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Spanking and discipline the old fashioned way ... does it work?

When a parent has reached his or her limit and can no longer discipline by using a “teaching moment”, they will often react by using old fashioned discipline such as shouting, “Go to your room,” or spanking.

Many parents believe that old fashioned discipline such as spankings worked when they were children and should work now. However, experts disagree. Spanking teaches a child that if you are bigger it’s acceptable to hit when you are angry. Spankings make a child focus on the punishment and not what they have done wrong. Spankings can also condition a child to get more spankings. They can get into the habit of acting out until they get a spanking.

There are much better ways to discipline your child. Most parents use time out as punishment. It’s important to not only give your child time out, but to explain to them why they are getting time out and how you expect them to act next time.

Depriving a child of a privilege is also a good disciplinary tool. When you warn your child that they will not get to play outside if they do not clean their room, you are giving them a choice to be good or not. When they lose the privilege of playing outside, they know why.

Punishing a child by making him pay in some way for what he has done wrong is another effective strategy. If your child intentionally breaks his siblings toy, explain to him why his actions are not acceptable and how it makes his sibling sad that his toy is now broken. Then, make your child give one of his toys to his sibling and apologise. This will make him think twice the next time.

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