is it okay to use fear to get your kids to do what you want?

I wrote a blog post over at joshbarkey.com about this, but I'm curious about y'alls thoughts. Here's the link, in case you're curious about my thoughts... my blog post is mostly about using fear to keep my son away from sex (http://www.joshbarkey.com/2012/05/fear-of-sex.html).

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Fear to keep way from sex?  That's going to go over well once he has sex.  Further it could screw up his long term relationship with his spouse.

Why not teach him respect for the act and respect for the emotional queing it triggers?  It can be a drug like many other forms of pleasure.

I don't think you teach him to be a free thinking adult by using fear.  Respect your son, teach him to respect himself, his family and his partner.

Yeah, man. That was essentially my argument in the article. I think fear isn't ever a positive motivational tool. I tell my son not to touch hot things because they'll burn him - but it's not because I want him to be afraid of them. I just want him to understand a causal link so he can make wise decisions. Same with sex. I'll tell him consequences, but I don't want him to be afraid. Ever. Too much fear in the world as it is.

Yep.  Fear is fair game.  Don't touch that, it'll burn you.  Don't hit her, or she'll hit you back.  Don't backtalk your mother, or I'll punish you.  Don't play in the street, or you'll get hit by a car.

 

Works reasonably well.

 

JB

Fear is good in the right dosage. 

There are consequences involved with sex and a young man should be afraid of those.  

Don't go overboard though, that's what makes crazy people. 

going along with what others have said I'm not sure if it'd be 'fear' so much as explaining consequences (appropiate to a childs age of course).

 

I mean if a kid is of the age where you would talk to him/her about sex and you say something along the lines of "sex is wrong, if you have sex you WILL get a disease etc." and just freak the kid out well A. misinformation or no information isn't helping anyone (there's a reason the states that teach abstinence only have the highest STI/teen pregnancy rates). and B. as stated before it can really screw up a persons long term/adult perceptions of sex and relationships.

It worked for Bristol Palin. Oh wait...no it didn't.

Fear is for little kids who don't know any better. I've seen parents try to reason with toddlers to no avail; they just can't process the concepts.
Kids who are old enough to understand procreation, different story. As per a former post here, it's time to focus on respect and responsibility.
Interesting and commendable you are thinking about this topic with your son. Guys can't get pregnant, and very seldom get the responsibility of raising the product of an accidental pregnancy. I can see a lot of parents seeing this as a raising girls issue only, and young men are given a wink and a pass to have a good time.
Good for you.

That's a good distinction, Carl. Thanks.

I did not read the blog, because frankly that just a stupid idea.

Sex is a complex issue.  The culture is a bad warren of mixed messages and bad information and stereotypes   Adding fear about it is just one more thing to mess with his long term relationship with his partner.  A healthy sexual relationship with his partner should be the end goal, not keeping him away from sex.  Now navigating the time to a long term partner that is tricky. 

Which you would have seen was my point, David, if you had read the blog :)

I wouldn't really call what you are describing as fear because practically any common sense decision would then become simply an expression of fear. I'm sure you could describe life that way, but it is a pretty bleak existence. I think there are more mature methods to deal with common sense decisions besides describing them in terms of fear motivated decision making.

Emotions, even negative ones, are not bad in and of themselves. It's when the wrong emotion is triggered in a situation that they turn problematic. All emotions have contexts where they fit, and where they do not fit.

Fear of sex would be a bad thing. A healthy fear of consequences of promiscuity is a good thing to the extent that it helps him steer clear of potentially life-wrecking choices.

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