Discipline A Child Without Spanking Him or Her —Any truly African child born before the turn of this century is no stranger to spanking; it’s almost like a tradition and right of passage. Not spanking a child, even till recent times in certain circles, is seen as the height of indulgence and maybe bad parenting. The choice of whether or not to discipline a child using corporal punishment is entirely up to the parents.
Dealing with very disobedient children might seem impossible without the use of a few well-placed slaps and bottom spankings. The question is whether this is the best and last resort for every parent out there. Regardless of whatever traditional advantages are associated with spanking and the attendant harsh reproach, there have been numerous research-based reasons why this method of parenting is terrible for the kids’ future. Here are a few alternative methods to discipline a child without hitting him or her.
Alternative Methods to Discipline A Child Without Spanking
- Always take some time before punishment. Most times, hitting a child is a direct response to the annoyance of the child’s misbehaviour. Taking a few seconds to cool off before reacting might save us all a lot of traumatic childhood experiences. Try never to discipline or punish a child while you are still angry at them.
- Time-out/ Time-in. For most difficult toddlers, a most effective punishment is getting them to stay on their own, facing a wall for a few minutes. This often takes a lot of concentration and it requires them to stay calm and quit their fidgeting or tantrums. Some child care professionals believe that instead of time out alone in an isolated room, it’s better to do a time in, whereby you hug and hold on tightly to your toddler when they are being naughty, as this will help them better channel their emotions.
- Try to understand the motives behind their actions. Assuming a child is just trying to be naughty or difficult might eventually have very terrible long term consequences. Getting to know the trigger behind a particular action is an effective step towards getting a lasting solution to the problem and helping your child realise that you care and you’ve got their back no matter what.
- Dialogue. This may seem absurd, but having intelligent conversations with little children not only boosts their brain power, but also helps in building their sense of responsibility. Definitely, it not every time a child will be very reasonable in dialogue, but over time, this parenting method will eventually pay-off. Talking with your child will help them develop their self-esteem, trust and open up to you, and also make them apprehensive of losing the privilege of your trust.
- Let them face the consequences of their actions. This cannot always be practised, but in a controlled environment, it is the best way to make your child realise that his bad habit can affect him negatively. An example can be made for of a child who refuses to clean his room, if eventually he needs to find a particular object [a ticket to a game, a pair of jeans for an outing, or his assignment]. If the loss of the object and his inability to find it quickly makes him lose something he really desires or has been looking forward to, this would teach a valuable lesson on the need for organization without you yelling or punishing