I've hit upon parenting gold. I just have to figure out how to make it work for every possible scenario that might come up.
It's simple really; fear. The concept is nothing new, and here's how it played out today while we were waiting for our lemonseed poppy cupcakes to bake.
Nicky: if I have a drink of your coffee, will I DIE??
Me: of course not!
*he brings the mug almost to his lips*
Me: wait! It WILL kill you!
Nicky: what? It will KILL me?
Me: well, no not really. I was just kidding.
Nicky: well what will happen if I drink it?
Me: you'll stop growing. You won't grow as big as Liam or Daddy.
Nicky: are you serious?
Me: I am.
And he slowly put the mug back on the table muttering something about how THAT was not a good thing.
Guys, it was so effective. And I didn't have to yell myself hoarse over him doing something that I didn't want him to do.