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Truly Smart Ways to Discipline a Child Without Spanking

Ways to Discipline a Child Without Spanking
Is spanking or beating, the ultimate solution to discipline your child? Certainly not! What would be the appropriate way to inculcate disciplined behavior in your child?
Snehal Motkar
Last Updated: Mar 4, 2018
Discipline has to be an integral part of our personality. We should behave in a disciplined manner not only for social acceptance, but also for our own good. It helps us to focus on the goal and achieve it in an easier way. Discipline begins right from childhood. In fact, it is the best age to inculcate discipline as the child is like raw clay and he/she can be molded into the right way by the parents, giving him/her initial lessons of discipline. Here the question arises, "What is the correct method of disciplining your child?" or "How to discipline a child?". From ancient times, it is believed that one of the most effective ways of doing it is, punishing the child by spanking him/her for the mistakes (regardless of the mistake being a real serious one or just a small one) that he/she makes. Parents have a mindset that the child will remember the previous spanking or beating, whenever he/she is about to make a mistake. But, that is not at all true. We as adults can very well differentiate between right and wrong, but how can a child know what is right and what is wrong or whatever he/she is doing is a mistake? A mistake is a mistake after all and it happens unknowingly and unintentionally. The reasons for parents beating their children could be because parents get frustrated because of unwanted behavior of the child and don't know what to do. At such situations, they beat the child to relieve the frustration. Sometimes, they believe that raising their hand on the child will only make him/her disciplined.
Negative Effects of Spanking the Child
There are some damaging effects of spanking children, which are pretty serious and should be taken into consideration by parents who believe that whacking/spanking is the only way to discipline their child.
✦ It humiliates the child and he/she begins to lose self-esteem.
✦ It forms a negative/scary image of parents in front of the child. He/she begins to lose the sense of attachment with parents.
✦ He/she becomes anti-social and turns aggressive. Children also start thinking that this is how the world outside works.
✦ It brings bad memories for both, the parents as well as the child.
✦ It can have long-term negative effects on the child. He/she won't be able to forget it easily.
Effective Ways to Discipline Your Child Without Spanking
Parents should realize from the above points that spanking won't be a wise punishment for the child. It will only give unhappiness to the child as well as to parents. Both of them will be devalued on their parts. The following techniques will guide you in using other ways of disciplining your child.
Speak Softly to Point out the Mistake
Mother talking with child
The first option to make the child realize his/her mistake is through soft words. If the mistake is a minor one, you can always talk to your child when he/she is alone. Try to be gentle while telling him/her the mistake and the possible consequences of it. I am sure, no child will refuse to accept his/her mistake, if it is told in such a nice way. If you scold your child in front of people (members of the family), he/she will surely feel insulted and embarrassed. You might ask or disagree on the point of the child feeling insulted. But, let me tell you that even the smallest kid who has acquired sense of emotions and feelings, feels abashed when somebody shouts at him/her. It is the ego that we all carry with us while entering into this world.
Trade Sweet Talk for Discipline
Child refusing to give tablet
This is one way to keep your child disciplined. Allow me to explain how it works effectively. Children love their belongings like toys, bed, bags, pencils, etc., or playing video games and watching TV more than anything else. They neither want to give it off nor share it with anybody. What you can do is, if a child does something wrong or behaves in an undisciplined way, you can deny his/her access to their favorite thing. The child will automatically do what you want to get his/her thing back. Here I would like to point out one thing and that is, some parents promise the child to give what he/she wants, if he/she behaves well, which is quite bad. The child, being quite smart, understands the consistency in this activity and after a certain point, he/she begins to demand something against his/her disciplined behavior.
Informally Point out the Right and Wrong
Father talking with son
Teaching or educating the child in a loving manner proves to be the best way to avoid mistakes on his/her part. If you try to teach the right and wrong by raising your voice, it won't work. Instead, you can weave the main instruction in an informal talk and convey it in simple way. This will serve two major purposes; firstly you will give knowledge to the child and secondly, the child will take it positively.
Allow the Child to Face Natural Consequences
Child punished by teacher
If the child is still reluctant to accept his/her mistake even after the use of the above methods, you can let him/her face the consequences of it which will make the realization much more effective. For example, if he/she refuses to complete the homework, let him/her be scolded by the teacher and realize their mistake.
All the above directions are for parents who realize the negatives of spanking their children and are willing to adopt other ways to discipline them. As you love your child unconditionally, you should also love him/her while disciplining.
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