Moms and Dads

Filipino Threats Parents Should Stop Using To Discipline Their Kids

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In a state of rage, some parents threaten their kids in Filipino to rein them in when they start misbehaving.

It may sound funny to some but to our kids, the threat of physical harm can be quite real. A lot of us are not aware of what we look like in a state of rage. But one thing’s for sure — our kids become scared of us. Also, we know that discipline is best not built on fear but on respect. Here are some of the most commonly used threats in Filipino that we parents should do away with when disciplining our children.

1. “Sasapakin kita!” / “I’ll punch you!”

Sapak means to “punch” and this Filipino threat is commonly used among men when they want to intimidate. The line usually comes out in gang fights and thus, is not right for kids. Despite us not meaning it, some kids might actually pick it up and use it on someone who actually knows what it means! And the last thing we want our kids to get into is a fist fight.

2. “Kukurutin ko ang singit mo!” / “I’ll pinch your groin!”

We often say this Filipino threat not actually knowing what “singit” we’re talking about to kids. Unfortunately, that said “singit” is actually a groin. Now that we know the English meaning, we realize that’s not exactly a nice or appropriate threat to use when disciplining our kids.

3. “Sampalin kita!” / “I’ll slap you!”

The most commonly used one, “sampal” or “hampas” may be among the word choices. Although “hampas” is a more general term for “hitting”, “sampal” is the more commonly used one. But we know that slapping is not a good idea. We denounce physical punishment so, let’s start by not threatening our kids that we will.

Another word that has a similar weight is “bigwasin” which means “to slap” but using the back of one’s hand. Sometimes, they even hold a weapon of choice to imply that they’ll hit you with it: slippers (tsinelas), belt (sinturon), broom (walis), or hanger.

4. “Sige, bahala ka sa buhay mo!” / “Fine! Do what you want!”

We often use this Filipino threat when we’re so frustrated with our kids when they become stubborn. This usually happens in a mall especially when the kids don’t want to leave the toy store. Unlike the three aforementioned, this implies that we’re going to abandon them. All the more they’re going to cry because they’re trying to tell you that they want a toy but we’re going to abandon them for wanting that toy.

5. “Gusto mo ba mag-public school?”/ “Do you want to end up in a public school?”

A lot of parents use this because many of them are aware of how stressful the public school setting is. But it’s awful to use a school as a reference. Not everybody can afford private education. This teaches our kids to look down on those who graduated from public schools as well.

6. “Lumayas ka dito!” / “Get out of this house!”

Telling a kid to leave the house over a mistake is tantamount to telling them that they’re no longer part of the family which can be overkill if we’re saying this over failing a quiz or spilling a glass of milk.

7. “Patayin ko yung internet mo!” / “I’ll kill your internet!”

A more recent and commonly used Filipino threat due to the rise of cellphones and technology, parents sometimes threaten to “kill the internet” to scare their kids. Because the internet helped kids and teens stay connected, the idea of cutting them off from the internet induces a form of FOMO in them. All the more they’ll find a way to connect to the internet. They might even get their own phone plan to nullify your threat.

These Filipino threats don’t work in disciplining the kids!

There will be times that we resort to Filipino threats out of frustration and, it’s only satisfying in the short run. But the threats stick in our kids’ minds. Worse, they might even use it on their peers without actually knowing what it means. This is also how kids develop a preference for bullying because they see how parents can do so via threatening.

More Filipino parenting things that need to be changed:

Being Family is Not a Free Pass to Be Toxic
How Utang ng Loob Made Filipino Families Toxic
“Tigas ng Ulo Mo!”: How To Parent Stubborn Kids Without Breaking Them