When it comes to kids, it’s best to say what you mean & mean what you say. Kids have a way of knowing when you are bluffing. They are clever creatures who won’t fall for tricky tactics. Regardless, we have all threatened things we aren’t really going to follow through with. Like, if your child is acting up when you are visiting friends. And, you tell her “if you don’t stop, I’m going to take you home.” Both you and your child know this isn’t going to happen. It’s an empty threat. And as such, the child will probably continue with her naughty behavior, knowing there won’t be an immediate consequence.
There’s no point in threatening a punishment that you aren’t willing to follow through with. Such as, taking something precious away, leaving early from a party, not attending a get together, etc. You should only threaten a consequence that you are willing to see through. Think about it before you say it because once it’s out there, you need to continue down the path you set. Otherwise, your child won’t take you seriously.