We’ve all done it before. Making threats we can’t keep is not unfamiliar in the world of parenting. In our exasperation, we may go to the extreme knowing that it will get our child’s attention. Well, at least initially. Saying, “If you do that again, I will not let you go to your cousin’s party,” is not helpful if you can’t follow through on your disciplinary action. Soon your child will start to ignore empty threats and your words will fall onto deaf ears. It is better if you can stop, breathe, and think of a discipline you can actually carry through. Saying, “Unless you play with the toy the way it is meant to be played with, I will have to take it away from you” may take a few more moments to express. However, in the long run, your child will understand what they are doing, what needs to be done to fix it, and what the consequence will be. Sometimes children need to hear what they are doing because they may not be aware that they are doing anything wrong. Hearing an appropriate consequence, proportionate to the error, will also engender trust from your child. The long term benefit is that they will listen to what you are saying instead of thinking they might be able to get away with the unwanted behavior.