April 2010

Parenting With Empty Threats?

April 2010
By Ranj Dhaliwal

Have you ever threatened your child to get out of your house?

I’ve spoken to many parents and youths, and the one thing most of them have in common is that they’ve either been threatened by their parents to get out of their house or they have told their children to get out.

When you realize your children are unmanageable, you shouldn’t resort to constantly threatening your children with eviction. The first time you tell them to abide by your rules or “get out” you have drawn a line that you will need to stick to or else you’re just crying wolf. So many youths have said, “Yeah, yeah. My parents threaten to kick me out all the time, but then they come running after me when I start walking out the door. I can get away with anything.” The children have realized that they have the power over their parents because the parents are afraid for their children’s well being outside of the family home. Children will take advantage of this and walk all over their parents.

The youths that have never actually been told to leave their family home by their parents are actually more afraid that if they do screw up then they will be kicked out. Sometimes the best weapon is silence. If your youth screws up then discipline them by cutting off their allowance, giving them extra chores, cutting off any other privileges they may have, etc. When they start abiding by the rules again, you slowly start giving them their privileges back.

Empty threats will get you nowhere with your children. They need to live and learn. This is a tough world and tough parenting is needed, but don’t ever draw a line you cannot cross, and if you do cross it then you must stick by it. You are the authority in your house and you will have to maintain authority, and also be a friend to your child. 

As I was writing this column, my mother pointed out that a great idea for parents is to get children to work part-time to get a feel for the value of a hard earned dollar. When your child hits sweet 16, get them to start working a part-time job to help with their college tuition. This is a great way to teach them to manage their finances and gain responsibility. Maybe ask them to start paying a small amount for rent, and you “the parent” can put those funds toward their wedding fund. We all know how much these lavish show off weddings are nowadays.

Have you considered getting your youth involved in volunteer work? Volunteer work for the betterment of society can help mold your child into a positive role model that others and you will be proud of.

Until next time …