Posted by: thaishin | August 26, 2010


It’s a sad thing. I have to warn my son of the consequences of his actions when he disobey me. If you don’t drink milk, you will have weak bones. If you don’t brush your teeth, bacteria will grow there. If you don’t eat carrots, you will go blind at night. A lot of ifs and thens. I am afraid it will instill a spirit of fear in him and fearful of consequences. Not a good thing.

We adult drink milk to strengthen our bones. We adults brush our teeth to have good hygiene. We adults eat carrots because vitamin A is good for night vision. We do all those things because we know it is good for us. Kids don’t understand what’s good for themselves and we adults have to step in and push them to do the things that they don’t like. We don’t want to instill a spirit of fear. But if we don’t, they will not do it.

As christians, we are not afraid of death. If death has lost its sting, what fear do we have? We ought to live fearlessly. But that belief is too difficult for kids to understand.

Any advice anyone on this?



  1. Hi Thai Shin,

    Kids at this age will have a period when they do not like to drink milk or eating vegetables.

    Find out what your son likes and you give him an award (such as a sticker) if he drinks a glass of milk, or eats vegetables. You will need to set up a chart to put the sticker so that he is aware of the no. of the awards he has received or achieved from you and your wife. Do not set the limit too high (3-5). You can increase the limit at later time.

    I have found it useful 80-90% of the time if the award is given after my kids have accomplished what you want him to do.

    Keep in touch!

  2. Teach gently & not at every meal or your son may dislike when it is time to eat. Kids are kids and gradually learn as they age. Let him know you are telling him and teaching him because you love him and wish the best for him and his body. Try not to use fear to teach him but I believe pictures of kids or adults with rotton teeth for example will stick in his mind and he will NOT wish to look ugly having rotton teeth.

    Keep up the good job, Thai Shin. You make a good mother as well as father as you have the responsibility which is so important after he was a new born. I am sure you are doing your best. God bless!

  3. Hi ThaiShin,

    “Fear is Learnt” It is not good for a kid to start to learn to fear things……it affects their self-confidence in later years

    Therefore, as suggested by Patrick…….use rewards to incentivise your kid……..understand your child. I recommend you read the book “Deeper than the Ocean”. Kids are emotional beings……..a person truely develops logical sesns and thinking around 25 yrs of age……..before such time……most decide using emotions. So find out what motivates your kid emotionally……..there you have your control buttons to press :-).

  4. Thanks guys for your comments

  5. Hi..Thai Shin,
    Long time no see. How’s life?
    Anyway, I have read your posting and some of the responses and I would like to add to these responses on your “Consequenses”. All that were said is not, in a sense are wrong or right. All has it’s point and desired result when done tactfully with care.
    As a parent of a beautiful but stubborn 15yrs old girl I can tell you that everything you do or tried will always be “trial and error”. There is no sure fire solution to any of your problem but when you got your desired effect and result, you got your answer but it will not be long when the child will learn to go around your demand and restrictions and does the opposite or create another problem for you to solve. This, my friend is how every human (child) learn to survive as they grows up. Take time to observe and study your child’s every tantrums, dislike, anything that makes your child happy and unhappy. You will eventually learn to even anticipate his next moves even before he makes his move. Remember, your child inherits not just your genes and your wife’s genes and your DNA but he also inherits your temperaments, characters and even your habits. Do forget the physical appearences. There’s a saying that goes”Like father, like sons”. Well I guess the elders got it right!
    Rewarding a child because he followed your demands of him will get you the result that you want but if this goes on without limitations or the child’s understanding, the end result will go badly especially when he started to expect rewards for his every “obedience” he does.
    Now, as for teaching fear to a child actually you are teaching him on how to survive instinctively. Asked yourselve this question, why did you tell him about all that, not drinking milk that he will have weak bones and no carrot will cause him blindness? This is fear in you! You wanted to protect your offspring. It is inborn in every human. Fear comes with differences in the level and the type of fear that each one of us were born with or taught to us by our parents or those we picked up along the way during our growing up. Fear is just one of our emotional mechanism that is built-in in us which has help the human race to survive disasters, wars, and the many unpleasent events that has afflicted us. We are still here because of fear. If you fear something, you will instinctively avoid, do something about or find a solution to whatever that is causing that fear.
    As adult we know all about consequences that if we don’t obey or follow the rules and regulations of an organisation, ie. our family, school and the company we worked for, we will face the CONSEQUENCES.
    So don’t worry, just do what you think is best but always remember you will be able to solve any problem. Just be calm and slowdown, think things throughly and you will learn all about your son and you will know how to explain and reason with him with every problem he present to you. Because like me, I am still learning about being a parent at every stage my daughter goes through. Each and every age he goes through, you will go with him. Remember at this age he is now, his understanding of the world is limited. Try communicating with him using his level of communications. See, I didn’t say talk to him or say to him. COMMUNICATION is the key. Let him express his words, his dislike and all his likes. When you speak to him, don’t speak infront of him, sit next to him on his left or right. When you speak, speak clearly, softly and firmly. Do not talk down to him, get down to his level and assure him that you are there for him. He will understand soon enough that if he has any problem, he knows who to look for instesd of his friends (future) or somone else. Be a friend to him. Now what could be better than that.
    Good Blessed.

  6. thanks Harry for sharing your experience

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