By Catherine Griffin
Discipline is an important aspect of parenthood. It’s crucial when it comes to teaching your little one right from wrong and keeping them safe. But, disciplining your child is one of those things that sounds easier said than done.
That’s why it comes as no big surprise that most parents turn to spanking to set their kids straight. The bad news is however that spanking (or any other form of physical punishment, for that matter) can do more harm than good. It turns out spanking can cause aggression, a raft of mental health issues, and even lowers the IQ of your child.
As if that isn’t bad enough, spanking is not more effective than other disciplining techniques. Which begs the question: what can a parent do instead? Read on to learn more about other non-spanking disciplining methods that actually work.
(1) Learn to Say “No”
You’d be surprised at the number of parents who don’t know the importance of saying “no.” It might sound like a no-brainer, but you need to react promptly, firmly, and persistently to bad behavior. When you do this right from a young age and with a firm tone of voice, it can be incredibly effective. Also, be sure to explain why you are saying “No”. For example you can say, “No, because you can hurt yourself,” etc.
(2) Rewarding Good Behavior / Positive reinforcement
Teaching your child to be disciplined doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom. Rewarding good behavior can do wonders for your little one. Make a habit of noticing when your kid has made an effort to do what’s right. Once you do notice good behavior, let him or her earn recognition and perhaps a reward or a sticker. For example you can say, “Great job! I love how you are sharing,” or “Good job, I love how you are (fill in blank).”
(3) Take Away the Toys
Taking away toys works like a charm for preschoolers and up. It doesn’t to be all the toys — just take the one(s) your little one loves most. Also important is that you need to take the toys for a predetermined time based on the offence.
(4) Take Away Special Privileges like TV Time
You can also discipline your child by taking away his or her TV watching time or something else that they enjoy doing. It could be anything; but zero in on something that really matters to your child. Nonetheless, don’t take away healthy activities like sports.
Here’s a banger when it comes to preschoolers. If done right, a time-out can help get the message across. Explain to him the poor behavior that was just exhibited and let him know why the behavior is not acceptable. Let him know he needs a time out to reflect and when he is ready to behave appropriately (or say “I’m sorry”) that he can come out of the time out. Usually you will give a child a time out in minutes relative to the years they are in age. For example, if your son is 4 years old you may want to give him a 4 minute time out. Just send him to a boring (but safe) place away from the action as well as your attention.
While grounding is a magic wand for older children, don’t underestimate its power for preschoolers and school-age children. It’s crucial to tailor the length and severity of the grounding to the degree of bad behavior.