In my experience, sometimes being a good parent means knowing when to keep your mouth shut. It's OK to give kids the silent treatment. Of course, you have to have the right intentions. It's not about playing childish games. You're the parent now. Remember? Still, there are definitely instances where actions speak louder than words. If there weren't, why would we even have that saying?
My dad had a look.
To this day, I remember it quite clearly. He didn't nag us. He didn't preach. He just turned his head in our direction and gave that look. You know the one. Likely, your parents employed it too. That look said, "Don't even think about it. Stop now, before I'm forced to take further action." It was a command and judgment all in one. He spoke to us with silence.
I used the look with my kids and grandkids, too.
I can tell you, with complete confidence, the silent treatment works on modern kids. Of course, you have to time things right. If kids' tempers are flaring, it may not be quite as effective. The trick is to catch them when you see that glint form in their eyes. You know the one that tells you they're about to be up to no good? In other words, the look only works before they actually do anything.
The silent treatment squelches nagging.
What did I do when my kids started nagging me for things I already said no to? I gave them the silent treatment, big time. Once I made a decision, I stuck to it. I didn't talk about it either. If they asked again, I'd simply say, "I already gave you my answer." That was it. After that, if they asked again, I had nothing to say. Once again they got a look. This time, it was the look that said, "Don't even go there."
Sometimes my kids tried to argue with me.
I don't argue with kids. I'm not a kid. I simply state my opinions, hand out any applicable discipline and drop the subject. If they want to argue, they can find someone else to do it with. I just don't believe in teaching kids the fine art of squabbling. There's enough of that going on in the world. In my house, I like peace and quiet.
Kids can be disrespectful.
They don't know any better. I do. That's why when hormones were surging or things got really ugly, I simply walked away from my kids. I do the same with my grandkids. Doing so sends the message that rudeness will not be tolerated or given consideration. So you see, there are many occasions where giving kids the silent treatment is more than acceptable. In fact, sometimes, it's the best thing you can do for them.
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