8 Things To Do instead of Spanking Your Child

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Spanking as a form of discipline has been shown to  teach and perpetuate violence,  rather than helping children to make better choices.  Children who are spanked are also more likely  to  have low self-esteem, depression, substance abuse and incarceration.  Contrary to the belief of many people, spanking your child will not keep them out of jail and most people who are in prison have been physically disciplined.

I’ve complied 8 suggestions which hopefully will be helpful to parents who want to learn ways to discipline without physical punishment

1 – Get Calm

First, if you feel angry and out of control and you want to spank or slap your child, try to leave the situation.  . Calm down and get quiet. In that quiet time you will often find an alternative or solution to the problem. Sometimes parents lose it because they are under a lot of stress. Dinner is boiling over, the kids are fighting, the phone is ringing and your child drops the can of peas and you lose it. If you can’t leave the situation, then try to step back and count to ten.

2 – Take Time for Yourself

Parents are more prone to use spanking when they haven’t had any time to themselves and they feel depleted and hurried.  It is important for parents to take some time for themselves.  Some examples of things to do would be taking a walk, reading or exercising..

3 – Be Kind but Firm

Another frustrating situation where parents tend to spank is when your child hasn’t listened to your repeated requests to behave. Finally, you spank to get your child to act appropriately. Another solution in these situations is to get down on your child’s level, make eye contact, touch him gently  and tell him, in a short, kind but firm phrase, what it is you want him to do. For example, “I want you to play quietly.”

4 – Give Choices

Giving your child a choice is an effective alternative to spanking. If she is playing with her food at the table ask, Would you like to stop playing with your food or would you like to leave the table?” If the child continues to play with her food, you use kind but firm action by helping her down from the table. Then tell her that she can return to the table when she is ready to eat her food without playing in it.

5 – Use Logical Consequences

Consequences  that are logically related to the behavior help teach children responsibility. For example, your child breaks a neighbor’s window and you punish him by spanking him. What does he learn about the situation? He may learn to never do that again, but he also learns that he needs to hide his mistakes, blame it on someone else, lie, or simply not get caught. He may decide that he is bad or feel anger and revenge toward the parent who spanked him. When you spank a child, he may behave because he is afraid to get hit again. However, do you want your child to behave because he is afraid of you or because he respects you?

Compare that situation to a child who breaks a neighbor’s window and his parent says, “I see you’ve broken the window, what will you do to repair it?” using a kind but firm tone of voice. The child decides to mow the neighbor’s lawn and wash his car several times to repay the cost of breaking the window. What does the child learn in this situation? That mistakes are an inevitable part of life and it isn’t so important that he made the mistake but that he takes responsibility to repair the mistake. The focus is taken off the mistake and put on taking responsibility for repairing it. The child feels no anger or revenge toward his parent. And most importantly the child’s self-esteem is not damaged.

6 – Withdraw from Conflict

Children who talk  back to  parents may provoke a parent to want to hit them. In this situation, it is best if you withdraw from the situation immediately. Do not leave the room in anger. Calmly say, “I’ll be in the next room when you want to talk more respectfully.”

7 – Use kind but firm action

Instead of  hitting an infant’s hand or bottom when she touches something she isn’t supposed to, kindly but firmly pick her up and take her to the next room. Offer her a toy or another item to distract her and say, “You can try again later.” You may have to take her out several times if she is persistent.

8 – Inform Children Ahead of Time

A child’s temper tantrum can easily set a parent off. Children frequently throw tantrums when they feel uninformed or powerless in a situation. Instead of telling your child he has to leave his friend’s house right before you have to leave, tell him that you will be leaving in five minutes. This allows the child to complete what he was in the process of doing.

Aggression is a form of perpetuating violence in society. A

form of this is spanking because it takes it’s toll on a child’s self-esteem, this often causes the child to be rebellious and uncooperative. Consider for a moment the vision of a family that knows how to win cooperation and creatively solve their problems without using force or violence. The alternatives are limitless and the results are calmer parents and happier more well adjusted children.

Positive Discipline and Your Teen

Being the parent of a teen can be very challenging.   Teens sometimes seem intent on doing exactly the opposite of what we ask.   We have to try to remember that their job now is to find themselves as a person, to shape an identity and to figure  out what’s important to them. They often feel that their  integrity would be compromised by simply doing what we ask because we ask it.   So discipline as we usually think of it often backfires with teens.  If you come down like a sledge hammer, you can count on open rebellion. If you crack down on the rebellion instead of listening to your child’s reasons, you can count on your teen becoming a very good liar, and sneaking behind your back.  If you have a warm, affirming, open relationship where your teen feels respected and respects you, if you have relied on lots of discussion to guide your child, then you can count on easier teen years. Your child will honor your rules most of the time and will initiate negotiations about the ones that don’t work for her.  Also  kids who aren’t punished, but are lovingly guided to make reparations and solve problems, are earlier to develop internal discipline and a strong moral sense–so your teen now has the ability to make the hard choices to do what’s right, regardless of what her friends are doing.  However if you’ve relied on punishment to control your child , you may have difficulties because a parenting style that relies mostly on the threat of punishment doesn’t give a child the self discipline to manage himself. It’s time to shift to the kind of strong parent-child relationship that makes your child want to cooperate. So if you’ve been punishing, it isn’t too late.
Where to begin?

1. Commit to a respectful tone, for everyone in the household.
Try to  not yell as often.  Teens often yell and are disrespectful when they are yelled at often.

2. Focus on strengthening the relationship so that when you set a limit
or express an expectation , your child wants to please you. Make sure you have one-on-one time with each child,  in which you mostly listen. . You can’t have any influence if your kid doesn’t enjoy being with you.

3. Stop punishing.
Instead, be sure your teen knows the non-negotiable family rules.

4. Set clear expectations about what matters to you.
This will vary for every family.  These can include working during the summer, doing homework every night and chores which you have given them.

5. Give whatever support is necessary for your child to meet your expectations.
Regardless of the issue, your teen won’t necessarily know how to make things better. He needs your help. You may not know, either, but your  willingness to step in to support him in figuring out the next step will reassure him that he isn’t alone, and will go a long way toward solving the problem.

6. Foster accountability in a new way.
Worried that your child isn’t being “held accountable”? Introduce the concept of reparations. This isn’t a consequence (punishment) that you impose. This is when you ask your teen if there’s something he can do to make the situation better now. For instance, if he says something mean to his sister, he’ll need to do some repair work on that relationship. If he breaks something, he’ll need to help pay for a replacement.

These tips will go a long way in helping you to have a positive relationship with you child.