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Parenting Basics: Four Alternative Discipline Strategies to Spanking

One of the many responsibilities of parents is to teach their little ones to behave well. Some parents resort to spanking, which many believe is the quickest and most effective approach to changing a kid’s behavior.

Although it might correct a child’s attitude in the short term, hitting a child does have consequences. According to a study done by the University of Toronto, corporal punishment could negatively affect a child’s intelligence.

The good news is that you could follow positive discipline strategies to teach your children to manage their behavior effectively without using physical punishment. Keep these four suggestions in mind:

Place Your Child on Time-out

A time-out is useful when a child breaks specific rules, such as refusing to clean up his/her room or playing with your beautiful fashion jewelry without your permission. When done correctly, this discipline tool teaches your young ones how to manage their emotions appropriately.

If your little ones break a rule, warn them that they will receive a time-out should they continue misbehaving. When they don’t stop, pull them aside and remind them about their wrong actions. Then, tell them that they’re on time-out for a predetermined length of time. A good rule of thumb to follow is setting one minute of time-out per year of age.

Alternatively, you could ask your child to let his/her time-out. Tell your kid to go on a time-out and return only after he/she feels in control.

Introduce Logical Consequences

Logical consequences are a smart way to discipline children struggling with specific attitude problems. If your kids, for instance, refuse to eat their veggies at dinner, don’t give them a bedtime snack. Associating the consequence with the behavioral problem allows children to realize that their actions have a negative outcome.

Reward and Praise Positive Behavior

Rather than focus all of your time punishing negative actions, you could prevent behavior problems by rewarding and praising your child for being good. Start by setting up an incentive system to push him to turn around his/her misbehavior. Rewards enable kids to think more about the actions that they should do to earn privileges.

If you catch your child doing good deeds, praise him/her for being good. When you find your daughter playing nicely with your siblings, for instance, point out the positive behavior and say, “You’re doing a fantastic job being nice to your brother/sister. Keep it up!”

Teach Your Children New Skills

mother and child

One problem with spanking is that it doesn’t effectively teach kids to behave better. Hitting your child for throwing a tantrum, for example, won’t educate him/her on how to calm his/her emotions properly.

So, take the time to teach various skills to your children. Some skills you could start with are problem-solving skills, learning how to compromise, and managing negative emotions. Parents can enforce discipline with the goal of teaching (and not punishing) children.

Take note of these four strategies to discipline your children without hitting them or using harsh words. Remember that disciplining is all about training and guiding your kids to behave properly and grow up being respectful to others.

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