I know, we have all spanked our children at one time or another, some parents more often than others, because we have all lost our temper at our children’s behavior.
For instance, when we were trying to cross the road, our toddler suddenly lets go of our hand to run across, what do we do? We spank him.
Of course! What about when three year old Betty refuses to turn off the television, even after she was told to four times? We spank her, of course!
This type of spanking works in the short term, but this cannot be the solution to deal with any sort of child misdemeanors.
For instance, five year old John was turning out to be a bully in school, and it was discovered that he was subjected to regular spanking at home, in a show of ‘who has better control over you, you or me?’ on the part of his father. Fearful at home, little John was imitating his father while at school.
There are several alternatives to spanking, and it would help to know about them so that you can avoid spanking your child the next time he misbehaves:
- No matter what, do not lose your temper; you are the adult here. Be firm, be gentle, and be kind.
- Use a neutral voice when you are admonishing your child; your child is more likely to hear what you are saying.
- Try to say to your child, “I am too angry to deal with this right now. We will talk about it later.”
- Try not to leap to punishing your child. Instead, try to make this into a sort of learning opportunity for him. You can tell him, “I know I told you not to do this. How can I help you remember not to do it next time?”
- Stay positive at all times, for instance, instead of saying, “How many times have I told you not to do this?” you could say, “I know I have told you this several times. Please finish it, and let me know when you have, so that we can do the next thing.” Refuse to get angry or provoked at your child.
- Like the democratic parent who sets the rules, and also explains to the child why he wants the rules to be followed, give your child a small explanation about why you need her to do exactly as he is told.
- Reward your child with a hug or a kiss for his good behavior, instead of just punishing him for his bad.
- Do not get into power struggles with your child, instead, talk to him, state the problem, and ask him for the solution. Even if it does take some time, this works better than having a shouting match early in the morning.
Persist in bringing these changes, especially if you are used to spanking your child.