Alternatives To Spanking Your Child

A few alternative to spanking your child.

There are many parents today who look down on spanking their children. The once common practice is now taboo. Even with this perception, parents have a difficult time finding alternatives. Disciplining your child is a sensitive topic among parents. No one wants to accuse the other of raising his or her child incorrectly. There have been several psychologists and parenting experts who have developed some practical, more positive approaches to discipline. Here are a few of those alternative approaches that can be used in lieu of spanking.


Offer your child an acceptable choice for an unacceptable one. For example if your child wants to play with one of your crystal figurines, redirect her by offering one of her favorite toys instead. Providing an alternative can decrease others behaviors such as temper tantrums.

Positive Reinforcement

This concept suggests that when a child does something good, reward them for it. The rewards could range from verbal praises to purchasing a toy. It is known also as the "catch-them-doing-good" form of discipline. This is where you would find yourself acknowledging their good behavior as a way to promote a continuance in that behavior. Most children want to please their parents, not disappoint them.

Choose your battles wisely

Every behavior does not warrant an extreme reaction. There are some things that can be let go or not made into a big issue. Take a moment before responding and ask yourself, "Does it really matter?" "Will this affect anyone?" If not, then let it go. Like one author writes, "don't sweat the small stuff!"

Use logical consequences

Give logical consequences to an action in order to teach the child responsibility. If a child pours their milk on the floor allow them to clean it up, if they pull the books off of shelf then they need to pick them up, etc. There are times though, that these behaviors are merely accidents and require a different response. The point is to teach the child to take responsibility for their actions.

Be a good example

The best way to decrease inappropriate behaviors in your child is to set a good example for them. Don't say or do things in front of your child that you would not want them to do. Parents are their children's first primary teacher. That being said, the behaviors that you display have a powerful influence on your children. So practice what you preach.

Time Outs

There may be times that you find yourself extremely angry with you child. Take a time out. Walk away from the situation to allow yourself time to calm down. Once you are calm, then address the situation with your child. No parent needs to discipline their child when they are angry or feel out of control. Be calm, yet firm.

Discipline is a way to teach your child the "ropes" of life. Parents must remember that children aren't going to be "good" all the time. The important thing to remember is to be consistent and be fair. Always let your children know that you love them even though the behavior was inappropriate.

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