Spanking usually is a negative experience for the parent as well as the child. Most parents don’t want to spank and don’t really believe it works. For them it is a last resort reaction. What they do when they don’t know what else to do and have reached their limit of patience. What they do because they think they must spank in order to be a good parent.
However, spanking is not the only way to have well-behaved children. Most all parents believe that children must have firm rules in their lives, but physical punishment is not the only way to get children to follow rules.
The path to other ways to discipline:
- Expect that rules will be tested. That’s how children learn what rules and consequences are all about.
- Apply rules by using consequences.
- Carefully and consistently apply consequences that make sense.
- Stay calm and be matter-of-fact when applying consequences.
- For some rules, if the child is old enough, talk through what reasonable rules and consequences should be, so they fully understand them and are very clear about what the consequences are.
- Celebrate your children’s good decisions when they follow the rules.
(See Sticking to the Rules for more information about consequences.)