Alternatives to Spanking, Part 1
Experts at The University of Texas (Austin) and the University of Michigan looked at five decades of research on spanking. They looked at research that defined spanking as “an open-handed hit on the behind or extremities” and excluded harsher forms of discipline in an effort to “weed out” abuse. The findings suggested “the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems, and cognitive difficulties.” (Read more in these 3 articles: The Strong Evidence Against Spanking, Spanking & Child Development, Risk of Harm from Spanking). These studies do not say spanking causes these negative outcomes, but spanking is strongly associated with these negative outcomes. Even so, these studies do suggest that spanking does not have the intended results of improved behavior. If spanking is ineffective, how can a parent promote positive behavior? I’m glad you asked. Here are a baker’s dozen of ideas you can use. Part 2 will offer another dozen ideas. Try them out. I think you’ll like them.
- First, and perhaps most important, realize you are your child’s best teacher. In fact, you are their Best Teacher Eh-verrrr.
- Practice the 6 ingredients described in Six Ingredients of Parental Authority.
- We discipline best from within a deep relationship. A Crucial Parenting Insight Learned in Three Parts offers a study that shows how foundational our relationship is for our children to learn.
- One powerful discipline tool we often overlook is the mirror. It’s true. Read One Powerful Discipline Tool to discover how a mirror can help you discipline effectively.
- Curiosity kills the cat, but it can make your discipline more effective. Assumptions, on the other hand, sabotage discipline. Learn more about this in Assumptions & the Downward Cycle of Discipline.
- Parenting is hard work. It really does take a village to effectively raise children. It Takes a Village…But How? describes four ways you can build a supportive village to help you discipline your child.
- A great discipline tool is to Catch the Little Rascals Red-Handed. This blog tells you exactly how to do it. Try it out for 2-4 weeks and watch your children’s behavior improve.
- To practice effective discipline, a parent must determine who owns the problem. Who is frustrated, unhappy, or experiencing unmet needs as a result of the behavior? That person owns the problem. Read Whose Problem Is That?! to find out how this knowledge frees a parent to discipline effectively.
- Discipline is “training to ensure proper behavior: the practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior.” Follow the steps in 3 Simple Steps to Discipline Children to begin this process.
- Routines are one of the most effective disciplinary tools, preventing misbehavior before it even happens. A Most Influential Discipline Tool explains how they work and what routines can help.
- Perhaps the most powerful discipline tool at a parent’s disposal is positive attention! Learn how to use attention to discipline your child in The Most Powerful Discipline Weapon Known to Man.
- Children have two currencies for love: time and attention. Banking Time & Attention with Your Children describes a simple technique for using time and attention to improve your children’s behavior. You might even try engaging with your children in this activity (Building Forts to Build Mature Children) to bank some time with your children.
- A neurologist taught me a great way to discipline children, change the environment. Learn five ways you can change your children’s surroundings that will improve their behavior in 5 Tips to Improve Your Child’s Behavior.
Read Alternatives to Spanking, Part 2 for another baker’s dozen.