your child in the long run? It is not. And today may be this but tomorrow this scare tactic can be something else- and children will remember subconsciously.

I have learned 3 important things when it comes to building trust with your children:
Don't lie to your children (even in good faith), Don't break promises and Don't say you will abandon them if they are not listening.

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