The question that has been asked many times over the last few decades – to spank or not to spank? No matter who you ask, or where you pose the question, you will always receive a different answer. Many parents are now opting for the ‘no spanking’ method, and many countries around the world are actually adopting this method into their laws.
In many countries around the world, it is actually illegal to spank your child. People believe that parents have no right to physically discipline their children and that it does more harm than good. It is also argued that some parents do not have enough control over their anger, and may take their anger out on their children while justifying it as spanking.
Long-term, spanking could have a negative effect on a child’s confidence and ability to deal with situations. By spanking, you are showing authority over your child. They are not allowed to fight back. This subordinate way of punishing is very primal, and often does a lot of damage to a child’s confidence. At the same time, you are teaching your child that violence is the way to solve a problem. We need to be teaching our children to be rational, logical thinkers. Not to burst out into aggression when something upsets them. By doing this, we are raising children who will not know how to handle situations properly and calmly in a social environment.
Many parents contest that there is no other form of punishment that works. Often, children are not given enough credit. They are very intelligent and understand situations more than we think. There are various other ways to enforce discipline in your household, all which teach good life lessons, and don’t involve raising your hand or voice.
Grounding is a popular form of discipline when dealing with older children. It involves banning your child from going somewhere or participating in something. If your child is misbehaving, have them spend the afternoon indoors and not outside playing with the other kids. Tell them that if they misbehave again, they will not go to the movies with the other kids on the weekend – and follow through. They will soon learn that all actions have consequences and that they are in control of their own actions.
Kids love toys. Toys, sweets and video games. These are the perfect tools to use to teach your child some responsibility for their actions. You can take toys away from a young age. By not behaving, your child will understand that something he loves to play with will be taken away for a certain amount of time. This is a non-threatening and effective form of discipline. You are also teaching your child to appreciate their material belongings, and that they need to earn the right to play with their toys.
Positive reinforcement is by far the best way to encourage good behavior in your child. There is no negativity involved at all. Start by using positive reinforcement from a young age. By doing this, your child will learn that good behavior is always rewarding, and this will, in turn, encourage them to stay away from misbehaving. There are different ways to introduce and incorporate positive reinforcement into the household:
Encourage good behavior – if your child does something good on his own, like putting his dish in the sink, let him know how well he has done with a hug or high-five.
Have sticker charts – create achievement charts for your child. Once he has performed his daily tasks all week or has behaved well consistently, reward him. This could be with a candy or certain privileges. Let him choose the movie for family night, or pick out what book he wants from the library.
Let him know how proud you are – whether you are talking to another adult or even a teddy, make sure your child can hear you exclaim how proud you are of their good behavior, and how happy you are to be their mom.
There are so many alternative ways to encourage good behavior in your child. Spanking does not need to appear in any household and can stay back in the archaic times where it belongs. It is being frowned upon for a reason. Rather focus your energy on raising caring and rational children. Don’t let violence be the answer to their problems. Rather teach them that good behavior brings on good things in life.