Wait Until Your Dad Gets Home
How many of us have heard or used the threat; “Wait until your Dad gets home”? How many of us are aware that using threats like these permanently programme our children with ‘negative beliefs’ about their fathers, and about trust and safety?
This statement is often used as an idle threat but how are children to know this? Obviously the reason we are being threatened with this ominous warning is that we ‘must have done something wrong’. Perhaps we didn’t eat our Brussels sprouts, spilled paint on the sofa or did such a terrible thing that Mum is powerless to do anything about it and must resort to using the threat of Dad to punish us. She hasn’t even said the words “Dad will punish you when he gets home” she has just said in a menacing tone, “Wait until your Dad gets home”. If she had said this in a reasonable friendly way we would have been looking forward to Dad coming home. But she’s angry and frustrated and is standing there with her hands on her hips and a mean look on her face and shouting at us.
If we have had a previous experience of Dad coming home and something bad happening we will spend the long hours between now and then reliving or predicting that ‘something bad is bound to happen’. And so we wait in fear for our fathers’ return perhaps hoping he will come home late and we’ll be in bed before he arrives, perhaps wishing he might never come home! However many hours there are until he returns, this waiting time becomes the focus of our small world. Looming like a huge thundercloud over the horizon, the imagined punishment becomes larger than life and our childish imaginings become almost unbearable as the minutes tick away.
When Dad finally gets home we might be hiding behind the couch or in our bedroom pretending to be asleep. We strain to hear Mum telling him how bad we are and how we deserve to be punished and, depending upon whether Dad is grumpy after a hard day’s work or if he’s too tired to be bothered with us, he might ignore us or let us off with a warning. Often torn between backing up our mother and having to prove he is the ‘Man of the House’, Dad now has to make the decision that might irrevocably change the way we feel about him forever.
If he yells at us, abuses or hits us, beliefs like: ‘He hurts me’, ‘He abuses me’ ‘I must be bad’, ‘I deserve to be punished’, ‘I hate him, ‘I am powerless’, and ‘I have no choice’ will be indelibly imprinted in our subconscious. Though we often can’t remember the crime we will always remember the anxiety and fear of that waiting and wondering what will happen to us and blame our Mum for getting us into trouble.
Becoming wary, we learn to stay out of the way, keep to ourselves, and ‘be good’. As adults we will subconsciously ‘expect the worst’, feeling that we can’t trust anybody completely, least of all our parents, and always walking on eggshells we will be terrified of doing anything to upset people and invoke their wrath. Or repeating our parents negative behaviour we start treating others as we have been treated, becoming bullies and intimidators.
“Wait until Dad gets home” has been handed down from generation to generation and is used as a threat to coerce, control and intimidate our children into behaving how we want them to behave. Only now are neuroscientists beginning to understand the repercussions of such thoughtless threats and the dreadful impact they have on us throughout our lives. It’s hardly surprising then that many children have little respect for, or learn to hate and fear their fathers and mistrust their mothers.
In fairy tales good usually triumphs over evil but in reality this is often not the case. A child’s imagination is a beautiful thing, making and dreaming up fantastic worlds of their own to sustain and nurture them and helping to develop a sense of wonder and ‘what if’. But if as children we are threatened with such negative statements our imagination becomes tainted with anxiety, fear and worry. And always ‘expecting the worst’ or waiting for ‘something bad to happen’ is programmed into our subconscious as ‘negative prediction beliefs‘that will have a profound influence on our adult life.
If you would like to know more about how we get negative beliefs and how to get rid of them so you can stop taking your anger and frustration out on your children, write to us through our Contact Page for your FREE ONE HOUR SKYPE SESSION and start getting rid of your negative beliefs RIGHT NOW!
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