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Why Using Threats to Get Kids to Cooperate Backfires

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“If you don’t stay in your room and get to sleep, I am going to put a gate up!” “If you don't put all these toys away, I am throwing them in the trash." Most parents have resorted to threats like these in a desperate attempt to get their kids to cooperate.

But this tactic often backfires because children pick up on the negativity and react to it. It sends the message to your child that you are already anticipating that she is not going to comply and that you’re in for a fight.

This puts kids in oppositional, power-struggle mode, especially children who are more defiant by nature. Negativity and threats tend to amplify their resistance and they just dig in their heels more firmly. (Not to mention that most of the time parents have no

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