5 ways to discipline a child without spanking

Five ways to discipline a child without spanking

Here are several effective methods that parents can use to discipline their children that don't involve spanking.

5 ways to discipline a child without spanking

1. Withdraw rewards

Rewards can be more effective in altering behaviour than punishment. Encouraging good behaviour means you are less likely to face naughtiness in the first place. However, if a child does misbehave, what can parents do? Withdrawing rewards, such as sweets, can be an effective strategy. However, it's important to explain this at the time the bad behaviour occurs, not afterwards when the reward might otherwise have been due. Children can feel this is deeply unfair otherwise, and younger children may fail to connect the two issues.

2. Enforce consequences

Sometimes, allowing a child to face the consequences of their actions can be effective. Obviously, this shouldn't be done if it puts the child in danger. However, if a child is being reckless with a favourite toy, for example, then breaking or even losing the toy can be an important lesson in actions and consequences.

3. Use points

A points system is a method many families favour. A reward chart helps children focus on tasks, as well as good behaviour. In addition to awarding points, you can also remove them if your child misbehaves. If a child needs to be disciplined for a minor infraction, a few points might be deducted. For a more serious issue, more points might be taken away, making the "punishment" fit the 'crime'.

4. Try a timeout

This discipline technique can be effective, but try not to overuse it, or your child may become used to it, making it less effective. Remember to explain why a timeout is being given as punishment and set a time limit. Like points scoring, this can be adjusted to meet the seriousness of the offence. Once the timeout is over, let children resume the activity they were participating in when the behaviour occurred to ensure that they understand that the discipline period is clearly over.

5. Be predictable

When a child must be disciplined, make sure that he or she could reasonably have predicted the consequence. When parents react unpredictably, children tend to be confused or feel that they are being treated unjustly. Warn children of the consequences if they don't correct bad behaviour.

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