Spanking is a hotly debated subject with strong emotions. Some parents swear it’s the best way to discipline children so they’ll do what we want them to. After all, your parents spanked you and you turned out okay, right?
Maybe. But there are alternatives to spanking instead of hitting a child to get the results you desire. Sure, maybe your son or daughter will stop talking back to you if you spank him or her. But that’s merely a short-term reaction to an immediate event.
Studies agree that spanking isn’t the best course of action. Over time it promotes aggression and teaches children to physically attack when confronted with something they don’t like. Instead, you should model positive behaviors that foster trust and respect instead of fear. After all, a strong parent child relationship is key to effective parenting.
How can you grow a trusting bond with your child without instilling fear and hostility that comes with spanking?
1. Do not react when you are angry.
Often spanking is a reaction to parents’ anger. Instead of negatively reacting when your child does something to upset you, step back and calm down. Address the behavior with your child when you are not emotional.
2. Offer logical consequences.
When children misbehave, you must give them a consequence that fits the misbehavior. For example, if your child is abusing his screen time or your teen is late coming home, the logical consequences would be to take away screen time the next day or revoke driving privileges the next time your teenager wants to go out.
3. Just say no.
It’s okay to say “no.” So instead of spanking or arguing with your child, be direct and say, “No; we don’t do that in this family.”
4. Redirect the behavior.
Instead of getting upset and hitting your child when they do something wrong, try redirecting their behavior. For example, if your child is running away from you at the park, don’t get mad and spank him; try saying something like, “Let’s go play on the swings.”