Most of us are guilty of telling our toddler that if they misbehave or don’t eat their dinner the policeman will come and arrest them or take them away. And while never said with malice, it can actually affect your child negatively and in ways you might never have thought of.
If you are prone to saying it to your little one every now and again, the following five reasons why your shouldn't may actually change your mind.
1. If they get lost who are they going to turn to for help?
Most of us tell our kids that if they are lost in a shop or the park to find a policeman and get them to phone Mummy. But if your youngster is afraid the policeman will take them away, will they feel happy and safe asking them for help?
2. The policeman is someone who should be respected, not feared
Teaching your child to behave or respect authority should not involve them being told that if they don't do something they will be taken away. Respect should not be born on fear.
3. They may live in fear that someone will take them away
The last thing you want is for your child to live in fear that someone will take them away from you, even if it is to stifle bad behaviour or to get them to eat a healthy dinner.
4. Who will they go to if they are frightened or scared?
When your child is older and they are in trouble the last thing you want is for them to have grown up with a sense of fear of the police force. Respect, yes. But not fear.
5. It doesn’t teach them to correct their behaviour
Telling your little one that they will be arrested if they don't do something doesn't teach them to correct their behaviour, but rather teaches them to be afraid. And while it might work this one time, you'll still have to deal with the situation the next time it happens, and it will never be truly corrected.