Learning to discipline children consistently and fairly is one of
the major challenges for parents. Oftentimes, parents resort to
spanking as a way to discipline their children without realizing the
possible negative consequences. Studies have shown that spanking
teaches children to be more aggressive and violent in their behavior.
This can negatively impact a person's future relationships with other
people socially and professionally.
What can be Done other than Spanking?
- Try to avoid abrupt and irrational reactions. Every time you have the urge to spank your child, take a deep breath and try to calm yourself. Evaluate your own emotions. It would be very beneficial to have your own anger management techniques. Reminding yourself about how dear your children are to you and how you don't want to hurt them is one such technique.
- Make sure that your child is given a chance to make choices. Provide options that will make satisfy your child regardless of what is chosen. Studies have revealed that children who were given choices are more likely to be compliant; plus they become good decision makers. It is vital to let them know that there can be alternatives to being hit.
- Try to have a good talk with your child. Communication is always a two-way mechanism. Talk to your child and remember to let them express their feelings and thoughts on a particular issue. Explanations and reasoning should be the initial approach. Focus on the behavioral problem of the child and not on the child directly. Emphasize the bad action and not your child.
- Give your child positive reinforcements for good deeds. Rewarding and complementing your child will help you when you need to discipline. Praise good behaviors and polite attitudes. This type of feedback will encourage your children to behave properly and decently. It will also help them to feel good about themselves.
- Establish your rules and be consistent with it. As a parent, it is vital that you establish basic rules for your kids. Make sure that they understand the rules ahead of time (do not suddenly create the rules and consequences in the midst of your child's misbehavior). You should be firm enforcer of the rules; however, this does not mean you have to be harsh and scolding.
- Set limits for your child's behavior. Instead of dictating to your child about the things that should be done, tell the things that you will allow. It also helps if you give your kids advance time restrictions. You can say they have, for example, 15 more minutes to finish the video game before bedtime. This allotment will allow your child to finish without having a tantrum.
- Think of other milder punishments. You can ground your child grounded for a few days or a whole week depending upon the gravity of the mistake. For toddlers, you can take away a favorite toy or ban television shows for a certain period.