There are a few things that I remember striking fear into my heart as a child. One of them was "wait until your father gets home..." I use a variation of this, but it doesn't seem to have the same effect on my kids as it did on me. Perhaps this is because when my mother said that it meant "you are so getting your ass spanked when your dad gets home..." We don't spank our kids (for less than running into the road or other such dangerous offenses), so I think that might contribute to the lack of quivering fear observed when I drop the "daddy" bomb.
Another was the full name. If I heard my first and middle name, I knew there was trouble. The full legal name? I.am.so.screwed. The full legal name often lead into "wait until your father gets home..." which never ended well. This is one that we have not yet cultivated with our kids. Perhaps we should whip it out & see what happens. Always good to have an extra deterrent in the arsenal.
Then there was The Look. The Look is a wordless, soundless force to be reckoned with. The Look is developed over years of child rearing, being continually refined with every ridiculous transgression the children commit. The Look is the mute warning that legal names are coming soon, then we will be waiting for father to arrive. I'm pleased to say that I'm cultivating my Look well. It's not quite striking fear into the hearts of my children just yet, but it at least slows them down. My husband is even developing his own Look now that he is forced to work from home & do daddy day care. Of course, it's not as good as mine (at least that is what I tell myself. I'm the mommy, it's my job to wield The Look).
Hopefully I can refine the effectiveness of these skills. The electric cattle prod is frowned upon in most states, after all...