You are punished until the age of 18! Go to your room, you will never leave! I’m going to throw all your toys away! Most parents have said phrases like this at some time in their life. They are not very rational words … and they come out of your mouth without you having thought about it much before …
Whatever threat you have said to your children, how you recover from your overreaction is important. Turn your angry and irrational outburst into an opportunity to teach your child important life lessons. Sometimes avoiding these behaviors is too complicated, so it is important that you know how to patch the situation well.
DON’T IGNORE WHAT YOU SAID
It may be tempting to ignore the irrational threat you have made to your children once you are calm … but this will send your child the wrong message. He will start to believe that you really don’t mean what you say. This does not mean that you should necessarily follow through on what you have said.
If you told him you were going to throw away all his toys because you were angry that your son didn’t pick up his room … don’t take out the garbage bag. Pretending that you never said what you said is not useful either … your child will feel anxiety when he sees you say a threat and then you do not comply, he will be confused.
HAVE AN HONEST CONVERSATION
After taking the first point into account, once you have calmed down and realized that you cannot carry out your threat, sit down and talk to your child. You must model your behavior on how to take responsibility for your behavior. Apologize and make it clear that you are not going to follow through with that threat.
Acknowledge your emotions and say something like, ‘I was really mad and I said things that I would rather not have said, I’m really sorry.’
PROVIDES A MORE REASONABLE CONSEQUENCE
Replace the irrational consequence with the one you initially threatened with a more logical consequence. If your child hasn’t picked up the toys, take away the privileges until they have cleaned it up. If your teenager came home late, don’t let him go out for 3 days.
Explain the new consequence to your children and make it clear that you will follow through with it. Show him that you mean what you say and that you say what you mean. After acknowledging your emotions, your child will stop feeling confused.
PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING AGAIN
Sometimes exaggerated threats stem from the stress that many parents have accumulated. If you are exhausted when you get home from work or have financial problems, you are more likely to pay it with your child … If this is your case, take your behavior as a warning sign that your stress level is too high. You will have to learn to manage your stress in a healthy way to be a better parent.
If your overreaction is due to frustration over your child’s bad behavior because it is constant, find a plan to nip it in the bud. Identify the most effective consequences you can use and be productive so that you can be less reactive. You can create an economy system of tokens , point tables , etc.
If you overreacted because you were in a delicate moment in your life, always take a deep breath before responding. If your child has told you that he hated you, you are likely to overreact when you feel emotionally attacked. You must remind yourself that you do not have to carry out consequences in the future while you are experiencing intense emotions.